In this issue:
Millions of Karelian tastes A feast for the senses A world-class reputation in nanotechnology Blancco makes something from nothing Resource management is the key to success Adventurers wanted The Orthodox Cultural Centre The chase is better than the catch
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A FOOD LOVER’S PARADISE North Karelia is known for hospitality and tasty food. Karelian pasties, various kinds of ryecrusted pies, and oven-made foods in general are the corner stone of Eastern and Karelian cuisine. Pasties and pies combine the bread and the toppings, making them particularly filling. Bread is eaten everywhere, only the form varies. The bread of North Karelian bakeries has an excellent reputation outside the region also. With modern logistics, bread can be distributed throughout the country, and so a great number of Finns have North Karelian products on their table. The number of people who want to eat clean food that contains no additives is increasing. Personally, I have been especially delighted to notice that men are also becoming aware of healthy options: convenience food is no longer fashionable. Locally produced and organically grown food is trendy, because people are more concerned about what they eat. By this I do not mean any single movement but the general use of common sense. Happy Chicken Eggs sell well, and certain products sell out completely without marketing. The values, emotions, and beliefs of the consumers also affect their household food purchases. The quality and origin of the food matters more. People want to take better care of their health, which means following a healthy diet. These are global trends. I have noticed that I think about what I eat for lunch at the restaurant. At the grocery store, I can choose what to buy and eat, but that is not always the case in a restaurant. The food processing industry is one of the most rapidly expanding sectors. In our modern experience-oriented society, also food is expected to be more than just food. In North Karelia, guests will never go hungry, as the tradition of producing a hearty meal rich with baked delicacies is still strong. In all of Finland, North Karelia has the greatest number of registered hunters. And why not: the region offers magnificent hunting grounds. In addition to the ease of hunting in the region, this magazine shows the readers how to combine hunting and relaxation. Joensuu is a real dream come true for enthusiastic fishermen also, as they can fish in the middle of town. Wilderness travel is another growing industry in the region and also game breeders have gained a foothold - so much so that North Karelia has already earned a reputation as a wild boar region. Why not try growing something yourself? Nothing is more rewarding than harvesting your own crops in the autumn. Herbs are an easy way to start, and form a good basis for extending the selection of species later. A small herb garden can be set up anywhere, even on a balcony. Come to the Joensuu Region to enjoy the North Karelian hospitality! Anne Mujunen, Editor
POSTSCRIPT Full speed towards the finish line After 15 years as the Mayor of Joensuu, it is now time for me to retire. My last day in office will be in June. The normal tasks concerning the annual cycle of city management will keep me busy until then, and I intend to work at full steam until the very end. I have a great deal of matters on my desk to prepare, for implementation by my successor. City management requires high endurance, of which I am sure the next person taking on the role will also be well aware of. He or she will face the challenges relating to the construction of sustainable economic structure and the implementation of productivity programmes. In addition, he or she will continue implementing the new industrial policy of the region and the phase 4 of the Joensuu Science Park’s extension, and the development of the Penttilänranta residential area. Joensuu has developed and grown during my term in office. Urban construction has been pleasing to the eye, which is especially positive because it is part of the everyday cityscape. It has also been a joy to watch the development of the University of Joensuu over the past 10 years. Culture has provided several moments to cherish, especially in sports. The latest high points include the success of Jukka Keskisalo (long-distance track racing), Henri Häkkinen (shooting), Kalevan rasti (orienteering), Joensuun Kataja (basketball), and Jokipojat (ice hockey). Also winning Kuorosota, a national TV singing competition, felt good. Though slightly sad, I am able to leave my post and retire with a peaceful mind. I am also curious to discover what life is like outside local politics. I will, however, continue in several positions of trust, and am not opposed to trying my hand at new activities either. Not to mention finally having loads of time to be with my grandchildren. That’s what I’m most looking forward to! Juhani Meriläinen, Mayor of Joensuu (1995-2010) 2 Joensuu Region
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Published by Joensuu Regional Development Company, JOSEK Ltd – www.josek.fi Joensuu Science Park Ltd – www.carelian.fi North Karelia University of Applied Sciences – www.pkamk.fi
Editor Anne Mujunen Marketing Manager Joensuu Regional Development Company, JOSEK Ltd firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. +358 (0)500 285 906 Editorial board Anne Mujunen, Leila Koistinen, Soile Asikainen, Salli Soininen Editing and editorial office Leila Koistinen, Annika Sutinen Mainostoimisto Idealmainos Oy Layout Leila Koistinen Mainostoimisto Idealmainos Oy
Pictures Annika Sutinen, Leila Koistinen Mainostoimisto Idealmainos Oy Cover Minna-Johanna Heikkinen, Restaurant Kielo Picture: Annika Sutinen Mainostoimisto Idealmainos Oy Printing PunaMusta, Joensuu Number of copies 8000 in Finnish, 4000 in English
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Millions of Karelian tastes TEXT: Leila Koistinen
• PICTURES: Annika Sutinen
The small village of Porokylä in Nurmes is full of surprises. Most of the parish village burned down in the late 19th century and its name was changed. After the disastrous fire, baking ovens became the main source of smoke in the village when the locals learned to make traditional Karelian delicacies, including rye bread and Karelian pasties. At present, Porokylä produces millions of bakery products for sale every year. Surprising, isn’t it?
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Outside the region, North Karelia is known as a food lover’s paradise. This is reﬂected in the local cuisine, which is not only rich but also spiced with timeless skills. The best known Karelian delicacies include Karelian pasties, rye bread, and sultsina pasties. In Porokylä in Nurmes, Karelian cuisine is cherished by two large bakeries. Porokylän Leipomo and Pielispakari together employ over a hundred professionals in the bakery industry. Every year, the bakeries sell millions of the tasty products all over Finland and in Sweden. That is quite an achievement for a locality of less than nine thousand people.
Kartanon rye bread is a tasty bestseller
Kartanon rye bread is also Timo Väänänen’s favourite. Porokylän Leipomo was voted the North Karelian Company of the Year in 2009. The award was fully deserved, although it was also something of a surprise. – We weren’t expecting it but of course it’s great to have your efforts recognized. Our product development operations have been painstaking and at times even quite daring, so it’s fair to say we haven’t got where we are by accident, says the com-
pany’s owner and managing director Timo Väänänen. – This gives recognition to the accomplishments of the entire field, Väänänen says extending the significance of the award also to the company’s valued competitor Pielispakari. Timo Väänänen is a third-generation baker. His grandfather started the business way back in the 1920s. Cherishing long traditions continues to be one of the cornerstones of the company’s operations. – Good taste is the result of a job well done. Kneading the dough by hand adds the final touches to the end product. The reward comes at the end, because handbaked bread gains a crispy crust and a special taste in a stone oven, Timo Väänänen explains. – We employ about 80 staff, most of whom have been with us for a long time. Marjatta Pakarinen, for instance, has worked for us for thirty years and is always keen to develop new products. – She developed also our most successful product, the Kartanon rye bread, Timo Väänänen explains.
