The strategic objectives were based on four areas covering the different dimensions of the business strategy. These are: 1) operating environment & services, 2) target groups & networks, 3) competence & capabilities and 4) growth & investment. Together, these areas help define a balanced strategy.
Based on group discussions, an online survey and other material, four to six objective concepts were identified for each area. The concepts were voted on and discussed in the vision workshop on 28 May 2019 (see Figure 11), resulting in the strategic objectives, which were further validated and iterated, confirmed and refined in the next steps of the process.
The best business experience
The strategic objective of the operating environment and services is the best business experience.
The Tampere city region is a good place to live and run a business. Surrounded by nature and culturally rich, the small, big city makes for smooth everyday life. The low-threshold networks and ecosystems are easy to enter. Alongside the large locomotives, the region also values the hard-working small businesses that keep the economy going. A culture of collaborative enterprise makes Tampere a good place to try out business ideas, even those that fail. Regional cooperation between business operators penetrates bunkers and municipal boundaries. The common goal of business operators is the best business experience in Finland – together we do more business.
“A lot of actors and services that support business; we are stronger when we work together. — Regional cooperation is a clear strength in national comparisons, including in business, and this strength is worth making even more use of.”
The best business experience is created on the foundation of well-managed fundamentals and service attitude. This requires a helpful attitude in business services and business cooperation, cross-organisational and cross-municipal services that are shaped to meet the needs and experiences of businesses, key account thinking, and a rapid response to the needs of businesses. Business operators in the region create the best business experience by focusing on business engagement, startups, and promoting business collisions and business cooperation as well as supporting the development of business ecosystems. In practical terms, this can be seen in improving town planning and business cooperation, streamlining of permits, coordination and service design of business services in a one-stop-shop approach, improved customer management and a business-positive attitude toward the economic activities of the city region. The best business experience can also be reflected in a distinctive innovation process in the region, for example by using ‘group consultation’ which brings together different experts to pollinate new ideas.
The most attractive industrial growth platform
The strategic objective of the target groups and networks is to build and maintain the most attractive industrial growth platform.
“Our industrial heritage is strong and nothing to be ashamed of. The export revenues of the Tampere region depend on these sectors. Tampere is known as a leading industrial city on a European and global scale. The foundation is in building moving machines, with artificial intelligence and more built on that foundation. Can we create new expertise on top of industrial know-how?”
The strong industry in the Tampere region provides continuity and a basis for innovation, startup business and the development of technological focal points and internationally high-quality research. To remain at the forefront of the industry of the future, companies need to continuously update their skills. Cooperation with educational institutes will ensure the availability of future talent and increase the attractiveness of industry as a workplace for future talent. Supplementary training is used to update the competence relevant to companies. RDI investments are investments in future competitiveness. Through collisions and the combination of skills in different fields, we can leverage the potential for creativity, design and more radical innovation. An attractive industrial growth platform creates a basis for developing top competence.
The strategy seeks leadership and global visibility in selected focal themes that span different sectors and are key to the future, which might include signal processing, mobile hydraulics or computer vision, for example. Building an attractive growth platform will contribute to identifying and catalysing focal points into globally significant knowledge hubs.
Strengthening capacity for renewal and innovation
The strategic objective of competence and capacity is to strengthen the capacity for renewal and innovation.
Strengthening the capacity for renewal and innovation means the simultaneous development of RDI investments, competence and capabilities as well as methods and models for coordinating and managing them. This will be done, for example, by increasing the willingness of companies to innovate and renewal, by strengthening cooperation between companies and educational institutes, by ‘cross-pollination’ of experts and expertise, by developing new coordination models, by improving the retention power, thereby ensuring that companies and professionals remain in the region, and by ensuring a competitive share of RDI funding and risk financing. The search for RDI funding will be supported, for example, by streamlining business finance service paths, by offering sparring and by facilitating the finding of expert services and partners.
Competitiveness will be built and maintained by developing capabilities at all levels. Knowledge and other resources are at the heart of these capabilities. Effective use of resources requires effective operating models and the ability to coordinate and manage clusters of skills and resources. Core capabilities are a combination of the most important capabilities in terms of competitiveness. Dynamic ability is the ability to reshape knowledge and resources in a changing operating environment, both in building new capabilities and in developing operating models for their utilisation.
Competitive business life and sustainably growing city region
The strategic objective of growth and investment is to achieve a sustainably growing city region and a competitive economy.
Competitiveness of the city region will be ensured through investment in future growth. The vision and strategic objectives can be achieved through the following finance-related means: Joint investor policies to strengthen internationally competitive key competences, for example, for the next structural funds period, a nationally competitive share of RDI funding, increasing the amount of risk financing for growth companies and increasing the EU project portfolio supporting the city region’s strategy. A competitive city region must also be able to attract private investment, both domestically and globally. The strengthening of the capacity for renewal and innovation requires an increase in the level of RDI investments in companies. The city region’s own investments also ensure continuity of growth and create a counter-cyclical effect. In the next five years, it is important to make full use of the momentum of the infrastructure investments.
Sustainable growth requires investment in clean technologies and in the circular economy as well as sustainable community planning. Public procurement is used to facilitate market access for sustainable solutions created in the city region by offering opportunities for pilots and reference projects. The city acts as a platform and catalyst for the development of sustainable solutions and sustainable business. The development of circular economy parks is supported, the emergence of new business is accelerated and a foundation is created for building climate-smart everyday ecosystems. Service chains supporting public transport and, for example, the development of station areas and city centres will strengthen the growth of a sustainable economy. Sustainable community planning also includes strengthening town planning and business dialogue, proactive land policy and more flexible permit processes.