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Basic facts about KUOPIO

The Centre of Expertise TOP SCIENCE AND RESEARCH



A Short historical review

Our unique production methods make our products the best in the world.

We have designed, developed and constructed our production technology ourselves, to ensure the unconditional taste of Lappi. Surprising taste of Lappi products can always be recognised by their mouth-watering, lingering, and inimitable world of flavours. We only use the best, selected Finnish rainbow trout, raised in the cleanest waters in the world, in Finland. We still prepare our products by hand, utilising modern technology, giving due respect to recipes and traditions which have been in the family for many generations. No products that are made in a similar manner can be found in the world.


EDITORIAL Open your city 10/2017 Volume 5 OCTOBER 2017 Digimag is a special magazine rich in content. Each issue targets a specific theme. The magazine is available around the city in distribution stations situated at places with lively traffic. Over the internet, offers plenty additional material innovatively, functioning as your personal guide to the thrills of your city. PUBLISHER Digimag Oy and NMT Media Puijonkatu 9 B 15, 70100 Kuopio EDITOR IN CHIEF/ CEO Sari Jalkanen +358 40 555 3460 PRODUCTION Eetu Ollikainen +358 40 130 4415 Mirka Happonen +358 40 130 4413 EDITORIAL STAFF Heta Jyrälä +358 40 130 4416 Mirka Happonen +358 40 130 4413 Ilpo Lommi, Teemu Viemerö Sisko Korhonen, Kati Kulmala Marlene Sanoukian, Bailey Lähdesmäki ADVERTISING SALES Project sales Saga Iinatti +358 40 130 4412 Project sales Janne Kallio +358 40 130 4414 PRINTING Punamusta Oy ISSN-L 2243-2086 All rights reserved. Whole or partial reproduction without express permit forbidden. Responsibility in case of error does not extend beyond the price of advertisment. COVER Photograph: Kuopio-Tahko photo bank/Soile Nevalainen



TRUSTABLE PARTNERSHIP THE NORTHERN European town Kuopio is worth its reputation. Kuopio is a unique combination of science, technology, art, industry and safety. The people living in this small area of 250.000 inhabitants are active, cheerful and enthusiastic. In North Savo, there are hundreds of innovative business ideas and growth companies. Kuopio is not called a town of happy people for nothing. THE INHABITANTS of Kuopio are famous for their pioneering work in well-being, health and environmental expertise. It may well be why the living in the region is relaxed, intellectual and cultured. In Kuopio, the basic values in life are important. People enjoy life, and daily life and work feel like a celebration.






THE EXPERTS of the region have every rea-

son to be proud of their products and work. Local products and services are available globally. The growth potential is big, and the companies are ready to become more and more internationalized. WITH THIS publication, we wish to give a short introduction to the basic facts and expertise of the region. It is easy to come to the town of happy people. Our reliability makes it easy to establish partnerships and to co-operate. WE HAVE a lot to give to the world. Be courageous and seize the opportunity.

5 6 8

Kuopio grows vigorously Kuopio is near you Facts about Kuopio General facts about Kuopio Capital of Lakeland 14 Industry and technology Local top expertise 16 How to build in a healthy way

The stunning nature and a pleasant living environment enriched ”with outstanding service standards make Kuopio an attractive


place to live and provides its citizens with a good quality of life.


17 Sustainable Nordic design The top boats of the world 19 From Iisalmi with love Cheers to the Finnish beer culture 20 The journey of Finnish fish 23 Among the best countries to travel to 26 The history of Kuopio The decades of success 27 Notable persons From past to present


Business Kuopio 2017


courageously IN KUOPIO, we work hard to encourage

companies to invest in our city. The economic structure in Kuopio is diverse and the companies here operate in a wide range of industries, making Kuopio’s business sector rich. The diverse economic structure is also more resistant to economic turmoil. WE ACTIVELY use Kuopio’s worldwide twin-city network to promote the export efforts of the region's businesses. In recent years, we have especially invested in Shanghai Pudong, aiming at the already huge and steadily growing market in China. In fact, I just returned from a recent visit to Shanghai. A delegation of companies and business representatives from the Kuopio region travelled to China with us to research market potential and opportunities for cooperation, for example in tourism.

WHEN LOOKING for a potential export market for its products, everything depends on a business's own activity and ambition. However, sometimes the city can offer assistance by opening a few doors. Making connections and building relationships can sometimes be easier when the path is eased by public administration representatives. IN KUOPIO and elsewhere in North Savo,

there are hundreds of business ideas and young start-ups with initiative and growth potential. I urge new companies, but also companies that have already established their position, to keep their eyes open to the world and look for new markets with an open mind. JUKKA JUKKA PITKÄNEN PITKÄNEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIC DIRECTOR, DEVELOPMENT CITYDIRECTOR OF KUOPIO CITY OF KUOPIO


Business Kuopio 2017





New decision makers guide the citizen’s future for 2030.


uopio is reviewing and renewing the city strategy, such as the goals and the main ways to achieve them for the year 2030. The strategy renewal is particially due to the transfer of the responsibility of social and health services from municipalities to county administrations and partically due to several municipal mergers. The merging of five municipalities into Kuopio and the population increase have a significant impact on the city's strategy as well as the service network. When rewnewing the strategy, Kuopio wants to involve members of companies and communities in addition to citizens. The goal is to have the new strategy in place from the start of next year. The new strategy’s main focus is to promote the well-being of citizens and to develop and invigorate living environments.


