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Arctic Development Environments, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

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General Information
The date when the cluster organisation was established: 
Thursday, 1 January, 2015
Number of staff in the management team of the cluster organisation : 
Pohjois- ja Itä-Suomi
Membership to other networks/partnerships: 
Cluster Management Team: 
Cluster Manager
+358 40 555 8065
Languages spoken: 
Sectoral and Industrial Focus
Sectoral Industries: 
Business Services
Technology fields: 
Analyses / Test Facilities and Methods
Infrastructures for social sciences and humanities
S3 EU priority areas: 
Other professional, scientific & technical activities
Emerging industries: 
Digital Industries
Areas of specialisation of the cluster not covered above: 
Development environments, RDI infrastructure
Composition of the cluster
Total number of members: 
Number of SME members: 
Number of larger company members: 
Number of research organisations/universities/technology centres: 
Number of other ecosystem actors : 
Entrepreneurship and scale-up support facilities in the cluster's ecosystem (see "Organisation type"): 
Name and link of major players: 
Lapland University of Applied Sciences
University of Lapland
Natural Resources Institute Finland
Research Organisation
Geological Survey of Finland
Research Organisation
Cluster Strategy

Arctic development environments produce services for the region’s businesses. The development environments are physical and virtual environments meant for use in learning and innovation, such as laboratories, studios, workshops or simulation environments where products, services and expertise can be further developed.

Approximately ten RDI organisations operate in Lapland and they manage approximately fifty different development environments. The  Arctic Development Environments Cluster brings together the RDI environments and expert services operating separately to form a uniform body to serve the region’s business life and to enable the development of business life and business investments in product development and internationalisation.

Do you have a formalised strategy?: 
Do you have a specific strategy focus that addresses internationalisation ?: 
Support services provided: 
Access to technology services
Facilitation of collaboration between members
Enabling Facilities sharing
Facilitation of cross-sectorial cooperation
Cooperation Activities
International Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
Trans-national Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
Which clusters do you collaborate with?: 
Arctic Design Cluster
Arctic Industry and Circular Economy
Arctic Smart Rural Communities
Arctic Safety
Smart and Sustainable Arctic Tourism
Support Programmes
Participation in Funded Support Programmes: 
European ProgrammesProject NameLinkName & Description (Regional/National)


Arctic Smartness Excellence (ASE), ERDF project 2/2016–3/2018

The Arctic Smartness Excellence (ASE) project carried out activities related to the Regional Smart Specialisation Strategy of Lapland. The Arctic Smart Specialisation Programme is by definition supporting growth and empowerment through entrepreneurship linkages that have been executed in two previous ERDF projects led by the Regional Council of Lapland with core actors present also in this project.

The ASE project carried out actions concentrated on developing and supporting the consolidation and development of five modern Clusters with Entrepreneurial thinking driving them forward. The Arctic Smartness Clusters are Arctic Design, Arctic Safety, Arctic Industry and Circular Economy, Arctic Smart Rural network and Arctic Development Environments.

The core actors in the above mentioned clusters and in ASE project were

  • University of Lapland (Project leader)
  • Lapland University of Applied Sciences
  • Geological survey of Finland
  • Rovaniemi Regional Development Agency
  • Regional Council of Lapland
  • Kemin Digipolis Ltd
  • Natural Resources Institute Finland.

The main goals of the project were:

  • more internationalised Cluster cooperation and impact at EU level
  • tapping actors into Direct EU funding, Horizon 2020 in particular
  • basis for the launch of the new Lapland R&D Innovation platform – Center of Arctic Smartness Excellence was created and with a purpose to support Arctic Smartness Clusters needs and feed innovations and ideas and work as a booster for innovations using the TRL (technological readiness level) classification implementation, in particular in development, testing and service design laboratories and facilities
  • Create an new method to cooperate between key actors in Lapland and jointly channel the actions under one brand: Arctic Smartness

Arctic Smartness RDI-Excellence (ASR), ERDF project 9/2018–12/2020

The Arctic Smartness RDI-Excellence (ASR) project establishes the Lapland Regional Research, Development and Innovation Centre of Excellence. Together with the Arctic Development Environments Cluster, the Centre serves businesses in the service/product development cycle, from helping to develop ideas into products to commercialising innovations. This is achieved by a boundary crossing RDI collaboration structure that brings together the research organisations, development environments and RDI actors in the region.

