Tekes, the Finnish funding agency for technology and innovation, has launched a programme, mainly for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises, to make Finland a gaming and entertainment industry centre of international importance.
Finland has already produced numerous success stories in the gaming industry and the Skene programme is designed to help create an internationally significant games and entertainment cluster.
The hope is that instead of producing individual hit games, Finnish games companies will become part of a systematically successful, international games industry community.
In addition, the project aims to further the systematic transfer of knowledge and expertise from research institutions to games companies and from them to other industries.
Tekes has systematically funded the Finnish games industry since 2000. Annual funding has been and will remain throughout the new programme at several million euros per year.
The Skene programme will continue until the end of 2015 and funding will amount to about 70 million euros, of which Tekes will provide about 30 million euros.
Besides providing funding, Skene offers business development opportunities, matchmaking services for meeting foreign gaming companies and investors, networking and market research.
Close co-operation between both Finnish and international companies, research organisations and industry associations are all key parts of the programme.
The games business is the fastest growing sector of the entertainment industry. In 2011 the industry's global value was approximately 65 billion US dollars and the industry is experiencing strong growth especially thanks to mobile gaming.
Games are Finland's most financially significant cultural export. In 2011 the total turnover for the industry was approximately 165 million euros.