Business Kuopio 2017

KUOPIO HAS half a dozen development pro-

jects on the table for the next decade worth a total of four billion euros. As a result, a five-digit number of jobs and thousands of homes will be created. Investment funds come from the city, the state, businesses and other financiers. KUOPIO HAS one of the most versatile econonic structure of Finland’s major cities, and educational establishments provide relatively easy recruitment of talented employees. The city is aware of the value of companies and strives to ensure that companies have a fertile operating environment. However, there is a need for the city to invest in internationalisation, export and the development of digital services.

Kuopio is

near you





The stunning nature and a pleasant living environment enriched with outstanding service standards make Kuopio an attractive place to live and provides its citizens with a good quality of life. Flights

Buses (Matkahuolto)

Helsinki–Kuopio: 10 Tampere–Kuopio: 6 Turku–Kuopio: 7 Vaasa–Kuopio: 6 Oulu: 6

Helsinki: 19 Tampere: 4 Turku: 4 Vaasa: 2 Oulu: 3

Distances from Kuopio: To Kuopio from:


Oulu Helsinki Stockholm Shanghai New York

284 km 382 km 651 km 7,145 km 6,602 km

Turku Helsinki

The wood and food industries are the most important when considering the more traditional industries. Tourism has a great importance to Kuopio's economy, and the service sector employs the most people in Kuopio.

Departing from Kuopio each weekday: Trains


between Helsinki–Kuopio 6 Kuopio is one of the national centers of expertise and a significant university city. 75% of people aged over 15 have graduated from at least secondary school. Over 31.7% of people over 15 are tertiary graduates.

Facts about air traffic: • A 2,800-meter-long runway at Kuopio Airport

Kuopio covers a surface area of 4320 km2, a quarter of which is water and half of which is forest. Making up most of the water area is Lake Kallavesi with a shore line of 6340 km.

• The flight from Kuopio to Helsinki takes 50 minutes • 169,076 Passengers at Kuopio Airport from the beginning of 2017 • Reach 6 different countries and 13 different cities by direct flight from Kuopio


Kuopio, established in 1775, is Finland's ninth largest city with over 118,000 residents. Pohjois-Savo region – 250 000 inhabitants, 18 municipalities. Pohjois-Savo is by the number of inhabitants the sixth largest region in Finland. The capital city of the region is Kuopio.


Business Kuopio 2017



5,000 companies are in the Kuopio region, of which more than 200 are export companies. Companies offer 50,570 jobs in the Kuopio area. 65.1% employment rate in Kuopio

% 3,5

When comparing different regions, North Savo is at the top concerning economic growth. Last year, the turnover of companies grew by 3.5% in North Savo and 2.4% in the whole country.

The industrial sector in Kuopio accounts for over 70% of exports. However, exports account for only 10% of the turnover in the region.

In North Savo, exports grew by 3.7% last year, an increase which accelerated towards the end of the year. The value of exports from North Savo is â‚Ź 1 828 million, of which the industrial sector accounts for â‚Ź 1 475 million.

1.2 million tonnes of freight transported via the Saimaa Channel in 2016 by ships. 1.1 million tonnes of international traffic and 0.1 million tonnes of domestic ship traffic. 233,000 tonnes of ship export by the forest industry.



Business Kuopio 2017

Kuopio is the 6th busiest tourist town in Finland. A total of 4,300 beds in 24 places of accommodation registered in Kuopio. Kuopio has over a hundred restaurants, dozens of shopping centres and tens of specialty stores. Sources: Regional Council of Pohjois-Savo, Finavia, The Finnish Transport Agency, Statistics Finland, City of Kuopio

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Business Kuopio 2017

meeting facilities, Multifunction Arena, chapel and gym. We also offer a variety of wellbeing at work out services. You can find Tahko Spa Hotel in a wonderful location in the very heart of Tahko.

Tahko Spa Oy Keitaankatu 1, 73310 TAHKOVUORI Sales service +358 20 747 9910 (0,8 â‚Ź/min + local network charge / mobile phone charge)






Finland is a place of fascinating contrasts. An ideal location between the east and west, Finland has bright summers and snowy winters. In a country known as the land of a thousand lakes, Kuopio is the capital of Finland’s Lakeland district.


uopio is one of the most important growth centres in Finland. Located amongst hills and surrounded by Lake Kallavesi, Kuopio offers a wide range of sports activities. People who live in Kuopio have the chance to live very close to pristine nature. This pleasant environment attracts many professionals from various sectors to the Kuopio area. Nearly 250,000 people live in the Kuopio-Tahko area and the surrounding region, and around 600,000 people live in the greater Kuopio area. There are about 50,000 jobs in the Kuopio area, provided by more than 5,000 companies. North Savo is home to more than 200 export companies.

THE KUOPIO region, with its top research, skilled workforce and new areas under development and construction, interests many industrial companies from various sectors. Experts from numerous different professions are trained in Kuopio at Finland’s largest university (University of Eastern Finland), as well as at the modern Savonia University of Applied Sciences and other vocational educational institutions. These multi-talented experts are educated in co-operation with other educational institutions in addition to companies. The Kuopio “Science Park” campus is involved in internationally significant and networked research, education and product development. Many international conferences and events are held in Kuopio.


THE RETAIL industry and the health and

wellness industry employ the most people in the Kuopio area. Kuopio’s rapid growth has resulted in a lot of construction and building. Kuopio is known throughout Finland as an important municipal, educational, industrial and holistic service city. Kuopio emphasises preventative and welfare-promoting services. The Kuopio region is also part of a Europe-wide network of goods, tourism and creating professionals in areas. The clean water and air in Finland guarantee versatile and clean foodstuff production.

