The City of Helsinki and Aalto University have partnered to create Urban Tech Helsinki. The new incubator hopes to attract new businesses to its metropolitan area and to support startups, particularly those in urban tech – those that focus on solving urban challenges sustainably with technology.
“Urban Tech Helsinki is an excellent addition to Helsinki’s innovation ecosystem, because the City wants to take a more active role as a platform for interesting and result-oriented innovations that seek solutions to the greatest global challenges of our time and generate new export opportunities. I am confident that by offering a functional city as a platform for local companies, Helsinki has every chance to attract the best talent and ideas, even from other countries. As an investment in Helsinki’s capacity to reinvent itself, Urban Tech Helsinki enables the development of world-class innovations in an entire new way,” said Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.
The incubator will also seek to support the commercialization of these solutions on an international basis. It will emphasise clean energy, mobility, sustainable construction, the circular economy, waste management, and urban food production.
“The goals of Urban Tech Helsinki align very nicely with Aalto University’s strategy for building a sustainable future. Aalto’s aim is to remodel society through research-based information, creativity and entrepreneurial thinking. As a partner, we will make Aalto’s vast international network and first-rate expertise in research and innovation available to companies and the City. Urban Tech Helsinki will substantially bolster the capacity of the innovation infrastructure in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area to produce sustainable solutions that tackle the world’s foremost challenges,” said President of Aalto University Ilkka Niemelä.
The incubator operations will be non-profit and will remain in effect 2021–2025. They expect to start accepting applications for the incubator in June of this year.
“Together with its partners, Helsinki will build the best innovation ecosystem in the world and accelerate the process of solving global sustainability challenges. The Urban Tech Helsinki incubator brings together Finnish top-tier research, Helsinki’s excellent start-up ecosystem and global challenges related to the sustainability of cities, which offer opportunities worth billions of euros to Finland and innovative Finnish companies,” said Santtu von Bruun, Head of Innovations and New Experiments for the City of Helsinki.