Get in the Ring!

Helsinki Ring of Industry keeps attracting smart companies

artikkelikuva: Get in the Ring!

Hetzner Online, photo: Hetzner Online

There’s an entire “industrial belt” surrounding the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The local municipalities are attracting especially companies from the fields of hi-tech, manufacturing and logistics. United under the brand ‘Helsinki Ring of Industry,’ the ten municipalities are eager to enlist even more potent players.

Director Antti Kuusela from Helsinki Ring of Industry says that the present- day success has not materialized over night: the local municipalities have been working together to boost the regional economy since the early 2000’s.

“It is clear that we can achieve more together than alone. International companies, for example, have responded well to our message.”

One example of the international trend is the Russian search engine company Yandex which found a home in the Ring in 2015. Arrival of Yandex has really put the “eco” in the local ecosystem, since the excess heat of the company’s servers is used to warm up the surrounding industrial park – and beyond.

”In 2017, we produced 17 gigawatt hours of heat and this year we’ll reach 20 GWh. We feel that this is a good way for us to integrate into the community,” says Data Center Manager Ari Kurvi.

Analyzing the appeal of the Helsinki Ring of Industry, Kurvi says that being linked to the regional ecosystem is a big plus. “These municipalities are right next to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, so there’s talented workforce to hire, services and good connections all around.”

Solid Investment
Antti Kuusela points out that the main operating costs of a, say, regional HQ in the area, appear to be far lower than in many North European capitals. “In addition, Finland has one of the best-educated workforces and the Ring of Industry municipalities are a great example of this.”

Yandex, photo: Sami Perttilä

“Many manufacturing industry leaders have their product development and production of customer tailored hi-tech products right here,” says Kuusela. “We have supply chains that are both agile and competitive – and this is helping companies to introduce new products to markets faster and with less risk.”

It is clear that international companies “feel right at home” in the Region, since the process has been carefully constructed to support their business operations, whatever their needs may be.

Another company nesting in the area is Hetzner Online. Daniel Biller, Head of Development, cites affordable electricity and reliable infrastructure as the main reasons for the move.

“The Capital Region provides us with skilled workforce and Helsinki-Vantaa Airport enables our customers to visit us fast and efficiently,” says Biller.

Ball Packaging Europe, photo: Mäntsälän Yrityskehitys Oy

In fact, the airport is only about 30 minutes away from most municipalities, providing you with the fastest route between Northern Europe and Asia. The main harbor of Helsinki, Vuosaari Port, is also within easy reach. “Between the airport and Vuosaari, we really have the keys to a great logistical situation,” Antti Kuusela says.

Smart Momentum
But what’s in the cards for the Ring of Industry in the 2020’s – and beyond? Well, since 80 % of the data between Western Europe and Russia flows through Finland, it makes sense to expect more IT companies to find their way here. Finland is also a forerunner in the 5G revolution, for instance.

“Considering this background, it’s no wonder that world-leading network companies already have research and product development organizations in the region – and more are on the way,” Kuusela says.

Helsinki Ring of Industry
– Regional municipalities involved: Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Kirkkonummi, Kerava, Mäntsälä, Nurmijärvi, Pornainen, Sipoo, Tuusula and Vihti
– total number of inhabitants in the municipalities: 320,000
– tech industry turnover in the Region: over €25 billion

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