Bread belongs to the Karelian table Liperi is often called the bread parish. Organized five years running, the Liperi Bread Day has quickly become an annual tradition. – The number of visitors and companies displaying their products at the Liperi Bread Day has increased every year at a steady pace. The event has become regional and some companies also come from outside the region to display their products, says Pirkko Hyvärinen who runs the event. The event has a changing theme every year. This year, the theme is From the Field to the Table, which takes visitors back to the roots of breadmaking. Liperi has its own mill and local farms that produce grain suitable for breadmaking. – We even have a local rye species, Iivo, Hyvärinen says. Bread belongs to the Karelian table together with Karelian pasties and various kinds of ryecrusted pies. – The quality and popularity of our rye bread competition reflect the status of rye bread. The locals make excellent rye bread. Bread with a filling or topping is practically a small meal in itself, and everyone has their own favourite combination of flavours, Hyvärinen says.
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The traditional handmade Karelian pasty is the hit product of the year uncompromising quality. Product development continues even after the award. Even the best of products are never ready, there’s always something you can do better, Timonen says. – Our market area covers the entire country, in addition to which we also export our products to Sweden. – Our customers value the Eastern Finnish cuisine and the traditional taste. We will meet this demand soon by bringing new, carefully developed products to the market. These new products will be in accordance with Pielispakari’s business idea, which is traditional Karelian cuisine, Erkki Timonen explains.
Pielispakari makes millions of traditional, handmade Karelian pasties every year. The company wants to make highquality and tasty products. – The quality is ensured by skill and excellent produce. The taste of the traditional Karelian pasties is perfected in a stone oven, where they are baked quickly at a high temperature. The temperature should be over 300, Pielispakari’s owner Erkki Timonen explains. – We received the Hit Product of the Year award in 2007 in recognition of our
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Erkki Timonen and the Hit product of the Year; the genuine Karelian pasty. www.joensuuregion.fi 5
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A feast for the senses
TEXT: Leila Koistinen
• PICTURES: Annika Sutinen
Would you rather have lamb from New Zealand or Limousin beef from a farm located less than 50 kilometres away, tuna fish caught in a faraway ocean or perch fished from a clean lake just a couple of hundred metres away? In addition to local food, Restaurant Kielo specializes in producing visually pleasing dining experiences. Petri and Minna-Johanna Heikkinen are the owners of Restaurant Kielo in Joensuu, in the middle of North Karelia. They know exactly from which field, lake, pasture, or forest they have received the produce they use to prepare the food served at their restaurant. – We have been to the farms of our suppliers and know how the animals live there. The Limousin cattle, for example, grazes free on an outdoor pasture in the summer and is not tied up during the winter either. The scenery is beautiful also, Petri Heikkinen explains. The couple has been able to find mushroom, vegetable, berry, and meat suppliers in or close to the village where they live. It has taken some efforts, but is immensely rewarding for the owners of the restaurant as well as for their clientele. The products do not pass through many hands, but come directly and fresh from the farm to the restaurant. – Some of the products even come from my mother’s garden, which is as local as you can get. That’s where we get some of our flowers as well as mini carrots and the like in the autumn, says Petri. A beautiful meal In addition to locality, the food at Restaurant
Kielo is also visually pleasing. The portions are beautiful, almost like works of art. – When food has been meticulously prepared, it would be a travesty to just dump it on the plate any old way. It should be presented with equal care. The visual appearance of the food is part of the overall experience of enjoying a good meal. At our restaurant, clients will be served food for all senses. – One can treat oneself by eating well and enjoying all aspects of eating out. I want our food to be more than just fuel, says Petri, who works in the kitchen. – It is great to serve tables when you can see the delight of the clients and receive positive feedback, Minna-Johanna says. Let the taste surprise you At Restaurant Kielo, food is prepared with devotion, feeling, and passion. The portions change almost every day depending on the availability of ingredients and the season. The five delicacies of the Treat Plate in the starters menu, for example, change pretty much every day. The menu includes surprises that challenge the guests to try something new. For diners on the lookout for tastes, the owners recommend liver and heart.
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Kuohu drink stirs memories TEXT: Leila Koistinen
• PICTURES: Annika Sutinen
The freshly picked spring leaves are the secret to the pleasant taste of the Festive Black Currant Leaf Drink. For many, the taste is familiar and reawakens pleasant childhood memories. Kuohu is an alcohol-free sparkling drink that can be enjoyed by all, and will crown your celebration.
KontioMehu is the oldest operational juicing facility in North Karelia. The company makes and supplies high-quality fruit juice out of domestic produce to private customers, retailers, industrial caterers, and restaurants. Kuohu drinks are a widely acclaimed alcohol-free speciality that some of the best restaurants in Finland offer their guests. An established operator in the ﬁeld KontioMehu started operations in Kontiolahti, North Karelia, in 1980 as Kontiolahden Mehuasema. The company was founded by Pauli and Marja Kiiskinen, the parents of Pasi Kiiskinen, the current managing director. They established extensive black currant plantations and delivered their annual crop directly to contract buyers. – The company has always strived to develop the processing of the berries. In 1990, Pauli and Marja received the national Agricultural Entrepreneur of the Year award. The award was recognition of their innovative approach to developing new and versatile ways of transforming domestic berries into high-quality products, Pasi Kiiskinen says. – In 1984, a uicing facility was set up near to the well-maintained, high-quality black currant plantations to make fresh and tasty berry and vegetable juices. Later, the production of juice products was extended to industrial caterers and retailers. During the change of generation in 2004, company’s name was changed to KontioMehu. The original name, Kontiolahden Mehuasema, no longer described the company’s entire range of business operations. We still offer our customers the same relaxed and attentive service, reliability, and the very best juice products from Finnish berries. These qualities are the cornerstones of our business operations and have ensured us long-lasting customer contacts. – I was proud of what my parents had achieved and took over the berry plantations, processing facility,
and the overall responsibility for the company’s operations in 2004. Turning the berries into innovative products to meet the needs of consumers and clients is a passion I share with my brother Tommi and the rest of my family, Pasi Kiiskinen says. A sparkling attraction - The sparkling leaf drink that has gained such popularity is the outcome of painstaking development work, Pasi Kiiskinen explains. – In 2008, we brought a new, alcohol-free range of sparkling Kuohu drinks on to the market. Options include the Festive Black Currant Leaf Drink and Festive Cranberry Drink. There can be absolutely no cutting corners when the aim is to produce genuinely superior products. For this reason, the Festive Black Currant Leaf Drink is made from hand-picked black currant leaves from the Kiiskinen farm. – The black currant leaves are picked in late May and early June, when they are at their best. They are picked by hand by a dozen pickers each year. – Our own plantations cover roughly eight hectares and are enough to meet our needs. A shortage of produce isn’t likely, as it’s possible to double the harvest. – In the beginning, we used lingonberry as well as black currant and cranberry, but as our clients seem to prefer cranberry we stopped using lingonberry altogether. – Our sparkling drink is a natural product with a 100% natural aroma. No artificial aromatic compounds or essential oils are added. It’s made in Finland from homegrown ingredients and carries the Nordic Swan ecolabel. – The buyers of Kuohu value genuine taste and prime quality. Because we never compromise on quality, the drink is naturally a little more expensive than the juices produced in bulk by large factories. – We have tastings at various events. Many people say that Kuohu stirs memories. I hear “Just like the juice my grandma used to make” quite a lot. – Many leading restaurants in the Helsinki area have Kuohu on their drink list. These include Havis, GW Sundman’s, and Juuri, which recently received the Restaurant of the Year award. – Kuohu is sold in Helsinki at Stockmann Delicatessen, and at the Eat&Joy Maatilatori farmers’ market. Our dream is that Kuohu will in the future be sold in off-licences. – Kuohu may also be ordered directly from the factory in larger quantities for larger celebrations. Although the product itself is completely alcohol-free, no one says it can’t be customized according to personal taste. The genuine taste of berries will still come through strongly, even with the addition of alcohol. – A toast to authentic flavours!
