Circular economy solutions sparked inspiration when EER Year was launched

On 30 November, the Helsinki-Uusimaa European Entrepreneurial Region Award Year was launched. Both regional and European actors were invited to connect around the topics of the year. The focus of the event was to spark inspiration around green and digital entrepreneurship among the audience, as well as to make new contacts and create networks.


In Helsinki-Uusimaa, we want to take responsibility and enable systemic change. The vision for our EER year is to drive change by investing in education and adopting new business models, not to forget seizing growth opportunities provided by circularity. However, we cannot enable change alone; it can only be achieved by working together and engaging regional actors.

Enabling climate smart business through networks

The role of businesses and entrepreneurs in the change is essential, but climate smart solutions also require businesses to operate in networks. Even competing businesses can work together for a common cause, and the importance of the ecosystem surrounding a business was therefore brought up several times during the event.

Higher education institutions, for example, can provide businesses with insights of challenges and opportunities that the future might hold. In addition to education institutions, numerous other actors develop the unique business environment in Helsinki-Uusimaa.

– Helsinki-Uusimaa is not only a geographical region, but also a mindset, concluded Mr Markku Markkula, Chairman of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Board, as he announced the official launch of this theme year.

European collaboration

During the event, we also received greetings from representatives of the European Commission and Mr Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions.

The event was organised together with EISMEA (European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency), and the floor was also opened to regions awarded with the EER-label earlier. In addition to regional cooperation, the event was also a call for European interregional cooperation.

Helsinki-Uusimaa is one of six EU regions to be awarded with the EER label for the years 2021-2022, and the only one with two labels so far. This label is awarded by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) annually, and the theme for the 2021-2022 edition is “Entrepreneurship for a Sustainable Recovery”. In honour of the recognition, Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council will dedicate a thematic year to promote green and digital entrepreneurship.


Juha Eskelinen, Deputy Regional Mayor, Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council

Tuuli Mäkelä, Head of Marketing, ZenRobotics

Phil Brown, VP Business dev. & Strategy, Circularise

Petri Alava, CEO, Infinited Fiber

Jouni Lounasmaa, CEO, Startup Foundation

Laura Roman, Technopolis Belgium, and Isabelle de Voldere, IDEA Consult

Montse Daban, Catalonia Region

Maria Goulaptsi, Central Macedonia Region

Sergio Pérez Garcia, Navarra Region

Magdalena Skulimowska, Pomorskie Region

Karin Herzog, Lower Austria Region

Coen de Graaf, Noord-Brabant Region

For more information, please contact:

Project Director, Ms Christine Chang, phone +358 44 353 3014
Project Manager, Mr Simo Karetie, phone +358 40 837 5431
Project Coordinator, Ms Miranda Sundholm, phone +358 40 658 3384

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