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6Aika – Finland’s Largest Collaborative Partnership

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6Aika is Finland’s largest collaborative partnership that aims to develop smarter services across the country.

The partnership brings together the six largest cities in Finland: Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa, Turku and Oulu in an attempt to harness the country’s innovation whilst also strengthening its competitiveness.

6Aika focuses on three main areas: open innovation platforms, open data, and open interfaces as well as inclusion and customer relationship. In addition to projects developed in these main areas, there are experimental pilot projects carried out in each of the six cities. Examples include New innovations in the health sector, intended to give birth to a new industry and growth-oriented business, Future Food World, composed of a restaurant and store research and development platform, which has the ability to test and develop new products, services, concepts, technologies and solutions and Slush – Self-tracking robot buses, which brings automatic minibuses to the streets.

Each project that runs under the umbrella of 6Aika has to be joined by at least two operators, be they city operators, public authorities, universities or private actors.

The partnership is of national importance as 30% of the country’s population lives in these cities.

Finance for the implementation of the strategy comes from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and other project promoters as well as the Finnish government. Between 2014-2020 the projects included in the partnership will receive €80 million with additional funding coming from the European Social Fund (EFS).

CityGeoModel

Tampere together with the Geological Survey of Finland is working together to develop urban agriculture and the use of the bedrock data (geodata) in accordance with the principles of open data, saving construction and design costs for society.

Bringing game technologies into the school world

EduDigi project brings game technology into the learning process by joining different actors in the community to develop and test new products, services and finally, foster new markets.

Games and new technologies are a strongly developing area. I hope that we will have generated a lasting cooperation between educational institutions and enterprises in the production, maintenance, and development of new digital materials. The development work is done in such a way that also teachers, parents, and pupils are involved’, says Project Manager Heikki Santti, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

Climate street

This project wants to find solutions to reduce energy consumption by 10-20% while increasing vitality and comfort. Climate street looks at buildings as platforms for trials in which they will monitor greenhouse gas emissions, others will be taken into consideration for their potential to install solar panels.

Why is 6Aika important for the European community?

6Aika is a significant project for it sets a precedent for other countries when it comes to a successful approach to the development of smart city solutions. One of its strongest attributes is the collaboration between citizens, authorities, academia and private actors. Another positive aspect that stands out is the fact that projects covering numerous issues are being conducted at the same time. This way solutions will be found faster and can be then replicated in other parts of the country. Such collaboration on a national scale should be applauded and could be used as a template for other countries.