Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2019 - Page 46

Blue Industry Park ­ cience Park is quickly outgrowing its for- S mer premises. “We have 140,000 square meters of leasable space – and about 100 square meters presently available,” Lehtinen says. Smarter & Wiser The brainpower of the Science Park is needed also in the realization of ‘Smart and Wise Turku,’ one of the city’s spearhead projects that combines the strategic goal of regional carbon neutrality in 2040 with the Smart City concept. The aim is to contrib- ute to the citizens’ well-being and boost the city’s competitiveness. Under Smart and Wise Turku game plan, essential enablers are digitalization and the data the City has accumulated. Digital- ization enables the production of services untied to time and location, leading into an increase in the productivity of the city’s own operations (Smart City). By creating condi- tions for the citizens and companies to uti- lize the data, the city enables economically, socially and environmentally sustainable growth that supports wellbeing (Wise City). Mikko Lehtinen and Jouko Turto agree that “going Smart & Wise” is the way of the future. “For example, how we use informa- tion to make better decisions is of crucial importance,” Lehtinen says, pointing out that Turku has the opportunity to be a “dig- ital powerhouse” in the coming years. “Also, in international comparison, it is clear that Turku has a lot of frontrunner expertise in these fields,” adds Turto. Introducing: Blue Industry Park Beyond the downtown and the Science Park, there is something exciting in the works 46 Nordicum right by the Turku shipyard. Blue Indus- try Park aims to become a leading produc- tion and innovation cluster of the maritime and manufacturing industries, serving com- panies of all sizes while strengthening the industrial clusters in the Turku region. Janne Alho, Project Manager, Blue Industry Park, explains that the competi- tive advantage of Blue Industry Park is the synergy created by the cooperation of enter- prises and other actors in the area. “Blue Industry Park combines a crit- ical mass of resources and expertise and a competitive setting with production, prod- uct development and research,” Alho sums up, adding that the park has 60 hectares open for development. Furthermore, the logistic connec- tions link the Blue Industry Park compa- nies directly to the global markets by road, rail and air. The area provides an excellent setting for production, as well as continuous renewal, and maintenance and development of top expertise, Alho adds. Ecosystem Edge Blue Industry Park represents a move from Network Economy to Ecosystem Economy, advancing the evolution of the Finnish mar- itime cluster. The know-how of the Park is crucial for the success of the shipyard – and vice versa. “The shipyard used to put out one ship every year, whereas now it’s two ships. The faster production rate will require for the suppliers to grow as well,” Alho says. Eventually, the Blue Industry Park is set to feature as many as 100 companies and 10,000 employees. l In the Pipeline: One Hour Train R anked high in the City of Turku’s list of key initiatives is the One Hour Train, a high-speed rail link between Turku and Helsinki. According to the plans, a new direct railway line from Espoo to Salo via Lohja will be constructed for the link. The link will also include the Espoo regional railway line, the Salo-Turku double-track railway line and the Turku rail yard area. Already in the early phases of the project, the travel time will be reduced by more than 30 minutes from present time. “The One Hour Train will add immensely to the over-all connectivity of Turku, making life easier – and more efficient – for companies, for instance,” says Jouko Turto. Eventually, as the equipment is modernized to enable the maximum speed of the new railway, the travel time will be reduced by almost an hour, and the distance between the destinations can be travelled in approximately 75 minutes. The distance between Kupittaa, Turku, and Pasila, Helsinki, will clock in at 60 minutes. So far, the State has granted the project €40 million to cover the costs of plan- ning. As the Helsinki-Turku connection has European TEN-T status, the venture is eligible to apply for significant funding from the EU, as well. If, indeed, a decision to build the railway is made in the formation of the new Government in spring 2019, traffic operations could commence in the late 2020s. l