Business Kuopio 2017

FACTS ABOUT FINLAND • Finland is located in northern Europe, almost entirely above the 60 latitude line. • Border neighbours are Sweden, Norway, Russia and Estonia. • The world's best education system. • An equal and free society. • One of the safest countries in the world. • Thanks to high education and a stable economy, Finland is known for its innovation capability and a number of successful start-up companies. • Finns are experts in areas such as health and welfare, cleantech and bioeconomy, and ICT and tourism sectors.

A thriving


International success is reflected all throughout Kuopio’s growth. Investment and development projects, worth several hundred million euros and providing thousands of jobs, are ongoing. Below are some of the most current projects.

– 1 Savilahti Kuopio’s science park

Savilahti, which will be constructed as centres of advanced learning, innovation and workplaces, is the most prominent city development project in Eastern Finland as well as being one of the most diverse city development projects in all of Finland. Investments in the area's development have been estimated at 1.5–2 billion euros. The area is already an internationally recognised multidisciplinary education and research centre involving some 19,000 people. During the 2020s, Savilahti will offer an innovative environment for up to 35,000 people, of which about 15,000 will be jobs. Housing will be built for about 7,000 people and there will be up to 15,000 studying there. The area offers a holistic quality of life, combining work life and studying with living and leisure activities in the middle of pristine lakeside nature.


Business Kuopio 2017

Kuopio 2Kuopion Travel Centre – Portti The large Kuopion Portti (Kuopio’s Gate) project's total investment is about 150–160 million euros. The aim is to create a significant business centre. The area will have 400–500 jobs and about 450–550 inhabitants. Kuopio’s railway station and main bus station are currently located there. Construction begins in 2018.

3 Mölymäki

Residential and commercial spaces will be built In connection with the current Central Sports Field. There will also be additional spectator stands built around the football field. The project’s total investment is 480–520 million euros. The area will provide 40– 60 jobs and 3,000 inhabitants. The construction will start in 2018 and will last until 2028. The Central Sports Field area’s new construction will last from 2022 to 2026.



The Savilahti area offers a holistic quality of life, combining work life and studying with living and leisure activities in the middle of pristine lakeside nature.

4 Sorsasalo Business Area

The largest industrial project being planned is FinnPulp Oy's biotechnology plant, which alone would bring investments of 1.4 billion euros to Kuopio's Sorsasalo area. It will be the world's largest coniferous softwood production plant. As a result of the plant’s construction, 5,700 jobs will be created in Finland, of which approximately 3,000 will be in the Northern Savo region. The indirect employment impact of the project is 3,400 jobs in Finland, of which 1,500 jobs will be created in Northern Savo. The finished plant employs about 200 people.

5 Kuntolaakso-Hatsala

The Kuntolaakso-Hatsala area project is worth 380–420 million euros. The area is close to the city centre and will serve as a location for homes, businesses, commercial services and leisure activities. 50–100 jobs will be created as well as homes for 2,500 residents. Up to 16-storey houses are planned to be built in the area. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 and will last until 2023. The area is currently home to the Kuopio Ice Hall, a swimming hall and a bowling alley. During the project, the Kuopio Ice Hall will be renovated and the swimming hall will be replaced, but the bowling hall will be shut down.

6 Kuopionlahti (Kuopio Bay) campus

The building of a new hotel and congress centre complex will offer new ways to organise Kuopio's music life, dances and various events. The project is estimated to cost 130–150 million euros. When the project is completed, there will be about 600 art students as well as 100–150 new jobs and residents in the area. Construction will take place from about 2020 until 2022. Currently the Kuopio Music Centre and the Lumit Art High School are located in the area.


Business Kuopio 2017

7 Tahko

Since 2010, more than 10 million euros have been invested in Tahko's year-round entertainment centre. By 2022, additional investments of approximately 30 million euros have been planned for the area. Tahko has more than 80 accommodation or tourism companies, providing a total of 8,500 beds in 1,200 holiday homes. Nearly half a million overnight stays were purchased in 2016. Of these, 22% were by international guests. Finland’s only truly year-round entertainment centre has a wide range of activities, including the longest stairs in the country. Located halfway to Lapland from Helsinki, Tahko offers visitors the opportunity to already experience the exotic north.

The vital strengths of the city include the University of Eastern Finland, which is the nation's largest university.

Various events held in Kuopio will attract people to the Kuopio region throughout the year.

Pure nature, thousands of lakes and the various seasons create a feel of northern exoticism.


A versatile industry structure and an excellent expertise support the success stories of Kuopio companies internationally. Finns are credible partners thanks to their good reputation, diligence and reliability.


Business Kuopio 2017



DESIGNERS FROM KUOPIO • JENNI RUTONEN DESIGN (JRD) • HANNA KORVELA • KATRI NISKANEN • LUMOAVA • MINNA SUURONEN DESIGN • PETRIFUN • RITVA-LIISA POHJALAINEN • STUDIO HALONEN The area offers all the same services, experiences and wonders as the Finnish Lapland, plus more versatile routes.


he Kuopio region is a unique combination of science, art, technology, industry and security. The city is known internationally as a significant centre of excellence. An example of this is the important research and development work at the Kuopio University Hospital (KYS), the University of Eastern Finland and other research institutes in the Kuopio “Science Park.” Top international level research areas in Kuopio are neurosciences, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, aerosols, climate change and human health. The city is a forerunner of wellbeing, health and safety expertise throughout Finland. The nation’s top areas are also translational cancer research as well as the research on the effectiveness of care and services. Other top areas include water research and the production, research and refinement of foodstuffs.