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Health from berries, fruit, and vegetables
MaHeVi TEXT: Leila Koistinen
• PICTURES: Annika Sutinen
MaHeVi started operations in 2002 and is now the leading producer of berry, fruit, and vegetable dried products in Europe. The company dries over a million kilos of berries at its drying facility every year. The products are sold to over 500 retailers in Finland. In 2009 the company, based in Polvijärvi in North Karelia, received the Karelia à la Carte award.
Our modern diet contains a great number of hard-to-avoid food additives. - Most families consume a lot of convenience foods. Because it is designed to keep for a long time, commercially prepared food contains a lot of preservatives, June Karjalainen says. He is the marketing manager of MaHeVi Oy, the largest organic dried product company in Finland. – A few years ago, I got hold of a doctoral dissertation at the University of Turku, which discussed the positive impact of blackcurrant seeds on human health. I’ve had diabetes for twenty years and my interest in clean food products is based on personal experience. I was inspired to develop natural products that contain no preservatives or additives whatsoever, June Karjalainen explains. – We started by drying blackcurrants on a small scale and made experiments on its storage life. The results were good, so we
took the next step and started test marketing the products. In the beginning, MaHeVa used five berries: sea buckthorn, cranberry, blackcurrant, blueberry, and cloudberry. Later, the selection was extended to include ginger. – The ability of ginger to help relieve joint pain contributed to our decision to include it in our product selection. The initiative came from our customers actually, June Karjalainen says. A pure and carefully studied natural product - We started the fulltime manufacture of berry, fruit, and vegetable powders in 2002. From the very beginning, MaHeVi has conducted nutrient content surveys on its products and their purity. – In the beginning, we marketed our products mainly as high-fibre foods, but the nutrient content surveys allowed us to
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market them as nutritional supplements. The seeds used in MaHeVi’s berry powders have been dried whole, which ensures that the powder contains all the same nutrients and fatty acids as the fresh berries. The products are dried below 40°C. – The low drying temperature and quick processing ensures the high nutrient content of the products. – We use the entire berry in our production. Our principal goal is to utilize the seeds, as they cannot be processed whole by the human digestive system. – Our products are pure natural products. They contain no additives and keep a long time, even years, because they are dried, June Karjalainen says. – We have been requested to extend our range of products to purées and tablets. Natural products will remain our principal field of operation, though. – It should be noted that there’s no other similar product that would contain no Enumber additives, Karjalainen says.
The excellent health promoting qualities of Finnish berries are well known all over the world.
With yogurt or for dipping Berry and vegetable powders can be combined with most foods and even be used in beauty products. – If you are unsure of how to use the products, the best way to find out is to contact me. I develop and test these products all the time. I also lecture to groups, such as professional chefs, about the use of the products. – In most Finnish families, our berry powders are used in porridge and yogurt to replace nutritional supplements and multimineral products that contain food additives. – Carrot powder adds taste to bread rolls and blueberry powder goes well with cakes, June Karjalainen advices. – Other great combinations include cranberry with rye bread and tomato with bread spreads. Powders can also be used to flavour dip sauces, which are popular among the younger generation. Only the best ingredients – We principally buy Finnish berries. During the berry season, we buy berries to stock our warehouses in Puumala and North Karelia. We also have storage facilities in Vesanto, Kemijärvi, and Savukoski. – Creating a supplier network was one of our early challenges. We no longer need to worry about finding suppliers when our berry stores are getting low, June Karjalainen explains. – Recently, we signed a contract with the leading producer of organic tomatoes in Finland. They provide us roughly 500 kilos of tomatoes a week. In addition to purity, MaHeVi emphasizes the quality of the products. – Our berry and vegetable suppliers know that we only buy the very best produce, as the end product must be of top quality in all respects.
– The best produce in terms of taste, quality, and purity comes from North Karelia. Here, farmers don’t cut corners in the production process to increase their profit. That’s one of the main strengths of the region, June Karjalainen says. – The region also has some interesting specialities, such as the huskless variety of barley, Jorma, which was systematically developed by Kalervo Laitila. – Also Kontiomehu’s Kuohu drinks stand out among the bulk products manufactured by large factories.
will consist of three meat, two fish, and two mushroom soups. The new products are ready to eat after adding water, in which they differ from our current dry soup selection. Nothing else is required for preparing a tasty meal. There’s no need to check the package to find out what you’re eating, June Karjalainen promises. – Our second new product is Finnish air-dried tomato in Finnish rapeseed oil. The product will be coming to delicatessens soon. In addition, a healthy raspberry powder will be introduced to the market and has been developed with children in mind.
New products Before the summer, MaHeVi will open a new production line for drying meat and fish. – We will soon release a new range of dry soups, designed for hikers. The series www.joensuuregion.fi 9
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A world-class reputation in nanotechnology
The prefix nano- means one billionth, which is very, very tiny. In Joensuu, however, the term means something really huge, because nanotechnology and related diffractive optics are fast becoming the most significant field of expertise in the region. TEXT: Leila Koistinen
The expertise in the region concentrates around one extremely narrow segment of nanoscience, in which it is the world’s leader. The expertise has evolved based on the innovativity of the researchers working at the Joensuu Science Park and their courage to make the right choices. - Over the past few years, several university spin-out companies that utilize research results commercially have been established in the region. Naturally, these companies continue to conduct their development operations in cooperation with the university, Aki Gröhn says. He is the unit manager of Joensuu Science Park Ltd’s expert services. - The key has been to focus on one thing only. Currently, we have all areas of designing and manufacturing diffractive optics in use within a
radius of ten kilometres of us. Also, now that the University of Eastern Finland has started operations, we will soon be able to integrate new interdisciplinary fields with our cooperation network and utilize the expertise of the region. We can expect to have new and genuinely innovative applications, products, and services, Aki Gröhn says. Endless opportunities Diffractive optics and nanotechnology offer vast opportunities. The mass production of the components needed in LED lights such as lenses makes it possible to manufacture up to 200 000 lenses an hour. - This opens up all kinds of new opportunities for LED technology, Gröhn says. - We have also developed new applications that use nanotechnology. We are already able to
control the passage of light in incredibly tiny objects. What does this mean in practice? - A simple example will illustrate the point. We can make the surface of spectacle lenses non-reflective or use the lenses for viewing video clips. It is possible to watch TV at an angle, because the light is made to spread out. One of the most traditional applications is the automated bottle return installations, in which machine vision assesses the condition of the bottles and calculates the refund, Aki Gröhn explains. - Nanotechnology also opens up immense opportunities for quality control. Those of us who value a clean and tidy environment will welcome the new functional surfaces made using nanotechnology. They repel dirt and therefore stay clean longer.
