Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill Created More Than 100 jobs and Enabled More Than €5m in Angel and Venture Capital Funding

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Last year, Nokia, Technopolis and Tekes launched Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill, an initiative aimed at strengthening Finland’s ICT cluster and spurring companies to create globally competitive products and services. The programme has now stimulated the creation of 12 new companies and 120 new jobs, and Innovation Mill companies have raised over five million euros in angel and venture capital funding.

Nokia wishes to offer support to Finnish ICT companies and help them to be competitive on an international scale. Initiatives of this kind benefit the whole community, says Esko Aho, Nokia’s Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations and Responsibility

Last year, Nokia, Technopolis and Tekes launched Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill, an initiative aimed at strengthening Finland’s ICT cluster and spurring companies to create globally competitive products and services. The programme has now stimulated the creation of 12 new companies and 120 new jobs, and Innovation Mill companies have raised over five million euros in angel and venture capital funding.

"The programme has gotten off to an encouraging start. Nokia wishes to offer support to Finnish ICT companies and help them to be competitive on an international scale. Collaborative initiatives of this kind benefit the community as a whole," says Mr. Esko Aho, Nokia’s Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations and Responsibility.

A three-year initiative, the Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill has succeeded in building a new model for generating new businesses, products and services in Finland. It is the result of cooperation among three parties, namely: Nokia, Tekes, which generates funding and also Technopolis, which coordinates the initiative and provides business development services to support the funding effort. In addition, these parties work very closely with 10 cities around Finland to provide funding and provide excellent support for the companies. The initiative has reshaped traditional business models by offering the participating Finnish companies funding and business development services, in addition to providing potentially successful innovations.

"We have now surpassed the goals we set for the first year of the initiative. By utilizing the existing innovations of Nokia's research and development and conveying ideas to Finnish ICT companies, we have reached our goal of stimulating the creation and growth of SMBs and jobs in Finland," says Mr. Keith Silverang, CEO of Technopolis.

Technopolis is a publicly listed company that specializes in operating environments and services for knowledge-intensive organizations.

12 new businesses in the first operating year:

In its first stages, the Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill evaluated thousands of ideas, approximately 100 of which ended up as part of the initiative. Through Nokia's contribution in terms of ideas, Technopolis' business development services as well as funding by Tekes and participating Finnish cities, 12 new businesses with significant growth potential have been created.

The ideas considered included innovations in the areas of environmental and energy-related solutions, location-based services, near field communication, security, healthcare and future Internet services. In the first year of the initiative, 18 companies in all received positive funding decisions. Approximately ten more such decisions are expected to be made over the rest of 2010.

Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, provides half of the programme's overall public funding. The remaining half comes from the participating cities, which aim to develop their local ICT sectors.

"The results of the programme have exceeded expectations, and we at Tekes are very pleased. One of the focuses of our operations is to promote the development of new companies. The Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill has already shown its merit in this direction. For years now, Tekes has discussed such an opportunity in many contexts. It is wonderful to see how Nokia has begun to realize the idea," says Mr. Saarnivaara, Director General of Tekes.

"Corporate responsibility has been an important starting point for us. Only a small portion of Nokia's ideas are developed into products and services, which is why it is great to be able to use the Innovation Mill programme to find new environments where these ideas may flourish," says Aho.

The Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill initiative aims to produce more positive funding decisions during the year and aims to produce development projects with a value of 8 million euros, of which 4.5 million would come in the form of public funding.

"The results of the initiative will be reviewed during Autumn 2010. Based on results and feedback from other companies, Tekes will also consider possible extension of the initiative," Saarnivaara comments.

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