KUOPIO IS the growth centre in the entire Eastern Finland. This is due to the fact that Kuopio focuses on the positive develop-

ment of its population and jobs. The vital strengths of the city include a university (the University of Eastern Finland), and a vibrant university of applied sciences, both of which train a skilled workforce. In fact, the University of Eastern Finland is the nation's largest university. Opportunities, research institutes and start-up companies are constantly generating new business, business ideas, products and services. Much of the area's international high-tech companies are located in or near the Kuopio “Science Park.” Kuopio’s, and North Savo's, biggest export industries include the hard industries, construction, retail and tourism. In the Kuopio area, the industry’s turnover is better than the rest of the country. Total export sales in North Savo increased by 3.7 % in 2016. The value of exports was 1.828 million euros, of which 1.475 million euros was from the hard industries. The industry’s new boost will be from Finnpulp Oy's new planned biotech plant and the resulting related business. The


Business Kuopio 2017

Kuopio region is already a leader in energy and biotechnology. Nature and raw material resources are a major asset to the area. VARIOUS SPORTING, artistic and cultural events held in

Kuopio will attract people to the Kuopio region throughout the year. These include the Finnish Ice Marathon held on Lake Kallavesi at the beginning of the year, the Kuopio Dance Festival in the summer showcasing performances and alternative cultural event ANTI Festival in the fall. In addition to these, Kuopio’s well-known events include Puijo's Championships, Kuopio RockCock Festival and Kuopio Wine Festival as well as Kuopio Celebrates. Pure nature, thousands of lakes and the various seasons create a feel of northern exoticism. The Kuopio-Tahko tourist centre is the crown jewel of Savo’s tourism. The area offers all the same services, experiences and wonders as the Finnish Lapland, plus more versatile routes.

Highlights of major companies of the industry Bella-Boats Is the leading manufacturer of fibreglass motorboats in Finland and the Nordic countries.



Technology industry is the most important export industry in Finland. The companies in this industry constitute over half of the Finnish export.


n Kuopio, a city that has traditionally lived from forestry, one of the major industries includes wood processing as the paper and sawmill industry is developing towards biorefining technology and the development of wood-based environmental and energy technology. THE MAJOR businesses in the region are

specialised in machinery and energy technology, among others. The Kuopio region is a significant competence cluster of biotechnology and bioenergy, because the strength of the region lies in the combination of environmental and health research. The global

technology success of Kuopio comes from the forest. The technology industry focuses on the improvement of productivity and manufacturing methods with the help of information technology. THE BIGGEST export industry of North-

ern Savo is metal industry, which grew by over five percent in 2016. In metal industry, the largest share came from machines and equipment, which grew by 6.2 percent. In Northern Savo, the value of industrial export was the highest in the region of Ylä-Savo, where the increase was almost 10 percent. The industry is ex-


pected to have growth from the bioproduct plant to be established in Sorsasalo. WELLBEING AND health technology

is one of the fastest growing high technology export industries in all of Finland. Over 30 health technology companies operate in the Kuopio region. Health technology is expected to become a significant new growth industry. Gamification and digital services will become a major part of the competitiveness of health care. In 2016, out of all Kuopio export industries, health technology grew the most, even up to 12.3 percent.

Business Kuopio 2017

Betonimestarit Oy Supplier of concrete frames and elements, manufacturing and selling concrete elements for the construction of large and demanding facilities. Cross Wrap Oy World leader in manufacturing automatic wrapping machines and bale openers. Elemenco Oy Manufactures and builds housing and public buildings of prefabricated and horizontal elements. Genelec Oy A prominent family-owned company manufacturing sound systems. Hydroline Oy Finland’s leading family-owned company manufacturing hydraulic systems. Keitele Forest Oy Exports sawn goods and wood processing products. Myontec Oy Develops and manufactures sports shorts containing wellbeing technology with sensors measuring muscle load and degree of fatigue. Normet Oy Manufacturer of equipment and chemicals used in underground mining and tunnel operations. Ponsse Oyj One of the world’s leading forest machines. Powerflute Oyj Previously known as Savon Sellu, a manufacturer of corrugated packaging. Simetek Works Oy A company specialising in machine assemblies and maintenance. Yara International A production plant manufacturing fertilisers and phosphoric acids.




Exporting construction


The world rates Finnish construction expertise highly. Concrete elements, solutions, building blocks and the construction services that go with them combine to make up a top notch success story.


he story of BM group began in 1988, when Seppo Saarelainen and his partner bought out the bankrupt firm out of which Betonimestarit Ltd. was born. Nowadays the group also includes the investment company Invest Saarelainen Ltd. and BMS Engineering Ltd. which is responsible for educational export activities.