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Nanotechnology Nanotechnology is atomic-scale technology. One nanometre equals one millionth of a millimetre. Nanotechnology has the potential to create many new materials and devices with a vast range of applications in electronics in particular, as the components are becoming smaller and smaller. Modern electronics already uses several components such as those in the HDD read heads and computer chips, the operations of which is based on nanotechnology. The mechanical characteristics of substances can be improved with nanoflakes at a microscopic level: new functional paint surfaces that repel dirt and do not scratch easily are already available. Nanorobots are one future application of nanotechnology. In theory, they could be injected inside the human blood vessels and organs to repair damage at the cellular level, something that is beyond the reach of present-day medicine. Source: Wikipedia
Diffractive optics Diffractive optics is one of the most modern fields of optics. It studies the control of light with various microstructure elements. Typically, such elements are made on level glass surfaces as embossed patterns, the details of which are thousandth of a millimetre scale. They can be used for optical functions that are impractical or impossible with traditional optical components such as lenses, mirrors, and prisms. Diffractive element applications are found in mobile phone and computer screens, LED lighting systems, optic data transmission, DVD player read heads, and machine vision systems. Their benefits include compactness and the easy and cheap reproduction by injection-moulding and the like. Source: Applied diffractive optics with electron beam lithography. Doctoral dissertation 2003, Janne Simonen
Utilized everywhere Nanotechnology is utilized everywhere. Nanoscale carbon pipes are strong and light, which makes them especially suitable for various kinds of machinery and equipment. The vanes of a windmill must endure very harsh conditions. In this field also, manufacturers have welcomed the new, strong materials. - Nanotechnology is utilized most actively in the medicinal and cosmetics industries and in the ICT sector. - Other users of the technology include manufacturers who need devices for quick analysis, medical measuring equipment, and small lenses in their equipment. Also, all mould manufacturers benefit from the technology. - What will the future bring to the operating room technology, for instance? Will we soon have cameras that take pictures inside blood vessels? Everything’s possible, Aki Gröhn says.
– We offer new optics solutions that provide the client with added value, says Nanocomp Oy’s managing director Veli-Pekka Leppänen.
Mass production of nanocomponents TEXT: Leila Koistinen
• PICTURE: Annika Sutinen
Nanocomp Oy is the only company in Finland that specializes in micro and nanophotonic components. Founded in 1997 as a university spin-out company, Nanocomp Oy designs, manufactures, and sells micro optical components. Most of Nanocomp Oy´s own production focuses on optical components that are delivered with a thin-film coating. At the various phases of the production chain, company’s aim is to utilize the methods that are traditionally used in the electronics and paper industries. – We started as a spin out company from the University of Joensuu. In 2000, we moved to our own production premises, where we have clean-room facilities that are vital to our operations. At the same time we shifted our focus to the mass production opportunities of micro- and nanocomponents. – This paid off, as our latest innovation is a roll-to-roll system that allows for manufacturing optical components similar to paper machines, Nanocomp Oy’s managing director Veli-Pekka Leppänen explains. Close cooperation between Nanocomp and the university continues. – Nanocomp has participated in several research projects administered by the University of Joensuu as a corporate partner. The Ultra Precision Unit (UPU) or Nano Machining Environment is one of the main projects in the region that we are involved in. – To Nanocomp, UPU provides a new way of making tools for mechanized mass production. When done correctly, this can shorten the manufacturing process significantly, offering new opportunities to various companies. This also creates new jobs, Veli-Pekka Leppänen says. At the moment, Nanocomp Oy focuses on mobile devices, their displays and general lighting. Lighting is currently going through a phase of change, because an attempt has been made to prohibit the use of filament lamps within the EU. – LED-based solutions have been suggested to replace them, and nanotechnology is especially well suited for such a task. For Nanocomp, we see great potential for growth in this area, Leppänen says. Nanocomp’s success is based on local cooperation and the synergy of expertise. – We often have to explain to people why we are located where we are. The reason why we are based in North Karelia is the local expertise in photonics. The Joensuu Region is a home to a top-level expert cluster in precision technology that is internationally unique. – In my opinion, the important thing about innovation is that the operators in different fields are able to have productive dialogue with each other. Truly creative solutions arise from multidisciplinarity and interaction. No similar expertise cluster is found in Finland or anywhere else in the world, Veli-Pekka Leppänen says.
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Joensuu Science Park 20 years
PICTURE: Anne Mujunen
of the Joensuu Science Park The founding of Joensuu Science Park was a joint effort of the City of Joensuu, the University of Joensuu, and the Regional Council of North Karelia. Various surveys were conducted and plans prepared in 1988 and 1989. Representatives of the founding institutions also made exploratory visits to existing technology centres in Sweden and Finland. In Sweden, they visited technology centres in Umeå, Luleå, Stockholm, and Uppsala. These visits produced a lot of information and tips on the ins and outs of setting up a science park. We had a portable computer with us - a real rarity at the time -, which the then rector of the University of Joensuu Kyösti Pulliainen used for recording the trips. Of course all of them tried the new tool and took notes with it as well. I wonder if this irreplaceable material is still lost somewhere in the cyberspace. Previously, another group had investigated the feasibility of a local technology park and visited similar facilities in Middle and Southern Europe, but their report failed to convince the relevant authorities. Perhaps visiting technology centres in Finland and its neighbouring areas suited the atmosphere of the time better than travelling all over Europe looking for convincing examples. Joensuu Science Park was established in 1990.
The partners include the City of Joensuu, University of Joensuu’s research foundation, and Regional Council of North Karelia. The City’s proportion of the Science Park’s entire share capital, which amounted to 300 000 Finnish marks, was 40%, while the other two partners received 60% each. After the founding, a rather comprehensive and detailed strategy was prepared for the company. It must be said that the strategy managed to set the principal goals for the company, which it has systematically worked towards and has mostly succeeded in reaching. In the early days, the Science Park operated at various locations until the city granted it the use of the discontinued Louhela School premises. Several companies established operations in these premises, a significant number of which are still there. The objective of the City of Joensuu was to create a science park that would be accepted as a member of the Finnish Science Park Association TEKEL. At the time, this was essential because of the city’s development indicator rating. A high delegation from TEKEL visited our city and the science park. The Mayor Aaro Heikkilä used all his speech-making skills to convince the delegation of the merits of the Joensuu Science Park. The delegation visited the premises of
the old school in good spirits after a good meal and approved of the company, giving it a full membership. The press was immediately informed, which created a positive image in the minds of political decision-makers and the general public. The premises of the Louhela School were renovated to meet the needs of the companies. Later, during the first construction phase of the Science Park, the premises were nearly completely rebuilt, which gave the building the look of a modern technology centre. It can be stated now that the location of the Joensuu Science Park could not be better: although close to the centre of the city, excellent leisure time services, and the university, it is also conveniently close to recreational areas and Lake Pyhäselkä. If I may say so, we have succeeded quite well. Heikki Soininen, City Secretary and long-term member of Joensuu Science Park’s Board of Directors
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Joensuu Science Park is growing into an adaptable and diverse complex The floor space of the phase 4 extension of Joensuu Science Park amounts to over 9300 square metres. The five-floor extension will provide over 5600 square metres of operating space for companies. The number of new work stations is about 500. Energy efficiency and life cycle thinking will be emphasized in the implementation of the extension. Construction technology and materials are both user-friendly and environmentally friendly. The quality of the air inside buildings will be emphasised during the construction as well as after the completion of the extension. The size of the working spaces that are available for rent vary from 9 to 1000 square metres. Technology will be used to promote the adaptability of the premises. Natural light is put to good use in the new wing, as the façade of the building will contain large glass surfaces. The first floor will include a 700-square-metre conference facility with a 75-seat café that is suited for large and small meetings. Thanks to mobile elements, the conference facility can be altered to a large open space that is suitable for organizing large events. The extension will also have a theatre equipped with the latest modern technology. The 25-seat theatre can be rented for conference use. The premises will also have unique, top-level offices that offer a view over Lake Pyhäselkä. Those who arrive by car will appreciate the practicality of the spacious indoor parking facility located next to the Science Park. A sheltered corridor connects the new building to the parking facility.
