Collaborative opportunities with Helsinki: paving the way for sustainable smart energy solutions

How can smart energy companies benefit from a partnership with Helsinki? Learn about the advantages, innovation projects, and collaborative opportunities for creating a more sustainable future.

5 min read

Tuomas Uusheimo

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The advantages of partnering with Helsinki for smart energy companies

Creating a sustainable future together

Building a sustainable future requires the collaboration of cities and energy companies. In this article, we explore the dynamic partnership between the cities of Helsinki, Finland and Fukuoka, Japan and how it benefits smart energy companies. These two cities have emerged as leaders in sustainability and have set ambitious climate targets.

By working together, they create opportunities for innovative solutions and pave the way for a more sustainable world.

Climate targets and opportunities for smart energy companies

Cities committed to sustainability and carbon neutrality present a unique opportunity for smart energy companies. Both Helsinki and Fukuoka have positioned themselves as sustainable smart cities, with Finland and Japan setting ambitious climate targets. This alignment creates an environment that fosters innovation, allowing companies to develop new solutions and seize new opportunities for the future of Helsinki.

Helsinki’s ambitious target to become carbon neutral by 2030 promotes innovation by enabling companies to develop new solutions and opportunities to create the Helsinki of the future

 Sonja Malin, Senior Business Advisor at Helsinki Partners

Joining the carbon-neutral Helsinki movement

Smart energy companies can actively contribute to the goal of making Helsinki carbon neutral. One notable example is Sumitomo SHI FW, which supports the city’s transition by providing Helen, the energy company of the City of Helsinki, with a bioenergy plant.

This partnership plays a crucial role in Helen’s ambitious plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. The collaboration demonstrates how companies can become agents of change in creating a sustainable future.

Urban piloting: accelerating smart energy solutions

Public innovation platforms and urban piloting projects bring city organizations and companies together, fostering major advancements in smart energy solutions. Helsinki supports urban piloting through open testbeds, while Fukuoka boasts the Institute of Systems, Information Technologies, and Nanotechnologies (ISIT), driving research and partnerships. These initiatives provide a fertile ground for testing and refining innovative energy solutions, enabling cities to become smarter and more sustainable.

City-to-city partnerships: testing solutions in diverse urban environments

The city-to-city partnership between Helsinki and Fukuoka offers a unique opportunity for companies located in either city. By transferring and testing their solutions in a different urban environment, companies gain valuable insights and experience. Helsinki’s platform, characterized by its functionality and pragmatism, serves as a global-scale testing ground for companies looking to expand their reach and impact.

Sonja Malin, Miikka Neuvonen interviewing Sonja Salo and Herkko Plit at Helsinki x Fukuoka Designing Better Life: Smart cities, smart energy event.
© Helsinki Partners

The characteristic feature of Helsinki is our strive for functional solutions, a certain kind of pragmatism. This functionality covers many attributes of our city from safety to cleanliness, to transparency and a balanced well-being.

Markus Kühn, Chief Strategy Officer at City of Helsinki

Incentivising innovation: calls for collaborative solutions

Active and engaged cities like Helsinki spur innovation by creating incentives and launching calls for solutions to specific challenges. One notable initiative was the Helsinki Energy Challenge, an international competition that offered a grand prize of €1 million to develop a “future-proof” decarbonized heating method for the city. Such initiatives not only foster innovation but also attract talented individuals and companies from around the world, contributing to a more sustainable future.

Antti Vasara, CEO of VTT Finnish Technical Research Centre, emphasizes the remarkable innovation that arises when working together in an environment that fosters optimism, even in the face of challenges and setbacks.

According to Vasara, the scientific field in Helsinki excels at embracing this mindset. He believes that every crisis presents an opportunity for radical renewal. With science and technology as catalysts, difficult times can be overcome, leading to improvements in the economy, sustainability, and the well-being of people.

Vasara highlights the potential of new inventions to create a positive loop of accelerating progress. By creating hope and instilling a sense of urgency, we can kick-start this loop and drive transformative change.

Every crisis is an opportunity for radical renewal. The best way to motivate and create a sense of urgency to act is by creating hope.

Antti Vasara, CEO of VTT Finnish Technical Research Centre

Smart energy transcending boundaries

Smart energy encompasses more than just electricity bills or heating options. It represents a mindset and approach that tackles broader sustainability challenges. Helsinki, known for its scientific excellence, views every crisis as an opportunity for radical renewal. By fostering optimism and leveraging science and technology, the city aims to improve the economy, sustainability, and well-being of its residents. Startups like, Solar Foods, and P2X Solutions exemplify the transformative power of smart energy in solving pressing problems and creating a better future.

Collaborative Opportunities with Helsinki: Driving Sustainable Smart Energy Solutions Forward

Shuhei Ishimaru, Director General of the Fukuoka Directive Council, extends an invitation to companies from Finland and Japan, urging them to join forces in the pursuit of building better cities.

He highlights that while the Japanese government declared its commitment to achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions and a carbon-free society by 2050, Fukuoka is also embracing this new normal by striving for carbon neutrality in its metropolitan area. Ishimaru emphasizes the vision of creating a new city and expresses a desire to foster business matching and future collaboration between Helsinki and Fukuoka.

We are aiming to create a new city, and we would like to connect this event to business matching and future collaboration between Helsinki and Fukuoka.

Shuhei Ishimaru, Director General of the Fukuoka Directive Council

Helsinki’s partnerships with smart energy companies serve as a driving force behind sustainable solutions. By leveraging local ecosystems, ambitious climate targets, urban piloting projects, and collaborative initiatives, Helsinki is at the forefront of the smart energy revolution.

The partnership between Helsinki and Fukuoka opens doors for innovative projects, testing solutions in diverse urban environments, and fostering a sustainable future. Together, cities and energy companies can create a greener, smarter, and more sustainable world.

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© Jussi Hellsten

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