“OUR COMPANY’S greatest expertise lies in

element construction of large and demanding building projects, for example, business premises, shopping malls and arenas are our kinds of projects”, says BM Group’s Administration Manager Sirkku Saarelainen. BMS Engineering Ltd. takes care of educa-

as a consultant, or supply the entire factory on a turnkey basis. “Markets in developing countries are challenging. But we keep our doors open and want to do our best to share our expertise in element construction around the world,” Saarelainen explains.

tional exports abroad and in particular views African countries with interest. “Our experience with operating in the Indian market has furnished us with a good example of how projects in different countries can be got off the ground. The concept has served as a learning tool enabling us to understand what clients need and expect. Every country has its own unique culture and environment, but international projects share a common thread,” Saarelainen says. The company operates by assisting local constructors in building new element factories or rebuilding old ones. Finnish engineers can work alongside local engineers in the selection of machines and equipment. The company can also operate as a minority partner or

ANOTHER TOP priority for the company is the

launch of an internet training platform, which can be used to learn concrete element production from grass roots level upwards. In future it will also be possible for people to study the know-how required in professional or specialized qualifications. “Finnish expertise is highly rated in developing countries. Even though such qualifica-


Business Kuopio 2017

tions lack official recognition, western education has its own intrinsic value,” Saarelainen says. THE COMPANY’S operations abroad ha-

ve gained universal respect because of its reputation for professional staff, top notch expertise, an appropriate product range and the right kind of management. ”The future looks bright and our whole business sector is doing really well”, Saarelainen summarises. BETONIMESTARIT Vuorikatu 36, 2nd floor KUOPIO FINLAND tel. +358 20 743 3486


Healthy building with modular elements TEXT DIGIMAG/TEEMU VIEMERÖ


Building with wooden modular elements can prevent mould and mildew problems now and in the future.


lemenco Oy, a company from Kaavi established in 2004, specialises in building using modular elements, such as day care centres, schools, nursing homes, offices and outbuildings for sports fields. Customers include municipalities, cities and companies. With the company’s state-of-the-art modular building solution, Elemenco prevents moisture-related damage. “Mould, mildew and moisture damage can be caused by moisture that rises from the ground and penetrates through foundation and structures. For this reason, the modular element buildings we build have a wooden base, a so-called “rossi” base. It allows for air

circulation to keep the area ventilated and the base structures dry. The base has 300400 mm of insulation and floor heating. Beneath this is 800-1200 millimeters of ventilation space. The houses are designed and also manufactured indoors in Kaavi, 60 km from Kuopio. Finished modular elements will be transported to the building site, after which we will assemble to create the completed buildings,” says Antero Vartiainen, CEO of the company. THESE MODULAR element homes are easily

transported from one place to another and converted from one use to another. Houses manufactured in factory conditions are


re durable than a house built directly on site. Wood, brick or steel can be used to surface wood-framed houses. The company does not use concrete in its constructions – for good reason. “Concrete is the foremost cause of mould and mildew problems. Mould, mildew and moisture damage begins to emerge when concrete, water, wood, plastic and wool combine and the structure is not able to dry. For this reason, it is important that the houses be constructed so that they have room to breathe. The concrete will continue to dry even after solidification. The ventilated base allows the building to have a long life,” says Vartiainen. Business Kuopio 2017

IN 2016, the company expanded its business overseas by building a 1240-square-metre, 350-pupil school in Kherson, Ukraine. The school was built on humanitarian grounds in Ukraine’s conflict zone with funding from the Finnish government. To reach international markets, the company established a subsidiary, Elemenco International, which targets African countries such as Ethiopia and Zambia.

ELEMENCO OY Kirjekuorentie 1, 73600 KAAVI FINLAND tel. +358 400 720 279





Raimo Sonninen, CEO of Bella Boats

Kuopio is part of Finland’s gorgeous Lakeland district where pristine nature and water are everywhere around you. Due to its continuing product development, the reliable and strong Finnish boat is appreciated all around the world.


he story of Kuopio's Bella Boats Oy started in a garage and from a little boy's hobby. The founder of the company, Raimo Sonninen, was fascinated by everything that goes fast. A fascination of the water element grew into enthusiasm about boat racing, which led Sonninen to build racing boats in his garage. With the sale of one racing boat, he received payment in the form of fibreglass boat moulds. From that moment, the story of the leading boat manufacturer in Finland and all of Scandinavia began. Continuous product development has ensured that boats come with excellent features and the most striking design. Every detail is

carefully designed to improve the boat's usability and features. “Uncompromising Nordic design charms and pulls you in,” Sonninen sums up. Finnish boats are strong and handle the sea and the sharp waves on the lakes well. That’s why the seafaring features are excellent. “AT THE centre of the design, there is always a boater. Purposeful and well-finished details make boating fun, economical and safe,” says Sonninen. Thus, the existing boat collection, which is both dynamic and safe, was born in the wake of innovative solutions. The company has followed the current trends by adding aluminium boats to its


ge of products. Due to the change in consumer’s behaviour, a new product was created, the Falcon. Four years were used for its product development, and one and a half years were used to build this cutting edge boat. The result is a boat which is suitable as a normal, everyday boat as well as for fishing, transporting goods and water skiing. Its surface doesn’t need to be waxed or maintained, making it easy to care for. “Purchasing a boat has been made as easy as possible for the customer,” Sonninen says. “The purchase includes user training, a test drive and continuous support from the retailer.”

Business Kuopio 2017

TODAY, EXPORTS account for 80% of Bella’s turnover. Bella’s boats are available in 25 different countries, most notably the Nordic countries, especially Sweden, and the Central European countries. The most remote countries are China and Greenland. Throughout the years, Bella has built nearly 100,000 boats. At the moment, Bella is exploring the possibility to expand to new long-distance markets such as Hong Kong, Australia and the USA. BELLA BOATS OY Väliköntie 10, KUOPIO FINLAND tel. +358 17 288 3800



Cheers to the



beer culture

Kuopio is the biggest milk-producing municipality in Finland, and the quality of the milk from Savo is among the best in Europe.


n addition, plenty of beef, cheese, milk-based drinks and whey powders are produced in the region. Organic and local food production is heavily emphasised. The province of Northern Savo has traditionally also specialised in berry production, drink production and special plant production. The newest industry the region is investing in includes fish processing and fish products. Food competence goes hand in hand with biotechnology development. Experts in environmental technology are important cooperation partners for dairy farms. The food competence of Northern Savo is also appreciated abroad – the province was the first Finnish region to be selected as the European Region of Gastronomy 2020. Along with the recognition, Northern Savo will be turned into a nationally and internationally known food province. The total value of Northern Savo food export was approximately 47.7 million euros in 2016.