Joensuu Science Park Ltd was registered on 11 April, 1990. Operating premises • During the early phase, premises at Yliopistonkatu in the Medix Biochemica building • 1994: main operations at Länsikatu 15 (premises of the discontinued Louhela school) • 2000: extension 1 completed • 2002: extension 2 completed • 2006: extension 3a completed • 2008: extension 3b is completed • 2010: extension 4 in planning Managing Directors • Seppo Hölttä • Pertti Jyrkönen • Matti Nylander • Ari Hakkarainen • Markku Vuorinen • Jari Lauronen
1989 - 1991 1991 - 1998 1998 - 1999 1999 - 2001 2002 - 2005 2005 –
Joensuu Science Park today Joensuu Science Park Ltd provides expert services to develop the operations of smalland medium-sized companies that want to grow and develop in the Joensuu region and surrounding areas, designs and develops innovative operating environments, and participates in promoting local know-how and expertise. The Joensuu Science Park provides expert and premises services. • Over 100 companies • A university and a university of applied sciences • Roughly 1000 experts and 1000 students
TEXT: Leila Koistinen
• PICTURE: Idealmainos Oy
Kim Väisänen has worked at the Joensuu Science Park for fifteen years and knows that hard work is the best guarantee for success. Sometimes, of course, you just strike it lucky.
Something from nothing Blancco´s success story started with a failure, or actually two of them. - Our first business idea was to make a remote control for a car block heater that would be powered from the mains. This was an excellent invention that would’ve made every motorist’s life easier on cold winter mornings, says Kim Väisänen, the managing director and founder of Blancco Oy. - However, the product was scrapped, as it just didn’t prove practicable. - This failure didn’t discourage me or my business partner Janne Tervo. Instead, we invented a new product, protecto, a computer locking device. Although the new product sold several thousand units, it never became such the runaway success we had hoped it would, Väisänen explains. The idea for the third invention came from a newspaper article. The local newspaper reported that confidential data had been recovered on the hard disk drives of computers that had previously belonged to the local hospital and been sold on. - This inspired us to invent a method of erasing all data on computer hard disk drives. Currently, our business operations are based on data erasure. One might even say that we make profit out of nothing, Väisänen says.
Success requires a hint of scepticism For a company to take off, Kim Väisänen thinks, its management much have a certain element of wariness. - When the company is doing well, the manager has to keep on its toes in case of setbacks. And when the company is in difficulties, the manager has to guide the company towards better times. - A touch of healthy scepticism does no harm, Väisänen says. It is not by accident that Blancco rose from nothing to become the world’s leading expert in data erasure and computer recycling solutions. The year of early development formed the basis for making wise investments and concentrating on getting things done. - Success and growth requires hard work. Of course we make plans, too, and sometimes even manage to act accordingly, but work is still the key. - I believe that when you stick at it day after day, you can get surprisingly lucky, Väisänen says with a smile. - But seriously, I do think that you get the best results when you concentrate on one thing at a time, and do that well. For instance, we have a large, hardworking product development department.
From the Science Park to the world Kimi Väisänen clearly remembers his first visit to the Joensuu Science Park. - It was in this old school building. There was a table in the middle of the upstairs hall with a logo on it. Joensuu Science Park it said. Back then, everyone working there fitted round that table, Väisänen says. - Nowadays, over a thousand people work here and the set-up is quite different. - Our first office was a small 8 squaremetre room, in which the two of us developed the business operations the way we thought best. - Luckily, we were strongly supported by two other guys who also worked at the Science Park, Ilkka Nykänen and Teemu Voutilainen. They steered us towards a more systematic approach, so that developing the company didn’t depend purely on luck.
Blancco today Blancco has sold millions of licences worldwide. Its clientele consists of leading companies and banks, public administration organizations, defence forces, and operators in the computer recycling and secondary market sectors. Blancco’s data erasure products are a 100% safe way to erase electronic data and are in accordance with all national and international data erasure standards. The company has an extensive office and partner network in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. In addition to international regional offices, Blancco has retailers in over 30 countries on all continents. The company has a staff of over 70, of whom nearly half are Finnish. The success continues.
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Resource management is the key to success TEXT: Leila Koistinen
• PICTURES: Annika Sutinen
At the beginning of 2010, Solenovo established an affiliate in Peangi in Malaysia. The company has quietly grown into one of the largest software companies in Finland that offer server-based resource management solutions. The company specializes in the management of resources and operations in labour-intensive expert organizations. – Efficient operations require that the use of the existing resources be planned carefully and that they are allocated correctly, Tuomo Kolehmainen says. He has been the company’s managing director since the beginning of the year. – The founding of the Malaysian affiliate was something of an accident. One of our employees made a work trip to Malaysia years ago and married a local woman. When the family decided to move to Malaysia, we were unwilling to lose a good employee and so we founded an affiliate there instead. The local legislation requires that the company has a Malaysian managing director, and
so they run the company together. The Malaysian office already employs three persons, Tuomo Kolehmainen explains. Improving the eﬃciency of operations Operations can only be planned and controlled efficiently through reliable and up-to-date information. The current megatrend is to get more with less and less, which in practice means that the existing resources must be used as efficiently as possible, while avoiding overlaps. – Solenovo’s products and services offer a cost-effective and straightforward solution to centralizing the planning and management of resources. The key matters include cost awareness and reliability of information. The system is clear and easy to use, which makes it user-friendly, Kolehmainen explains. – We have put roughly twenty-five person years in constructing a study planning software for universities and universities of applied sciences. Our partners in the project include North
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Karelia University of Applied Sciences. – We believe that information should be transferred between systems without unnecessary manual work. People should be able to concentrate on productive and creative work while letting the data networks do the routines. Customers in the training sector Solenovo’s main customer group comprises of operators in the higher education sector and, more recently, the public administration. – We seek to have innovative and longterm relationships with our customers and partners, and offer them products and services that utilize the leading technology flexibly and take their specific needs into account. – Our clientele includes eleven universities of applied sciences that use Solenovo’s operation management system to plan the entire 3-5-year study programme to each arriving student group. The programme includes planning, assessment, and objectives, Tuomo Kolehmainen explains. – We develop the core processes of our clients’ operations, which requires that the trust between us and our clients is maintained and promoted. A success story Solenovo is among the region’s most successful companies. – Kimmo Tanskanen, the principal owner and founder of the company, has worked in higher education for 25 years. The success of the company is largely due to Kimmo’s efforts
and enthusiasm. He has guided us forward while modestly making little of his own contribution. We have not advertised our operations and expertise extensively, Tuomo Kolehmainen says of the company’s background and publicity principles. – At present, Kimmo Tanskanen is the chairman of the administrative board and participates actively in the development of the products. I work in sales and management. – Last year, the company’s turnover was roughly two million, and the result a good two hundred thousand. My objective is to double both by 2014, Kolehmainen says.
changed for the better and the city in general been a positive surprise, Tuomo Kolehmainen says. Remembering his role as Solenovo’s managing director, Kolehmainen adds. – Regardless of the type and size of organizations, the tasks of individual employees and operating processes should be addressed. Such matters include the management of complaints and investment plans and preparation of budget, and the means to measure and supervise them and to develop operations by analysing them. We can assist companies and organizations in all of these questions, Tuomo Kolehmainen summarizes.
