Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2016 - Page 36

Photo: Aalto University / Suomen Ilmakuva Oy Metro Momentum The heart of Espoo Innovation Garden, the Tapiola-Otaniemi-Keilaniemi area, has all the right goods – with connectivity that is about to go through the roof The fabled innovation hub of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area – Tapiola, Otaniemi and Keilaniemi in the heart of Espoo Innovation Garden – is standing on the brink of a brand new era. With the advent of the metro this year, connectivity – and along with it, creativity – in the area will improve by leaps and bounds. T here is already a tremendous platform to build on. The Tapiola-OtaniemiKeilaniemi area presently boasts Northern Europe’s largest innovation hub – this is simply the place where science, culture and business come together. Nevertheless, according to the master plan by the City of Espoo, the success story is just getting started. The profile of the area will be strengthened by, for instance, the tallest residential and office buildings in Finland, tunneled main roads, a renewed culture and shop34 Nordicum ping district as well as a new university village for students, researchers and entrepreneurs. With 100,000 people transported by the West Metro line every day, the City is of the opinion that there are many good things on the way. Running the Show But what exactly is it about the Espoo Innovation Garden that makes it such a phenomenon both nationally and internationally? Well, first of all you have to take into account the role Espoo as a real champion of innovation and economic growth. Besides being the second largest and fastest growing city in the country, Espoo’s ecosystem accounts for 50 % of the research and development value for all of Finland. Furthermore, Espoo companies are responsible for around 50% of the turnover in the Helsinki Stock Exchange. The Espoo Innovation Garden ecosystem is ranked among the Top 5 rising stars in MIT’s global research covering over 200 university-based entrepreneurial ecosystems. The roots of local innovation can be traced back to legendary Tapiola, the original “Garden City”. Starting from the 1950’s, Tapiola has spearheaded the cause of Finnish urban planning. From its very first stages, the community has gained domestic and global fame for its high class architecture and landscaping, as well as being praised