The Centre of Excellence uses joint research infrastructures, exceeds the traditional limits of sectoral research, promotes better access to international funding and generates strategic work for the benefit of region.

The Centre brings together the RDI actors in Lapland, arranges their dialogue and focuses their RDI activities. It integrates and consolidates different research groups and enterprises. The work is supported by means of networking with other European centres of expertise/excellence and thematic innovation development networks.

The project is implemented by the region’s strong research institutions:

  • Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
  • Geological Survey of Finland (GTK)
  • Lapland University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Lapland

Arctic Smart Growth (ASG), ERDF project 9/2018–12/2020

The goal of the Arctic Smart Growth (ASG) project is to increase SMEs’ research, development and innovation activities and  improve companies’ opportunities to utilize EU funding and international networks more effectively. The project in closely linked to the regional business services as well as other business networks.

International projects have been implemented mainly by universities or research institutes and involving big companies. The purpose of this project is to reverse emphasis on SMEs. The project is mapping the most relevant networks and sources of funding, including international investment funding sources for supporting the growth and internationalization of the SMEs. In order to strengthen the enterprise interface the regional business service, The Enterprise Finland Network will be closely connected to the project. The collaboration enables the creation of service and finance chains which ensure the availability of appropriate service and funding for SMEs’ needs.

The result of the Arctic Smart Growth project is a cooperation model which connects enterprises, universities, regional actors, international networks and funding sources. The parties´ duties, roles and responsibilities will be agreed on. From the existing tools the enterprises will easily find the suitable support services and solutions for their needs. The project is closely linked to the Arctic Smartness RDI- Excellence (ASR) and Lappi – arktinen ja kansainvälinen menestyjä projects which ensures that the projects and the region aims and activities are in line each other.

The project is implemented by

  • Lapland University of Applied Sciences (Lead Partner)
  • Centre for Economic Development: Transport and the Environment/Business and industry, labour force and competence activities
  • Kemin Digipolis Oy
  • University of Lapland
  • ProAgria Lappi ry
Success Story / Achievements: 

Lapland is the leading Arctic area in utilising arctic resources and knowhow in a sustainable way

Lapland is the northernmost part of Finland and of the entire European Union. At the same time, Lapland is geographically the most international region of Finland as we are located in the middle of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.

Lapland’s strong growth sectors form the basis, but we also want to highlight Arctic expertise and new potential for growth. The key principle of Lapland’s smart specialisation is to integrate interregional and EU level networking as natural part of all our development activities. We see that for the economy to grow, the regional business have to be part of the European industrial value chains. Therefore, the foundation for each ounce of success consists of strong networking and co-operation between enterprises as well as developers. To support this, we have updated our S3 – Lapland an Arctic and international highflier – to be International Smart Specialisation Strategy.

Sustainable development is the foundation of growth in Lapland. The refining of natural resources and conditions is the backbone of Lapland’s economy. Therefore maintaining the balance of sustainable development is at the core of regional development. This has been the case already in Lapland’s first S3 that was published in 2013. In addition to the efficient and smart use of resources, regional cooperation models are the basis for sustainable development.

In Lapland, Arctic Smartness concept is the leading initiative for implementing Smart Specialisation. The implementation of Arctic Smartness is based on regional cooperation, and it works like an ecosystem, where the actors share common goals to develop Lapland. The six Arctic Smartness Clusters act as engines for the regional development. Through clusters, Lapland is looking beyond the boundaries of traditional ways of doing things to get the best use of the regional expertise and strategic partnerships over the borders. All of the six clusters are implementing new local and European initiatives and projects creating a breeding ground for sustainable growth in the regional economy.

More information about Arctic Smartness https://arcticsmartness.eu/

Why should partners choose you for cooperation?: 

The Arctic Development Environments Cluster consolidates the services and facilities of 50 modern development environments and 750 experts and specialists operating in Lapland, offering its partner organisations and businesses the means to develop their operations, processes and products.

This multidisciplinary collaboration structure

  • boosts RDI collaboration between research organisations and businesses.
  • enables the Cluster partners to optimise the use of research and development infrastructure.
  • produces knowledge that guides RDI investments on a regional, national and international level.