Back home Tuomo Kolehmainen lived outside the region for nine years before returning to Joensuu. – In the 90s, I worked as information management manager at the Joensuu University of Applied Sciences. Then I moved to Oulu with my family where I worked at a telephone company for five years. I also lived in the capital region for a few years working for an American company called Avaya, managing their Finnish and Baltic operations. – I came to Solenovo to assist in preparing a strategy for the company and then Kimmo asked me to stay on. – Naturally, I discussed the move with my family. The decision was easy in the end, as my wife had studied here and so we were both familiar with the city. – During the nine years that I was away, the city has developed immensely. The centre has
A modern country home Realistic dreams Do you dream of a home in the country? Our online service makes it easy and stressfree to view the available options from the comfort of your home, no matter where you live. The Modern Country Home website offers a realistic and modern approach to anyone planning or considering a move to the countryside. What is country life like nowadays? How many of us ever come to think that we North Karelians are living the dream of thousands of people who are fed up with the hectic pace of life, concrete jungles, and commuter traffic inherent to city life. Here, slow life, a philosophy that is currently gaining ground throughout the world, is simply second nature. The website aims to promote the vitality of the North Karelian countryside. The objective is to attract people to move to the country and find them homes in a peaceful setting. The website
also aims to offer all interested persons viewing the site a realistic and modern picture of life, work, entrepreneurship, leisure activities, and tourism in the region. The Modern Country Home project increases the number of population, investments, and partner networks in the region; saves service structures from discontinuation; and improves the competitiveness of the region in national population recruitment. The main target groups include immigrants, returning expatriates, seasonal dwellers, and those who move to the region for work. The project covers North Karelian rural areas and benefits the localities, companies, and entrepreneurs offering services to visitors. The Modern Country Home project explores new and enticing alternatives for living. ‘Rent or exchange’ provides a soft option to try country living or having a summer cabin. After the introductory stay, the final decision about
resettling in the country can be made based on experience and knowledge. Did you know that at this very moment dozens of companies are looking for a successor in the North Karelian countryside? Visit our website to read success stories and find the encouragement you need to realize your personal business ideas. Read more at: www.modernimaaseutukoti.fi
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Adventurers wanted Text: Leila Koistinen Pictures: Leila Koistinen and Annika Sutinen
Outokumpu is bustling with activities: the Old Mine comes alive and the troll who guards the treasure entices visitors on a treasure hunt. Ore was discovered in Outokumpu a hundred years ago. The subsequent mining operations enriched the life of the town for decades until the pace of excavation slowed down and the mine was closed. Now the area is coming back to life, following some rather wild ideas. A new travel destination is being built and restored in the area, which will offer completely safe and exciting adventures for the entire family in the vicinity of the mine and inside it. A treasure town for all The mining tower of the old copper mine is a prominent landmark near the centre of Outokumpu. The setting is unique in Finland. – A couple of years ago, a group of eager locals decided to revive the old mine and give it a new life. We want to utilize the existing setting while also creating something new and exiting, Ulla-Riitta Moilanen says. She is the local Tourism Development Manager and the leader of the group. – Construction has already started. Because the project is modelled around the existing constructions, it will be completed rather quickly. Reno-
vation aims at improving the safety of the area and making it more agreeable. When the treasure city is opened to the public, people of all ages can take part in adventures in a safe environment. All kinds of events An event arena will be completed first. Located in an old factory hall, it will serve as a setting for theatre and music performances, children’s events, dog shows, antique fairs, and so on. The options are nearly endless. – At some point, Outokumpu and the surroundings of the Old Mine will provide the setting for an adventure film. Because the film has not been made yet, I cannot reveal any details, Ulla-Riitta Moilanen explains. – In Outokumpu, the treasure hunters will use modern methods. They will no longer rely on pickaxes and drills but have access to mobile phones and related new technology, for example. – The troll who guards the treasure has waited and waited for ages and is now looking forward to meeting the new adventurers. Someone might even discover a gold seam, Ulla-Riitta Moilanen says.
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A UNIQUE MINE SETTING FULL OF SAFE EXPERIENCES WILL BE OPENED TO VISITORS
Text: Leila Koistinen
• Pictures: Leila Koistinen and Annika Sutinen
Subterranean dining Restaurant Karbidi is an atmospheric catering restaurant that is located next to the Outokumpu Mining Museum inside the Old Mine. To get there, visitors have to take an exciting walk through softly illuminated mining tunnels. On their way, diners get a chance to marvel at the gleam of copper on the walls, through which moisture continues to seep even after several decades making the ore glow in the light. Lanterns for lighting, an open ﬁre for heating and atmosphere In the Restaurant Karbidi, lighting is provided by numerous candle lanterns mounted on the walls and tables. The open fireplace in the middle of the rock-walled room provides heat and atmosphere. The fire is in frequent use, as visitors are invited to grill sausages over it. The Restaurant Karbidi is open daily during the summer season. At other times, dining is subject to order.
Drawing on mining traditions Outokumpu is an industrial town with strong mining traditions. The town formed around the mine and the prosperity created by it. For the past thirty years, the development and growth of the town has, however, been based on the metal industry. - In addition to the mine, Outokumpu is known for its expertise in the metal industry, which is exceptionally strong in relation to the size of the town, the Mayor of Outokumpu Pekka Hyvönen says. - To maintain positive development, we have supported operations in new sectors. Developing tourist operations is natural for us because we have an existing setting that can be utilized. The town has invested strongly in developing the mine and its surroundings. We see this as the beginning of Outokumpu’s new golden age, Pekka Hyvönen says. - We have our roots in the mining industry, but the new growth area is tourism. The aim is to continue to develop the Old Mine and its surroundings, to create an attractive family and adventure destination. We welcome everybody to our town to see what we’ve managed to do!
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TEXT: Leila Koistinen
• PICTURE: Annika Sutinen
The Joensuu region oﬀers easy opportunities for investors Selecting an office location is among the most important decisions a company has to make. In the Joensuu region, every effort is made to help ease the process. The region offers several advantages that support successful business operations, such as the availability of a skilled and highly motivated workforce, and comprehensive and flexible corporate services.