Highlights of major companies of the industry


When you add hops to the best water in the world you get the best beer in the country. Olvi is the most popular Finnish brewery with its wide range of drinks. Growth from the Asian market, particularly China, is their next step.

Savon Taimen Oy A group of fish farming companies formed by Hanka-Taimen Oy and its subsidiaries. Osuuskunta Maitomaa A dairy cooperative and the only dairy in Eastern Finland packaging liquid milk. K. F. Trube A traditional bakery making baked rolls and confectionery.


Pakkasmarja Oy Manufactures domestic, safe and healthy berry products.

he secret of the taste is in the purity of Iisalmi’s water and the natural location on Lake Porovesi’s banks, a serene area with no traffic and all four seasons guaranteeing fresh air. The genuine people’s relaxed attitude towards product development and brewing results in a great tasting beer. All of the beer’s raw materials come from nature. Studies have also shown that beer has health and wellness benefits.

VIP-Juicemaker Oy A manufacturer of 100% juice, soft drinks, juice concentrates and seasonal products. Lignell & Piispanen A company manufacturing alcoholic beverages. Olvi Oyj In addition to brewery products, manufactures energy, soft and recovery drinks. Kala-Lappi Oy A company manufacturing cold smoked fish products.


Business Kuopio 2017

Finland’s oldest independent brewery was established in Iisalmi in Northern Savo. It was established in the 19th century when Olvi decided to offer less strong drink options to people who had a taste for alcohol. Responsibility has always been important to Olvi PLC, since then right through to today. "We want to develop the entire brewery industry towards a more responsible direction and also offer non-alcoholic options,"


says Olvi's Marketing Dircetor Olli Heikkilä. Health trends have been taken into account by introducing more non-alcoholic and sugar-free alternatives to the market. New, fresh products have been added to the range of energy and soft drinks. Selections also include a variety of recovery and sports drinks which are popular with athletes. Olvi uses efficient, ecological manufacturing methods which save the environment. Only 2.5 litres of water are used to produce

rations in five countries. In addition to Finland, operations are in the Baltic countries as well as in Belarus. The concern has four subsidiaries: AS A. Le Coq in Estonia, A/S Cesu Alus in Latvia, Volfas Engelman in Lithuania and OAO Lidskoje Pivo in Belarus. The brewery concern continues to build a reputation in Finland and all around the world. Next, the prestigious brand seeks growth from the Chinese market. Famous brands kno-

one litre of beer. In addition, there is a unique bottle recycling system in Finland where you can get money for returning cans and glass and plastic bottles. The system was born due to and developed along with the brewing industry. “THE FINNISH beer culture is in the top

ten in the world, and the aim is to reach the top three. Finnish specialties are various ciders and long drinks,” says Heikkilä. Currently, the brewery has local


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wn internationally are, for example, A. Le Coq drinks, Sandels beers, FIZZ ciders, Health Lab wellness drink and Kane's Soda Pop soft drinks. Co-operation has also been made with Pepsi and the company has even had a Lordi cola in honour of Finland's Eurovision Song Contest victory in 2006.



Finnish fish


Finnish food is appreciated worldwide thanks to sustainable production and Finland’s pure nature. Northern fish have the taste of the artic and have a wealth of flavour. The fish’s route from the lake or the sea to the dining table is extremely quick.


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The journey of fish to the dining table




inland is known as the land of thousands of clean lakes and Kuopio is considered to be the Lakeland district’s capital. 42 million euros worth of Finnish fish is exported throughout the world. Finnish fish live their lives in fresh and clean waters. A food’s origin is an important factor for many people when choosing food products, and fish is no exception. Fish caught from the sea or the lake passes through the store's doors fairly quickly. The speed and temperature are the most important issues in the fish’s route from the water to the table. Fresh fish are kept cold all the time and are packaged in ice-filled containers immediately after being caught. After that, they are transported by refrigerated vehicles to processing plants and from there to the store. The fastest turnaround means that the fish caught today are already filleted, diced or smoked for sale tomorrow.

FISH FARMING is licensed and strictly regu-

lated in Finland. Healthy and large fish stocks in inland waters and coastal areas can withstand professional fishing. Finland has the highest fish consumption in the European Union. Fishing and utilising fish have very long




traditions in Finland. Fish products are associated with the image of cleanliness and freshness. Thanks to its sustainable production and cleanliness, the products are a sure choice from the customer’s perspective considering safety, consistent quality and good flavour. Finnish gourmet delicacies, such as blazed salmon and rainbow trout roe, especially glitter in the world. “The process of blazing salmon with a real fire is not done anywhere else in the world. The successful recipe’s ingredients create a delicacy which melts in your mouth with a unique aroma and long-lasting flavour,” says Vesa Lappi, Managing Director of Kala-Lappi Oy. “I am at least a fourth-generation fisherman in a long line of fishermen. Whenever I have time, I escape to a cabin to go fishing and enjoy the peaceful surroundings and nature,” Lappi sums up. The company, owned by Lapland, has rapidly grown as a processor and exporter of rainbow trout. Kala-Lappi has a wide range of rainbow trout products, some of which are cold-smoked, some raw-spiced and some blazed in front of a genuine fire in smoking boxes. The company originated from the passion of fishing and then turned into a business. Accompanied by carefully preserved recipes,

