Innovation, intelligence, happiness, fresh air and foreign direct investment – Finland continues to stand tall on the global stage.
There’s no shortage of innovation here, according to last year’s International Innovation Scorecard. Finland was applauded for the extent of its individual and political freedom, along with its fast and affordable internet connections, percentage of GDP spent on R&D, and the cleanliness of its water and air.
The second largest city in Finland, Espoo, won at the Intelligent Community Awards 2018 in London. Espoo was the only European city among the seven finalists. The theme of the contest was ‘humanising data’, which refers to the use of data for people-oriented service development. The City of Espoo was recognised for its efforts to engage residents in sustainably developing a smart city.
Breathe deeply – the land of 188 000 lakes has the world’s freshest air. The concentration of fine particles in Finland averages six micrograms per cubic metre, which is the lowest level on the globe.
Finland topped the UN’s Global Happiness Report last year. The report evaluated factors such as life expectancy, social support and corruption, along with the happiness and wellbeing of each country’s immigrants.
Greater Helsinki was named the top small region in Europe for its FDI strategy in the European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19 report. Helsinki Business Hub, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (now Business Finland) and the smart city initiative in the upcoming Kalasatama neighbourhood each received special mention for attracting foreign investments to the Finnish capital region.