Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2015 - Page 56

At Turku Science Park, applied ICT is linked to – in addition to Biotech – also maritime and metal industries. Other up-and-coming areas include electronics, digital media and speech and language technology. True Blue Science Park plans are well in line with the City’s Climate and Environment Programme which wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions per capita by 30 % from the 1990 level by 2020. The City also believes that preventing climate change and creating a low-carbon society present significant opportunities for businesses in the region. Winning Formula The Science Park area is, of course, in the very core of Turku’s smart city plans, since this is where the “big brains” are to be found. There are universities, numerous high-tech companies and other service providers in the neighbourhood – with more to come, believes Jouko Turto. “The recipe for success involves local players, both big and small, cooperating in new ways. Creating and utilising expertise networks in the best possible way – that’s what the Turku Science Park is all about,” Turto sums up the winning formula. Naturally, it doesn’t exactly hurt that the Science Park has, not one, but two areas, where it has world-class clout: biotech and ICT. Booming Biobiz BioTurku – the cluster for biotechnology actors in the Turku region – presently comprises around one hundred players, including companies as well as training and research centres. The cluster companies are constantly on the look-out for information which has accumulated over time, but has not been put to good use commercially. The players at BioTurku have a lot of expertise at pinpointing such areas – and turning raw data into global hit products. A long-time anchor in the biobiz is drug development. Nevertheless, many people are still surprised to learn that 10 percent of new European medicines – which 54 Nordicum have been cleared for sale by the authorities – has actually been developed right here in the Turku Region. Dynamic Data The facts and figures involving ICT are equally impressive. The information and communication technology is the second biggest business sector in Southwest Finland at the moment, and has been growing continuously and steadily (currently employing 13,500 people). The Turku–Salo region forms Finland’s strongest ICT expertise cluster outside the Helsinki metropolitan area. The “extra edge” of ICT lies largely in the fact that it is one of those sectors which can give a boost to just about any industry. New and intriguing opportunities have opened up also by the sea as the German shipbuilder Meyer Werft bought the Turku shipyard – and announced its desire to develop the local operations. Timo Hintsanen reports that this recent development is a great fit for the emerging ‘Blue Industry Park’ which brings local players together. “In connection to the shipyard, there will be production, R&D and training,” Hintsanen says. But let’s go back to the new city neighbourhoods for a moment. Jouko Turto points out that Turku wants the future city districts to be innovative, ecological environments, as well as engines of economic growth. Skanssi and Linnanfältti are two key areas in City’s plans – and especially the latter has been waiting in the wings for a long time. Now, the word is finally ‘GO’. “The construction of Linnanfältti area begins in 2015,” confirms Turto. The Soul of Smart According to Turto, the City development strategy is not about realising individual projects – no matter how big in scope – but about looking at the big picture, and driving the message home on all fronts. “From our perspective, that’s the essence of smart, urban development.”