Tehtävät :: Aluekehitys :: Smart Specialisation


Smart specialisation is an important policy objective for Päijät-Häme and the base of its regional innovation strategy. Päijät-Häme has followed a specialisation development approach since the early 1990s, when it decided to focus on environment & environmental competences (among other sectors of course). The initial development - focus was confirmed and refined in the late 1990s. A systematic smart specialisation effort, as of early 2000s, was consolidated with the regional innovation strategy RIS2009-2015.

The RIS2009-2015 does not seek to address all the development challenges in the innovation environment. Rather, it introduces a Selected & limited number of new openings through which the interactions between businesses, universities, research institutes, development organisations and users can be reinforced and the international networking of the regions can be made more effective.

The objective of RIS2009-2015 is to raise the overall innovation environment in Lahti (and beyond) to a new level, insuch a way that the strong-points of the region become stronger, evolve into innovative results and results growth and increase of productive.

The preparation of RIS2009-2015 has been multi-stakeholde, multi skill, and multidisciplinary. It was planned jointly by the Lahti School of Innovation and the Lahti Science and Business Park. Among the key stekeholders that contrubuted to the definition of the innovation strategy are the Lahti University Concortium, the Lahti University of Applied Sciences, the Educational Consortium of Lahti (Salpaus), the City of Lahti, the Lahti Innovation club, TEKES, the Regional Council of Päijät-Häme, Design Foundation of Finland, a group of environmental experts, and a working group set up by the Lahti Sciences and Business Park with the purpose of clarifying the role of universities.

Eco-Innovation Component (EIC) serves to support one sectorial specification of the regional innovation strategy of Päijät-Häme. The sectorial specification is sustainable construction.

Sustainable construction is part of the cleantech cluster in Päijät-Häme. It is also aligned with the national cleantech priorities, which include sustainable wooden and other types of construction and promote zero (0) energy solutions in homes and public buildings, new ones as well as retrofit. As part of the regional innovation strategy, EIC builds on the innovation model & the three spearheads of the Päijät-Häme region, i.e. cleantech, (eco) design, and practice-based innovations. Moreover, as a specification of the regional innovation strategy, EIC is aligned with and contributes to the implementation of the regional development plan of Päijät-Häme and the Operational Programmes of the South & Western Finland Structural Funds 2014-2020.

The purpose of EIC is to ensure the biggest possible impact of the regional innovation strategy on the regional economy in terms of business & employment growth, smart specialisation, and related knowledge creation & dissemination. The overall objective of EIC is to propose a methodology, including prioritised action lines, for the allocation of development resources and promotion of investments.


Tetraedri - project

Wood Concentration project

ECOPOL - Accelerating eco-innovation policies


Diagran stating the bodies of Regional Innovation Strategy


The 2nd most important centre for environmental business in Finland is located in the Lahti area. The main application sectors of environmental technology are mechatronics and construction. The Department of Environmental Ecology of the University of Helsinki and the Lahti Centre of the School of engineering are the base for the university-driven research. The Lahti Centre of the Tampere university of Technology, the Lahti unit of the Lappeenranta university of Technology ant the Lahti University of Apllied Sciences, support with their competences the strong points of the environmental tehcnology in the region.

Lahti Region Development LADEC Ltd.

Cleantech Venture Day 14, October 28th 2014 / Lahti, Finland 

The Energon Research Center

Lahti University Campus


Päijät-Häme is one of the most impostant Finnish regions for design know how and uptake of industrial design by the business sector. Many of the important manufactoring businessess in Päijät-Häme have prioritised their design performance. the Institute if Design, which is part of the lahti University of Applied Sciences, is the regonal strong point for design know how, and is leader in that sense in Finland. The importance of the Design is internationally acknowledged, especially as as industrial design is concerned.

Lahti Region Development LADEC Ltd.

Lahti University of Applied Sciences - Institute of Design and Fine Arts

Design Lahti


Practice-based innovations
A practice- based merhodology for product design and innovation has been identified and formulated in Päijät-Häme. The key aspects of this are (i) the short period from "concept to market" and (ii) it´s effectiveness in identifying th ebest knowledge available globally to support the development process. Päijät-Häme businessess have appreciated and regularly utilised this methodology in their operations. A leading innovation research group has formed around the Lahti Unit of the Lappeenranta university of Thechnology (Lahti School of Innovation) This group has participated in developing and testing this methodology in practice.

Lappeenranta University of Technology - Lahti School of Innovation

Lahti University of Applied Sciences

Practice-based innovation and ageing, slideshare presentation
Professor Helinä Melkas, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lahti School of Innovation

Wellbeing and Health Related Sport
Development related to the wellbeing industry has been organised as a cluster in Päijät-Häme region. The wellbeing cluster operates on one hand as a development and innovation platform for the regional operators in the wellbeing industry, and on the other, as a coordinating body that brings together operators from the private, third and public sectors. In addition to serving the healthcare and social services industry, the cluster operations cover also the sports, tourism, culture and experience industries, as well as equipmentmanufacturing related to these fields.

The results of these efforts and the supporting role of ERDF (regional project development funding) have been assessed in the final evaluation report available as of 23rd September 2011 in Finnish, and soon in English as well. The evaluation report confirms the relevance and important results that the smart specialisation approach has brought to Päijät-Häme and recommends the reinforcement of the approach in the regional policies.

Strategy of Health Related Sport 2009-2020

Päijät-Häme Wellbeing Cluster

GOAL (Good Ageing in Lahti region) - Ikihyvä, Finnish research project on ageing and wellbeing
The regional spearheads


It means avoiding duplication and fragmentation of effort with scarce public resources within the Union thus helping in deepening the single market through open RIS3 and inter-regional connections across the EU.

It means being selective and support the R&I activities that are relevant in view of existing conditions and assets (evidence based policy evaluation, sound SWOT..)

  1. Relevant in the sense of assessing how R&I can help transform the existing economic structure in order to face globalisation
  2. Relevant in the sense of selecting that R&I activities with the highest potential for knowledge spill-overs to irrigate large-sections of the economy (related-variety)   



"Smart specialisation is about the R&I activities and/or technologies that can help a regional economy diversity into higher value added markets modernise/stimulate or exploit new emerging economic activities." - Mikel Landabaso, Head of Unit, DG REGIO, ERAC Mutual Learning seminar 20/03/2013


• provide methodological guidance, analysis and research on smart specialisation and related issues, and practical technical support;
• develop a comprehensive toolbox based on relevant EU policy support activities in research, SMEs, innovation, clusters, digital agenda, health, climate change, creative industries and university-business co-operation;
• conduct training on how to develop smart specialisation strategies and offer regions the opportunity to get involved in working groups on relevant aspects of smart specialisation;
• develop peer-to-peer processes (including peer reviews) to help assess and improve regional strategies and speed-up the learning process between regions.

118 regions have joined the S3-portal:
110 EU regions + MS (SK, LT, MT, HU, SI, CY) + 2 observer regions (from Norway and Serbia)
24 has been peer-reviewed, 81 has participated to trainings and thematic seminars

 Read more from S3Platform!


The Regional Council of Päijät-Häme is designated body responsible for working with the S3 platform. It confirms that the Structural Fund programmes 2014+ or other financial resources will be available in order to participate to the works of the S³Platform.