Companies looking to establish business operations in the region are offered more support and advice than they are likely to imagine. Everything needed, from the right contacts to operating premises, is available from a single source. The very first step a company’s management should take is to inquire about the services provided by the Joensuu Regional Development Company, JOSEK Ltd. – Our services cover pretty much everything. And what’s more, it’s all free, Sami Karppinen says. The manager of the Joensuu Region project lists some of his organization’s numerous and wide-ranging services. - We find the premises that meet the client’s specific criteria, assess the availability and competence level of the workforce, select the best partners, and inform the client of any available investment grants. Hard workers Most often the aim is to start or increase the volume of production. Sometimes investments involve other aims, such as improving the efficiency of production or making the actual work easier. Investing in the Joensuu region brings several advantages: – Companies appreciate the hardworking mentality of the North Karelian people. Those with experience of other Finnish regions find it reassuring to be able to trust that the same staff will come to work day after day. – Typically, the companies that relocate in the region are relatively large, with management who are enticed by the prospect of finally getting a stable workforce and stable property costs. Other advantages of the region include a moderate level of pay and the price of operating premises that is about one third lower than what these companies are used to. An example: Barona Barona, an outsourcing service company, is among the recent large investors. The company completed its establishment project in the spring of 2009 and has been thrilled with the results. – We relocated our contact centre to
Joensuu. Competent and motivated staff were easy to find in the region, and their reliability has come as a positive surprise. We’re now able to concentrate on developing the expertise of our staff instead of constantly explaining the ropes to new workforce members, Barona’s Managing Director Lassi Määttä explains. A ﬂexible city plan Investors normally put large sums of money on projects which they expect will pay back in the long run. In addition to funds, establishing operations in a new location requires intellectual resources. A partner who is familiar with the region is a valuable asset also for large companies. – In large investment projects, the flexibility of city planning is truly significant. When the company needs more space and the possibility of expanding their operating premises, the Joensuu region’s town plan-
ning procedures will be quick to play their part. In addition to town planning, also connection to the public utilities is flexible and can be done without too much red tape, Karppinen says. – We act in close cooperation with all organizations that support business operations in the region. If a client needs assistance in the filling of investment applications and organizing marketing operations, it’s all available through us. – Our location next to the Finno-Russian border benefits companies that are reaching for the Eastern markets in particular. We’re located only 75 kilometres from the closest border-crossing point at Niirala. Joensuu also has a deep-water harbour, and air, rail and road connections to the rest of the world. The city is easy to reach and offers excellent opportunities for shipping goods and services wherever they need to go, Karppinen concludes.
Karelian tradesmen go to Helsinki Text: Leila Koistinen
• Pictures: Anne Mujunen
Around fifty North Karelian decision-makers visited various organizations in the capital region. Spirits ran high at the joint evening party. A marketing campaign was organized in early February which was both unique and exceptionally large on a North Karelian scale. Led by the Mayor Juhani Meriläinen, an authoritative group of North Karelian decisionmakers visited approximately 150 companies and organizations in the capital region. The objective of the visit was to open a
two-way dialogue with the organizations. This objective was reached extremely well. The reception of the Karelian businessmen was warm everywhere, and many of the meetings stirred further discussions. Positive feedback has encouraged us to organize more events of the same kind, most likely directed to other parts of Finland.
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Portuguese exchange students Ines Sousa Rocha and Silvia Carla de Sousa Barros started their work at the beginning of the year. They made contact with MZYMES through the North Karelia University of Applied Sciences.
Innofinland 2009 winner
MZYMES is now enforced with Portuguese blood MZYMES is a Joensuu-based environmental technology company, whose system to treat contaminated soil has attracted interest on European markets. MZYMES’ managing director Jari Rouvinen says that the company is now most interested in the Portuguese, Spanish, and German markets. - The method developed by MZYMES uses fungi that are first cultivated on a suitable medium and then transferred to the contaminated soil. The patented method is based on the ability of certain enzymes produced by the metabolism of the fungi to break down toxic substances in the soil, such as oil, Rouvonen summarizes. The method has proved functional and is very cost-effective in comparison with the traditional burning method.
Student cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Since the beginning of the year, two Portuguese students Ines Sousa Rocha and Silvia Carla de Sousa Barros have worked at MZYMES. They are exchange students at the North Karelia University of Applied Sciences, and currently work at MZYMES’s product development unit in Oulu. - They are assessing the suitability of the method to the conditions in their home country for a Portuguese company. The method has stirred interest in Spain and Germany also. When they return to Portugal after their four-month work assignment, they will have an excellent basis for operating in the business, Jari Rouvinen says. Winning the Innofinland prize last year
is not enough for MZYMES, as the company continues to develop new innovative technologies to the needs of the industry. The main application areas include improving the processes relating to industrial sidestreams and the raw materials used in the paper industry and treating contaminated soil. The company has studied the use of fungi technology in the treatment of contaminated soil since 2004. Last year, MZYMES started a project on the treatment of contaminated soil with Ekokem-Palvelu Oy.
Fungi and enzymes won the company the Innofinland 2009 award, MZYMES’ managing director Jari Rouvinen says.
The national Innofinland Prize Innofinland was founded in 1994, and the President of Finland is patron of the prize. The national Innofinland prizes are awarded annually to recognize and promote innovative entrepreneurship in Finland. Innofinland consists of regional and national prizes. The prize can be awarded to a company, community, or person whose ideas, inventions, or innovations have significantly promoted creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, co-operation, or employment in Finland.
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The Orthodox Cultural Centre
introduces the Orthodox tradition TEXT: Leila Koistinen
• PICTURES: Annika Sutinen The Orthodox Cultural Centre has an expensive collection of sacramental items and icons on display.
The Orthodox Cultural Centre, completed in 2009, is located in Joensuu next to the Orthodox seminary and its church. The Centre cherishes and introduces the spiritual tradition of the originally Orthodox Karelia over religious and state borders. – The centre promotes the Orthodox culture and theological research. It provides premises for exhibitions, training, activities, and working for icon art and wood carving and other needs of Orthodox associations, Yrjö Piiroinen says. He represents the Foundation of Orthodox Culture that runs the centre. – The Orthodox Cultural Centre accepts contributions, testament donations, and other financial support. In return, the foundation gives financial support and student grants to operators and students who act in accordance with its operating principles. The foundation has been running for over 20 years now, Piiroinen says. – Churches, monasteries, and convents are an essential part of the Orthodox faith, but the Cultural Centre has played an important role also. The task of the Cultural Centre is to inform all interested parties about the Orthodox Church and faith, Piiroinen explains. Inauguration by Patriarch Bartolomeus The Orthodox Cultural Centre will be ceremoniously inaugurated on 12th of June by Patriarch Bartolomeus from Constantinople. – Only 80 guests will witness this unique event, as our premises are too small to accommodate a greater number of visitors, Yrjö Piiroinen explains. – Following the inauguration, the place will be opened to the general public and only after that will all the exhibitions be open in their entirety. Until then, we will work hard to complete our collections.
of Orthodox life from cradle to grave, Piiroinen says. The centre also introduces the Orthodox liturgical year. The exhibition space has over 200 most important icons from all over the world. Material has been collected for the exhibitions throughout the Foundation of Orthodox culture’s existence, for twenty years. – One of the most curious items in our collection must be the magnificent series of icons on the wall of the upper hall that was painted on silk in the 1740s for the Russian Army in St. Petersburg. The icons were in ceremonial use in Sotkuma Chapel in Polvijärvi, North Karelia, between 1916 and 1956. Conferences and other events The Orthodox Cultural Centre is ideal for organizing various kinds of events. – The downstairs hall serves as a training and conference facility. We also have various smaller spaces suitable for group working and conferences that are rented flexibly. – Only about one tenth of the events are Orthodox, others are organized by visitors from outside the Church. – The recent recognition reflects the versatility of the premises. The Cultural Centre was voted North Karelian Building of the Year in 2009, Yrjö Piiroinen says. Restaurant Elias that operates in the Cultural Centre is open on weekdays and offers a pleasant and quiet lunch setting for people working nearby. In summer, the Cultural Centre is open every day. – People should absolutely include a visit to the Cultural Centre in their summer holiday plans, if they are coming to Eastern Finland. A chance to learn more about the Orthodox culture and faith is certainly worth a trip to Joensuu, Yrjö Piiroinen says.
