A unique innovation story takes Espoo to the final of the European Capital of Innovation competition 

28.10.2022 10.18Updated: 31.10.2022 10.52

The City of Espoo has been selected as one of the three finalists in the European Capital of Innovation competition (iCapital). The winner will be announced on 7 December at the European Innovation Council Summit in Brussels. 

Espoo’s unique innovation community produces the sixth-highest number of patent applications among all European cities. Fortum utilises waste heat from a data centre in clean district heating. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the city’s early childhood education professionals quickly implemented remote solutions for communication with homes. These examples show that the entire Espoo community is involved in creating a sustainable city through innovation.  

At the core of Espoo’s competition application are the city’s innovation culture formed by various operators and its four cornerstones, based on which the community’s unique innovation work is built:  

  1. Radical cross-disciplinary and cross-organisational cooperation. 
  2. Shared goals and values based on sustainable development.   
  3. Cooperation built on closeness and trust. 
  4. We focus on people’s wellbeing and inclusion. 

“Earning a place in the final shows that there is strength in cooperation. Our innovation story is built by Aalto University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, companies, the city organisation and local residents. The challenges we face are global and we have to address them through extensive cooperation with companies, researchers and residents,” says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä

Espoo was also successful in the competition in 2019 and 2020, finishing in the top six. This year's other finalists are Aix-Marseille (France) and Valencia (Spain).

  • Innovation work