The City of Helsinki has teamed up with Aalto university to build an incubator aimed at growth-oriented companies which build solutions for clean and sustainable challenges in modern cities. Urban Tech Helsinki’s goal is to draw new experts and businesses to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, and to support and expedite the formation and early growth of fresh, especially research-oriented companies.
Key focus areas include clean energy, mobility, sustainable construction, the circular economy, waste management and urban food production.
“Urban Tech Helsinki is an excellent addition to Helsinki’s innovation ecosystem, because the City wants to take a more active role as a platform for interesting and result-oriented innovations that seek solutions to the greatest global challenges of our time and generate new export opportunities.” says Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.
Urban Tech Helsinki will operate in the premises of start-up campus Maria 01 and on Aalto University’s Otaniemi Campus. It will also have close links to other innovation and incubator activities taking place on university campuses throughout region.
“Together with its partners, Helsinki will build the best innovation ecosystem in the world and accelerate the process of solving global sustainability challenges. The Urban Tech Helsinki incubator brings together Finnish top-tier research, Helsinki’s excellent start-up ecosystem and global challenges related to the sustainability of cities, which offer opportunities worth billions of euros to Finland and innovative Finnish companies,” added Santtu von Bruun, Head of Innovations and New Experiments for the City of Helsinki.
The incubator operations will be non-profit-making. The cooperation agreement between Helsinki and Aalto University with regard to the Urban Tech Helsinki activities will remain in effect 2021–2025. The aim is to open applications for the incubator in June.
“Aalto’s aim is to remodel society through research-based information, creativity and entrepreneurial thinking. As a partner, we will make Aalto’s vast international network and first-rate expertise in research and innovation available to companies and the City. Urban Tech Helsinki will substantially bolster the capacity of the innovation infrastructure in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area to produce sustainable solutions that tackle the world’s foremost challenges,” concludes President of Aalto University Ilkka Niemelä.