Regional development

In 2016–2020, development measures in the Vaasa region are steered by the regional vitality strategy "Vaasan seudun elinvoimastrategia", which was approved by the regions' municipalities in the spring of 2016. The aim of the strategy is to improve competitiveness through a joint aim of enhancing the vitality of the region. The four cornerstones of the strategy are internationally competitive businesses, global know-how, viable business environment and attractive services. 
Vaasan seudun elinvoimastrategia (in Finnish; in Swedish)

VASEKs role in regional development comprises

  • regional strategies and programs
  • projects with separate funding administered by VASEK (e.g. AIKO, European Regional Development Fund, Botnia-Atlantica, rural development programme)
  • Counterpart funding allocated by VASEK for development projects carried out by other organizations
  • VASEK participates in various projects as a partner, member of executive and working groups or in other tasks and also with no financial contribution.

Vaasa ecosystem agreement promotes both national and regional green transition

Even though the Vaasa region already conducts extensive cooperation work in accordance with the ecosystem model, separate agreements have now been concluded with university cities, according to the Ecosystem Agreement covering the period 2021–2027, on the strategic allocation of public and private RDI funding to strengthen globally competitive ecosystems. The agreements develop close cooperation networks for innovation activities and increase the effectiveness of RDI activities.

During the first year, the implementation of the ecosystem agreement was launched with national funding, and investments were made in the GigaVaasa and EnergySampo development packages. Year 2021 was largely spent on coordination and start-up activities, and during 2022 it will be time to move on to the implementation phase and open the first project applications.

What is the Ecosystem Agreement?

  • The City of Vaasa signed an innovation ecosystem agreement with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland 
  • The ecosystem is a collaborative model that brings together companies, universities, research institutes, investors and other stakeholders in RDI activities to drive innovation, new business and new solutions to improve the wellbeing of residents. Among other areas, the ecosystem will provide unique piloting and testing environments for product and service development.
  • The agreement covers the years 2021–2027
  • In addition to Vaasa, the other participating cities  and towns are Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Joensuu, Kuopio, Jyväskylä, Lappeenranta, Lahti, Pori, Seinäjoki, Mikkeli, Kajaani and Kokkola.
  • Ecosystem agreements allow for even closer cooperation between cities and the state to support research, development and innovation.
  • The purpose of the ecosystem agreement is also to attract more EU money to the region for various development projects and investments.
  • Strategic partners with the City of Vaasa are the Vaasa Region Development Company (VASEK) and Merinova Technology Centre, as well as the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia, the Team Finland network and the region’s universities and business life.
  • Read more about Regional development and urban policy on City of Vaasa webpage

Growth agreement

Vaasa was one of six cities in Finland included in the growth agreement with the central government in 2016-2018. The region's agreement included three focus areas: strengthening of the international competitiveness, development of digitalisation and innovation environment and creation of a national competence cluster in the gas sector. VASEK participated in the preparation of the Vaasa growth agreement, in the implementation of projects as well as in financing projects included in the agreement.  
Vaasa region's growth agreement application (in Finnish)    
Regional innovations and experimentations (AIKO)  

INKA - Innovative cities

The aim of the programme that was started in 2014 was to create internationally attractive innovation clusters in Finland based on top-notch talent. Vaasa had the national responsibility of the theme Sustainable Energy Solutions. VASEK participated in the preparation of the Vaasa program and in financing its projects.
Vaasa region's application Sustainable Energy Solutions (in Finnish)

General information about the Vaasa region 

Completed projects and programs