Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2013 - Page 46

Innovations: The Great Fire of Turku in 2013 Turku explores the full potential of science parks with network excellence “H ere former rivals can often become colleagues and partners, working together for common objectives,” Jouko Turto, Director of Turku Municipal Property Corporation, explains the local mindset. Right now, the talk of the town is the Turku Science Park, one of the largest, oldest and still fastest growing innovation parks in Finland. There are big plans to realise a world-class campus area in the park which bridges the academic with the corporate – and also recreational with residential. A lot of things have happened, since the ownership of the park was reorganised a couple of years ago. Turku Technology Properties Ltd. is now taking care of the real estate development of the Science Park, serving as an asset manager. Turku Science Park Ltd in turn accelerates the commercialisation of innovations especially in selected focus areas, namely biotechnology and ICT. Room for More In the whole Turku Science Park area there are over 250,000 square metres of completed premises. Managing Director Mikko Lehtinen from Turku Technology Properties says that their ownership is 85,000 square metres 44 Nordicum Photos: Turku Science Park Ltd Turku, the first capital of Finland, has always possessed a business scene that combines diversity and depth. The city was also among the first in Finland to realise the value of clusters and cooperation. Strong clusters – such as biotechnology and world-class marine cluster – have emerged through innovative attitude towards networking. The other focus area of Turku Science Park, ict, can give a boost just about to any industry, e.g. marine sector and biotechnology. of existing premises – and there are plans to add another 75,000 to create a full-fledged innovation campus in the most central part of the park. “A former industrial area is being transformed into a new type of neighbourhood which connects studying, living and leisure in a novel way. We are working hard to make sure that there is life on campus grounds after five o’clock too,” he says. The campus is to include versatile green areas and sports grounds, making it a place where people simply like to go – and stay. Turku Science Park has a long history of bringing together academic and business experts, with special focus on biotechnology and ICT. It offers a unique growth environment for the commercialisation of researchoriented innovations and for the generation and growth of enterprise activities related to high-tech. The area is very much in demand by companies, too: “Our occupation rate is 95 %, so there is constant demand,” Lehtinen says, adding that the new campus area will only add to that appeal: more and more companies flock to the area, creating an incredibly rich ecosystem. New Opportunities Emerging Rikumatti Levomäki, CEO of Turku Science Park Oy Ltd, is confident that the Science Park will thrive in the future as well: “There are more and more opportunities out there, and those who have the ability to move fast are best suited to capitalise on those opportunities,” he says. Jouko Turto notes that Turku Science Park is really exceptional in the sense that all the elements needed for successful operations are present right here. The compact Science Park area features universities, numerous high-tech companies and other service providers in a centrally located tight