Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council has developed a RIS3 coordination model that aims to a more effective RIS3 delivery.
Problem addressed: The coordination model of the RIS3 implementation developed by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council (HURC) aims to double the innovation potential of the region through effective RIS3 delivery.

Challenges of the innovation ecosystem include:
1) small scale of business operations
2) need of value chain development
3) patchy support
4) weak communication between knowledge and business.

How the objectives are reached:
The solution builds on three groups of actors and two interfaces:

-Actors: Four RIS3 industries: urban cleantech, health & wellness, digitalising industry and citizen city; Enabling knowledge & technologies; and Innovation platforms.
-Interfaces: designation of priority sectors combining industries & technologies; and smart support combing innovation platform and public funding and support.

The RIS3 coordination comprises three functions:
1) Coordination platform: The platform consists of one overall coordinator and a coordinator for each spearhead. A working group with representatives of stakeholders is organized to follow and implement activities.
2) Helsinki Smart reference site: targeting collaborators and investors.
3) Access to funding: HURC has set up an EU service with 7 experts, supporting the region’s actors’ access to EU funding to implement innovation projects.

Main stakeholders: RIS3 industries, research institutes and intermediate bodies, citizens, financiers and investors.

Resources needed


For multi-funding optimisation:
-1 expert in EU structural funds
-1 expert in H2020 & other funding
For RIS3 coordination:
-1 coordinator and 1 Helsinki Smart site editor
-4 experts working part-time with RIS3 priorities

PROJECT CO-FUNDING: 1 million € (2015-Jan 2017)

Evidence of success


Through RIS3 coordination with the local actors and with a small sum of max. 15.000 € to support the application, HURC has connected the actors with pan-EU innovation partnership, such as EIT Food and Climate-KIC. To-date, 35 EU preparatory projects were financed by HURC. DIRECT RIS3 IMPLEMENTATION PROJECTS: HURC has financed 11 innovation projects, a total amount of 1 million € to implement RIS3 related activities for the region with regional and national funding.

Difficulties encountered

Due to the lack of experience of regional and national authorities in designing and implementing smart specialisation, the RIS3 implementation could be better delivered. Key challenges are better functions of networks and lack of sufficient public funds.

Potential for learning or transfer

The RIS3 coordination model builds on the expansion and deepening of Helsinki-Uusimaa quadruple helix concept. In spite of the challenges, the RIS3 coordination model in Helsinki-Uusimaa represents a holistic, multi-level synergy effort that can be benchmarked and easily transferred to other regions.

For example, all key enablers of the success of this approach are relevant to any region with RIS3 implementation tasks:

1) the RIS3 funding criteria are aligned with EU programmes, such as Interreg and Horizon2020, promoting multi sided excellence and performance
2) exploitation of national funding such as the AIKO funding (national, small scale funding for the preparation of RIS3 and other innovative projects)
3) the distinct coordination function
4) the preparatory project and funding provisions. The GP has demonstrated its capability to be transferred as the Helsinki Smart site is currently being transferred to another BRIDGES partner region.

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Main institution
Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council
Helsinki-Uusimaa, Finland (Suomi)
Start Date
February 2015
End Date
December 2020


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Good Practices being followed by

Stavroula Divane

Centre for Research & Technology-Hellas