The Jätkäsaari Smart Mobility project offers SMEs based in the Helsinki region a chance to pilot new technologies and services. In addition to this, the upcoming Mobility Lab will also benefit other companies, researchers and the development of mobility as a whole.
The areas of Jätkäsaari, West Harbour and Ruoholahti in Helsinki and their residential areas and traffic lanes offer a unique experimentation environment in Finland. The densely built and occasionally congested area represents a typical traffic environment in major cities across the world.
“What we have here is a suitably challenging testing area combined with the technology and data of the future,” comments the coordinator of the Jätkäsaari Smart Mobility project Raimo Tengvall from Forum Virium Helsinki. “For companies, it can provide a clear advantage in product development. Piloting your solutions here makes you that much more prepared to take the global market by storm.”
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, the Jätkäsaari Smart Mobility project involves outfitting the area’s streets with technologies that may become commonplace in the near future.
The solutions to be piloted are selected based on the needs of the companies participating in the project. They can include things like communication between vehicles and the environment or fast online connections, for example. The use of suitable sensors and the utilisation of data can provide valuable information to facilitate the development of new mobility services.
Support based on companies’ needs
The companies participating in the Jätkäsaari Smart Mobility project receive direct help for the development of their business operations and internationalisation. In addition to this, Helsinki Business Hub, which is one of the project partners, helps foreign companies and investors discover Finnish companies. The establishment of completely new startups is also supported.
In addition to Forum Virium Helsinki and Helsinki Business Hub, the realisation of the testing area is also being contributed to by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Metropolia is known in the field of mobility for its world-class expertise in vehicles and robot buses in particular.
Metropolia’s most visible contribution to the Jätkäsaari Smart Mobility project is the maintaining of the project’s exhibition and work space. In collaboration with the Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab, the university will create a space where smart mobility actors can come together to meet each other. The space can also be used to hold meetings between Finnish companies and the many foreign mobility companies and influencers visiting Helsinki.
The support provided to companies for the development of business operations and organising pilots is de minimis support, which companies in the project’s target group receive free of charge. In other words, the companies participating in the project receive valuable benefits instead of direct funding, though help is also at hand for finding sources of funding.
The project activities are tailored to the needs of the participating companies. There are no strings attached, as each participating company can define for themselves how deeply they wish to commit to the project. The project does not have any pre-defined quality-based targets; the aim is to support companies in achieving their own testing and growth targets.
Mobility Lab to mobilise a wide range of actors
The Jätkäsaari Smart Mobility project will run until October 2020. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF’s funding is allocated by a local organisation, which in this case is the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council. As such, the project’s target group consists of SMEs based in the Helsinki-Uusimaa region that develop smart mobility solutions.
The needs of other actors, such as foreign companies, major Finnish companies and research institutions, will be served by the Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab, which will begin operation in early 2019. The project is coordinated by the Economic Development Division of the City of Helsinki and has been granted funding from the City of Helsinki Innovation Fund until the end of 2021. The goal of the project is to establish Jätkäsaari as an internationally notable smart mobility development environment over the long term.
The area is already home to other smart mobility projects as well. The FinEst Smart Mobility project focuses on the development of harbour traffic. Meanwhile, the Last Mile project makes it easier for residents and tourists to get around by organising agile pilots for the testing of new mobility services and solutions.
“The busiest terminal of the busiest passenger harbour in the world and the new, gigantic new residential area offer outstanding opportunities. The project allows companies developing smart mobility to offer their services to a wide range of interested parties as early as the piloting phase, if they so choose,” says Raimo Tengvall, coordinator of the Jätkäsaari Smart Mobility project.
Jätkäsaari Smart Mobility is a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund that helps companies develop business operations out of smart mobility. The project is conducted by Forum Virium Helsinki in collaboration with Helsinki Business Hub and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. The project has a budget of approximately EUR 650,000 and it will run until the end of October 2020.
Forum Virium Helsinki is the innovation company of the City of Helsinki, which aims to build Helsinki into the most functional smart city in the world in collaboration with companies, the scientific community and residents.