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The Joensuu innovation ecosystem showcases the region's strengths on the global stage

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In Joensuu, the focus is on fostering innovation and international growth in the fields of forest bioeconomy and photonics. Sustainable innovations and new businesses are being created around forests and light through RDI and business collaboration, with the Forest Joensuu and Photonics Joensuu networks leading the way.

The goal of this collaboration is to attract more companies to engage in research, development, and innovation activities. Joensuu's expertise is world-class in both photonics and forest bioeconomy research and product development. Connecting the research efforts of universities more effectively to the birth and growth of companies is essential. There is great potential in research-based products and services, as well as expanding into new markets, says Pauliina Pikkujämsä, the Service Director of Business Joensuu.

- Forest Joensuu and Photonics Joensuu are brands for our networks, allowing us to communicate the strengths of our focus areas both nationally and internationally, Pikkujämsä continues.

Joensuu is a globally significant hub for forest bioeconomy expertise and one of Europe's leading cities in photonics. Both fields are dedicated to creating solutions for the future, particularly in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. The ambitious carbon neutrality targets set by the city of Joensuu also support the development of photonics and forest bioeconomy expertise.

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- Cities play a significant role in addressing sustainability crisis. Embracing new technologies revitalizes the city's economy and has a positive impact on the local community, says Jenni Jokela, Chief Executive Officer of the city of Joensuu.

- This work is primarily for the benefit of businesses. Joensuu aims to provide a favorable environment for businesses to operate and grow, fostering a spirit of collaboration. We believe that network cooperation will also encourage investments and attract new companies to the region, Jokela continues.

The city of Joensuu is part of the national Innovation Cities (InnoCities) network, consisting of 16 Finnish university and university center cities. These cities have entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Finnish state for research, development, and innovation activities for the years 2021–2027. InnoCities allocate research, development, and innovation funding to strategic focus areas based on their strengths.

Practical measures are currently being carried out under the leadership of Business Joensuu, with the involvement of the University of Eastern Finland, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, the Natural Resources Institute, and the city of Joensuu. These measures are funded through project financing provided by the EU, the state, and the city. In North Karelia, regional funders also include the Regional Council of North Karelia and the North Karelia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre).Logo Co-funded by the European UnionInnocities_Joensuu_logo

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