excellent quality control and self-developed unique manufacturing methods, high-quality delicacies are created. "In Finland, angling is every man’s right, so anyone can catch fish," says Lappi. FISH FROM Finland’s Lakeland district is currently exported to countries especially in Central Europe, such as Germany and France. Rainbow trout, which is popular among Finns, has also quickly become a favourite worldwide. In the future, Finnish fish will swim its way to tables in countries all around the world. Because of its health-promoting benefits, fish is recommended to be eaten twice a week. The most commonly caught fish in Finland are vendace, herring, sprat, perch and pike. K-CITYMARKET PÄIVÄRANTA Päivärannantie 18, KUOPIO Tel. +358 10 537 9600 Mon–Sat 8–21, Sun 10–21 KALA-LAPPI OY Tel. +358 45 1569 225


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Mast project collects useful information for dairy farmers TEXT DIGIMAG/ILPO LOMMI PHOTO PIXABAY

Finland produces cow's milk that is of top-quality by European standards.


he high quality is the result of the expertise of dairy farmers, strong traditions in dairy production research and counselling provided to farms, high-quality fodder, good animal health, favourable natural conditions and strict quality control. Almost all of the approximately two billion litres of cow’s milk produced in Finland is processed in dairies and larger milk production units and subject to their quality control. IN POHJOIS-SAVO, which is one of the most

important milk regions in Finland, milk production is developed, for example, with the help of projects funded by the European Union. One example of such projects is the

MAST project (systematic development of dairy industry and primary production) that ends in December 2017. MAST is the “umbrella project” for more specific development projects. MAST has improved the co-operation between ProAgria Pohjois-Savo, the Natural Resources Institute Finland and the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) in Pohjois-Savo by obtaining new information domestically and from abroad and providing it to the dairy farmers. Mika Repo, the MAST project manager from ProAgria Pohjois-Savo, says that participating in several international events and building professional networks has helped accumulate useful information, for example in relation to the issue of farm ownership change,


which is a problem for milk production and agriculture in general. “Many viable farms are struggling to find someone in their immediate or extended family to take over the farm. International co-operation has resulted in receiving good advice related to ways for buyers and sellers to find each other more efficiently, on buying farms and concerning management systems. The high quality of the Finnish dairy industry, well-being of farmed animals, quality chain approach and family farm model are interesting to counterparties abroad. In addition, the extensive development projects of our dairy industry are a novelty to our partners abroad,” says Mika Repo.

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HE SAYS the results of the MAST project will be available after the project completion, for example on the following website: In addition, ProAgria will use the result in its counselling activities. On the project’s website, there are more than a dozen video clips (in Finnish) providing information, for example on the best practices and methods applied in Denmark. PROAGRIA NORTH-SAVO Development Director Mika Repo, tel. +358 43 825 2679




Kuopio is the capital of the Finnish Lakeland, and it charms visitors with gorgeous sceneries, wideranging activities, and a vibrant atmosphere.


ourism is among Kuopio’s most important and fastest growing service industries. The lively Kuopio area is easy to access and explore. The Kuopio region is a hub for art, culture, and design. It is home to many of Finland’s influential brands and designers. The area’s capabilities have also gained recognition internationally, for example, when artist and designer Ritva-Liisa Pohjalainen held an art exhibition in the Pudong district in Shanghai, China, in October 2017. A STAPLE for 50 years, the Tahko ski resort is a popular destination with endless possibilities all year round. During the winter, Tahko visitors can ski, ride snowmobiles, ice skate, cross-country ski, and enjoy the winter wonderland in many other ways. Tahko’s ample offerings continue throughout the summer, when visitors can paddle, golf, fish, and water ski. Alongside its fastpaced activities, Tahko provides guests with


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a chance to relax and enjoy its wellness and spa services. In 2016, Kuopio placed sixth in the most popular cities to visit in Finland. It had 550,000 overnight stays, out of which 115,300 took place at Tahko. Business travelers spanned 31 percent of the tourism in the area. From January to June 2017, Tahko showed a 12-percent increase in overnight stays from the previous year. The latest countries whose visitor numbers are now tracked are Japan and China, with small numbers in overnight stays but notable growth compared to last year. FINLAND IS often ranked among the best

conference destinations in the world. Finns are experienced event organizers, so even the largest events flow smoothly and are characterized by excellence. Finland’s leading universities, specialized hospitals, and research centers attract international conferences.

Renowned education and research TEXT DIGIMAG/HETA JYRÄLÄ PHOTO PIXABAY


The Finnish education system is one of the best in the world. The educational establishments of the region operate in several international competence networks in Europe, as well as with Russians, Chinese and Japanese partners.

he University of Eastern Finland is one of Finland’s biggest and most multidisciplinary universities. For example, their research in forests and bioeconomy, climate change and national diseases are of top international level. The university produces the biggest number of physicians in Finland, as well as health experts of various fields. The Savonia University of Applied Sciences plays an important role in the higher education

of technology. It produces hundreds of engineers every year for the Kuopio region. In addition, they train plenty of experts and produce research and development services for the entire food supply chain. Savo Vocational College provides versatile training and development services. The majority of students receives vocational qualifications or a special vocational qualification as multi-form studies while working at the same time. The Emergency Services College trains

students for rescue services and international civil crisis management duties, among others. This is a national competence cluster, which trains the majority of the safety professionals of our country’s emergency response centres and rescue services. THE RESEARCH carried out at the Kuopio University Hospital is internationally renowned. The hospital is a forerunner in neurology and gene treatments, among others. Other strong


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clinical fields of research include diabetes, arteriosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. At the Kuopio University campus there are currently almost 7,000 degree students; in the University of Eastern Finland, 13 different lines of education can be studied. The Kuopio University Hospital trains annually about one thousand physician students and one thousand students of health sciences and care work. One of the largest universities of applied sciences, Savonia, offers altogether seven different lines of education.




