Finland's EU Presidency has commenced – Business Finland highlights innovation, research, and development

04 Jul 2019 | Network Updates | Update from Business Finland
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

Finland's EU Presidency begins today, 1 July 2019. The forthcoming term offers Finns a window to Europe and an excellent opportunity to contribute to the future comptitiveness of the EU and Finland, sustainable growth, and investments into research and development. Business Finland will showcase Finland’s pioneering innovations and motivate different organizations to utilize the EU’s financial flows.

In addition to official meetings, a wide range of events will be held in Finland during the EU Presidency, providing excellent opportunities for strengthening European cooperation and supporting important topics.

Emphasis on European cooperation in the future

EU funding is an important driver for the events and cooperation, but they can also highlight Finnish know-how and innovations especially in the spearhead themes, which are digitalization, energy and battery industries, circular economy, and health.

“This is an opportunity to engage with ongoing and future projects, value chains and initiatives. Together we can impact how and in which research and innovation activities investments are made in Finland and Europe,” says Eero Silvennoinenfrom Business Finland. Silvennoinen is responsible for Business Finland’s joint efforts during Finland’s EU Presidency.

The current framework program Horizon 2020 is nearing its end – the final large and important funding applications will open this year.

However, there is still some EUR 13.5 billion that can be applied for the year 2020. An important share of this budget will be used for projects solving the challenge of climate change.

“It really is worth utilizing these calls for a well-functioning European RDI collaboration framework and emerging cooperation opportunities. At the same time, links and content are already being prepared for the Horizon Europe framework program which will begin in 2021,” says Business Finland´s senior director Elina Holmberg.

Opportunities created by the EU presidency and digitalization 

A very significant event organized by Finland during its EU presidency is the Digital Excellence Forum @ ICT Proposers' Day 2019, held at Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre on 19–20 September. Over 3000 decision-makers, industry representatives and leading research and development experts from the ICT industry will participate in the event.

“The event offers representatives from companies, universities and research institutions an excellent opportunity to participate in the discussion about the opportunities presented by digital transformation and its impacts on industry and society, and to network with the people implementing the final part of the Horizon 2020 work program,” says Hanna Marttinen-Deakins, Head of Industry, Business Finland.

The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation funding and forthcoming applications will be presented at the event. In 2020, more than EUR 13.5 billion will be allocated as funding for research and product development.

“The Finnish Village ( exhibition stand organized by Business Finland will bring together Finnish digital innovations and top know-how. At the stand, you can test how competitiveness will be built in the future by utilizing digitalization,” says Marttinen-Deakins.

Manufacturing industry, circular economy and sustainable development - Solving a joint challenge 

Manufuture 2019 - Sustainable and Smart Manufacturing conference will be organized 30 September -1 October as part of the European Days for Sustainable Circular Economy event, which will be the main circular economy and sustainable development event during Finland’s EU Presidency. Business Finland is organizing the Sustainable and Smart Manufacturing conference on 1 October, which focuses on manufacturing industry challenges and opportunities.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Manufuture 2019 conference is an important forum for those who want to be involved in developing the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry and the utilization of sustainable operating models in line with digitalization and the circular economy. Among the topics addressed in the conference is the impact of structural and substantive changes between the framework programmes on research and innovation related to the European manufacturing industry, also highlighting its competitive its strengths.

“Improving the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry requires significant changes to business models as well as in the production and use of products and services. Artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions offer new opportunities for the manufacturing industry in the utilization of data,” says Pasi Viitanen, Senior Adviser, Business Finland.

The event organized by Business Finland features presentations by over 30 international and Finnish manufacturing industry experts.

Business Finland will participate in the following events organized during the Presidency

Digital Excellence Forum @ ICT Proposers' Day 19–20 September. The event is organized by the European Commission in partnership with Business Finland, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The event is free but requires pre-registration on the commission’s website. More information about the Digital Excellence Forum @ ICT Proposers’ Day 2019 event is available on the website of the European Commission: More information

European Days for Sustainable Circular Economy, 30 September – 1 October 2019. Three parallel conferences: CE 2019 – Sustainable transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient circular economy: creating the knowledge base, Manufuture 2019 – Sustainable and Smart Manufacturing, and SI 2019 – Sustainable innovation. More information

SET Plan conference, 14-15 November 2019. The European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) aims to accelerate the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies and the annual conference brings together decision-makers, authorities, stakeholders and researchers. More information and

European Forum for Electronic Components and Systems EFECS 2019, 19-21 November 2019. More information

More information:

Eero Silvennoinen, Head of International Innovation Collaboration, Business Finland
[email protected]
+358 50 557 7813

Elina Holmberg, Senior Director, EU and International Innovation Collaboration
[email protected]
Mob. +358 50 5577 606

This communication was first published 1 July 2019 by Business Finland.

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