The new joint Smart Specialization Strategy for East and North Finland
The provinces of Eastern and Northern Finland have released a shared Smart Specialization Strategy, effective from 2024. The strategy aims to highlight the opportunities, strong expertise, and effective development work offered through collaboration within the large region. The development opportunities in the Eastern and Northern Finland region are linked to addressing global and European challenges, such as climate policy, the energy transition, and strategic self-sufficiency goals. The strategic priorities of the shared Smart Specialization Strategy support the growth sectors of the provinces, laying the foundation for sustainable economic growth and rejuvenated business and innovation activities. The strategy emphasizes clean solutions, leveraging digitalization, and promoting sustainable service production as common priorities for the provinces.
The goal of the strategy is to strengthen collaboration in Eastern and Northern Finland region across interregional, national, and international levels. The new strategy comes into effect starting in 2024. Simultaneously, the project-driven coordination of Smart Specialization collaboration in Eastern and Northern Finland concludes, transitioning into a permanent part of the normal work of regional councils. In the future, coordination will be carried out in turn by the chair province of Eastern and Northern Finland. In 2024, the chair province will be Central Ostrobothnia.
The implementation and monitoring of the strategy will be conducted by an expert group composed of representatives from the regional councils of Eastern and Northern Finland, and their contact information can be found on the Smart Specialization collaboration website. As a concrete measure for implementing the strategy, the provinces plan to open interregional funding calls aligned with the strategy’s priorities at a later date. Additional information about funding calls will be published through the communication channels of the regional councils.
The joint Smart Specialization Strategy for Eastern and Northern Finland was developed by an expert working group as part of the Smart Specialization in Eastern and Northern Finland 2022–2027 (ELMO II) project, funded by the North Savo Regional Council.