Diverse exhibitions The centre provides a detailed account of the Orthodox culture and faith. Visitors can familiarize themselves with Orthodoxy independently and at their own convenience. The exhibitions introduce all Finnish Orthodox churches. – Also a lot of sacred items are on display including the most common religious items that every Orthodox household has. Our exhibition covers all phases www.joensuuregion.fi 21
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Text: Leila Koistinen
is better than the catch Very few hunters only hunt to catch and kill. Quite the contrary, just as often the game is only watched through the scope and let go. – The enjoyment of hunting can be experienced on a clear frosty morning, when the wilderness is filled with quiet. I follow the dogs that are hot on the trail of the game, Jouni Mönkkönen says. Mönkkönen runs an accountancy business during the day, but is also a keen hunter, having found the sport early in his youth. – Sometimes I carry the gun just as a prop, since simply being in the woods with my faithful dogs gives me great satisfaction. – It’s not rare that I just watch the game that the dogs find for me through the scope and let it go, Mönkkönen says about his respect towards living creatures.
The joy of hunting is not in catching and killing, but in enjoying the peace and quiet of the great outdoors, feeling the excitement of the dogs, and gratifying a primitive instinct within ourselves. What’s more, you don’t have to live far from the city centre to enjoy hunting when the hunting grounds are located near the city.
All equal Hunting is about enjoying the great outdoors, but that is only part of the sport. Most hunters belong to a hunting club, of which there is nearly three hundred in the Joensuu Region. – Hunting is subject to permit. Normally, hunting clubs have their own hunting grounds that the members can use once they have obtained a hunting card. Hunting is also strongly related to game management. We maintain the diversity of the wilderness and manage game stocks, Jouni Mönkkönen explains. – You can hunt alone or in a group, but socializing is certainly one of the most rewarding aspects of the sport. In the wilderness, everyone is on the same line, as social class and the like doesn’t matter.
– Many hunters, like myself, are also enthusiastic cooks. There is really no greater pleasure than eating the meat you have caught yourself, and which you have taken the trouble of learning to cook properly. I’m quite handy when it comes to game dishes actually, Mönkkönen says. Large game stocks The Joensuu region has diverse game stocks. It is much favoured by the game fowl and aquatic birds, elk, roe deer, mountain hare, and European hare, as well as large and small carnivores. The most common small carnivores include fox and raccoon dog. Other species found in the region include pine marten, mink, beaver, and geese. – I like to hunt elk, hare, and capercaillie the most. Elk is a magnificent animal and hunting is
Heaven for Hikers Text and pictures: Leila Koistinen
The numerous well-maintained hiking routes of the Joensuu region are suitable for trekking and just enjoying the great outdoors. The terrain is extremely variable. The trails zigzag across the slopes of the ridge, follow the river, climb through the hilltops, dive into the sheltering arms of fairytale forests, and cross wetlands on duckboards. All trails are clearly marked and have rest spots along the way. Lean-tos and campfire sites are well-maintained and for example firewood is normally always available for those stopping by. Some of the rest spots have a kettle for boiling water, and all have latrines. Some of the hiking routes are very close to residential areas, which makes it easy for beginners to try hiking. The longer routes include Kolin polku and Karjalankierros hiking trails, which take several
days to walk. On these routes, hikers may encounter some of the rarer animal species. Catching a glimpse of a beaver in its natural habitat, or example, is something to cherish for the rest of one’s life. Hikers are not likely to see bears, on the other hand, as they tend to avoid people. Two Hiking Destination of the Year -awards North Karelian destinations have twice received the national Hiking Destination of the Year -award. In 2007, it was given to Herajärven Kierros hiking trail in the rolling landscape of the Koli National Park. Last year the winner was the Ruunaa Recreation Area, which features not only demanding hiking trails but also the best rapids for kayaking enthusiasts in Europe. On summer days, Ruunaa is the place to spot international whitewater kayakers practicing for upcoming competitions.
22 Joensuu Region
Joensuu Region 2010_englanti.indd 22
required to keep their numbers down. This benefits the landowners as well as motorists, who can be put at risk by large elk populations. – Capercaillie, on the other hand, is the largest grouse in Finland and is an impressive sight. Its meat is very tasty and there’s a lot of it, too. – Hunting is more than just a way to put food on the table. Enjoying the great outdoors is easily combined with picking mushrooms and berries. Although feeding the family is no longer the principal goal, berries, mushrooms, and meat all provide a valuable addition to the diet, Jouni Mönkkönen says. Half an hour from the hunting grounds The Joensuu region is a perfect setting to learn to hunt. It offers excellent shooting ranges for practice and several sites dedicated to dog training. – Every dog owner knows that a dog needs exercise. The region has loads of places where we can practice freely and let the dogs run off their energy. – We have a semi-detached house near the downtown area. The dogs live in the yard, in a kennel complete with all modern conveniences: ceiling heating, thermal insulation, a small vestibule, and naturally also a window. The dogs have had no complaints so far, Mökkönen says with a smile. – The closest local hunting grounds are in Iiksenvaara, only a few kilometres from the centre of Joensuu. Dozens of other places are located within half an hour’s drive. – The best part of hunting here is the element of spontaneity. If the autumn sun shines through my window at work, I can always take the computer with me, switch from leather shoes to rubber boots, sling the rifle bag over my shoulder, and head to the forest. A good half an hour later, I’ll be in the peace and quiet of the forest following a dog that’s hot on the trail. That’s when I can forget the stress and pressure of work.
in the middle of the city
Text: Leila Koistinen Pictures: Topi Ylä-Mononen, ProAgria Pohjois-Karjala
In Joensuu, one does not have to go a long way to find fish–rich waters, as the best place for fishing is in the middle of town. The River Pielisjoki flows through the city, forming foaming rapids near the City Hall, and is known among the local fishermen as a splendid fishing spot. Anyone with a fishing permit can fish there, and there are no restrictions apart from minimum capture size. Anything you manage to catch can be taken home and cooked. Visitors to Joensuu can also try their hand at fishing by acquiring a permit. These are available from various places, including the reception of Hotel Kimmel. Fly fishing is especially popular by the rapids, but the river also offers splendid opportunities for fishing out of a rowboat and jig fishing further downstream past Ilosaari Island. The fish stock is abundant. Uncultivated fish species in Pielisjoki River include pike, grayling, lake trout, perch, and pike-perch. In addition, the river is stocked with rainbow trout and trout every year. Fishermen have hauled four to five kilo fish from the river including trout and other salmon species. Inspiring the young Rapids fishing is an exciting hobby for the young in particular. However, there is still plenty of room left for new young fly fishers. The cost of the fishing permit is not an obstacle: fifty euros is enough to cover the entire season, under-18s get their permit for half price. Read more about rapids fishing, fishing permits and fishing spots at www.joensuunkalastuskunta.fi (in Finnish).
North Karelia has a total of over a thousand kilometres of hiking routes. Additional information and a great number of route maps is available at www.vaellus.info .
Joensuu Region 2010_englanti.indd 23
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Published on Feb 7, 2013