97% of Kuopio's wellness technology or drug development products are exported. The region has a long history and networks both in Finland and internationally.


he sector’s largest employer is the Kuopio University Hospital (KYS). In addition, more than 30 health and wellness companies are located at the Kuopio Science Park. Within the chemical industry, there are approximately 20 companies working in the pharmaceutical and bio-industries. Kuopio's drug safety expertise has the interest of parties around the world. In the future, Savo-based companies will be seen especially in emerging countries where, in addition to drug safety expertise, food, water and environmental expertise also play a key role. The Kuopio region is a unique and constantly growing core of the security sector. The area's security companies and products are well-known worldwide. Companies in Kuopio specialise in everyday security and the management of social disorder situations.

Some significant companies in the industry NewIcon Oy A company focused on medical service automation. Reagena Oy A clinical diagnostic, biotechnological and chemical company. Medfiles Oy A pharmaceutical company whose services include, among others, drug development, analytical services and pharmaceutical development. Movet Oy A laboratory of animal diagnosis serving veterinarians, breeders and owners. Galena Pharma Oy A pharmaceutical factory specialised in contract manufacturing and packaging. Medikro Oy Designs and manufactures medical systems for the diagnosis and monitoring of lung diseases.


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The everyday security is, for example, the preparedness and adaptation for extreme weather conditions, the availability of clean water and energy, wastewater management, logistic fluency and crisis communication. The people-friendly city of Kuopio takes care of its residents and provides them with the opportunity to enjoy hobbies, easily accessible services, and work and study possibilities. Overall well-being is reflected in everyday life as a strong expertise in health care, as a relaxed lifestyle and as happy residents. The export of Finnish health technology increased by 9.7% from 2016 to a total of 2.11 billion euros. The growth in North Savo totalled 12.3%. Throughout the country, the health technology export value has grown to surpass that of energy technology.


A short history of Kuopio The area of Kuopio has been inhabited for thousands of years. Already at the beginning of the 20th century, Kuopio was an important industrial, educational and trading city, which also had direct foreign trade via the Saimaa Canal. During Finland’s time of independence, the city of twenty thousand inhabitants grew to over a hundred thousand people. We selected the most important events throughout the decades.











IN THE HISTORY of sports, the 80's


Applied Sciences was founded. It is one of the largest Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland and is networked with various educational institutions, businesses and research organisations. In 1992, the Kuopio Hall, which has a full-fledged football court, was completed. In addition to sports competitions and diverse sports facilities, the hall also organises fairs, concerts and other events. Puijo was given the opportunity to host the ski jumping World Cup event in February 1995 due to the mild weather affecting the ski jumping hills in Central Europe. The first Kuopio Wine Festival was held in 1997. Technopolis’s Bioteknia 1 and 2 buildings were completed in 1994 and 1999.



are marked by the organisation of the 1983 World Youth Skiing Championships in Puijo, for which the K-90 ski jumping hill was built, and the birth of the Finland Ice Marathon, which has been organised annually since 1984. In the 1980's, one of Kuopio’s success stories in technological entrepreneurship is the birth of Technopolis Kuopio located in Savilahti. Kuopio City founded Kuopio Technology Center Teknia Oy in 1986. The building of Jynkkä and Neulamäki was started. One of the largest construction projects was the construction of the Petonen area which began in 1986. The area is inhabited by approximately 14,000 people. The Snellmania and Studentia university buildings were completed and studies in social services and clinical nutrition were also offered.

riod in the early 1950's, municipal housing production accelerated to alleviate housing shortages. At the same time, the economic growth of the municipality threatened to decline due to the disconnection of the Saimaa Canal and the deterioration of other traffic routes. In 1958, Kuopio Central Hospital was established. The intricate 10 storey building was considered a skyscraper at the time. On the opening day of 1 January, 1959, the first surgery in the modern operating theatre was performed in the hospital. 1959 The Coronation Trot, ”Kuninkuusravit,” was held at Kuopio's old racing track for the first time. The Coronation Trot originated in Lahti in 1924 and has been circulating around Finland ever since.

as the construction of a central hospital and a vocational school project, helped boost growth in the 60s. Regional mergers and the migration trend from rural areas to cities in the 1950s and 1960s in Finland had a positive impact on Kuopio's development. In 1963, Puijo's current 75-meter-high tower with a revolving observation tower was also built. Building Kuopio’s suburbs began in the 1960s, first with the construction of Puijonlaakso and then Särkiniemi.

loniemi and Levänen. The opening of the Kuopio Vocational School in 1972 brought many young people to Kuopio as well as new opportunities for the development of the city. The University and the University Hospital propelled and sustained the city’s growth despite the economic difficulties in the late 70s and the recession in the early 90s. One cultural event in the 1970s was when the Kuopion Yhteisteatteri became Kuopio City Theatre and, above all, the Kuopio Dance Festival was born. The construction of Kuopio’s ice hall, where KalPa plays its home games was completed.


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constructed starting in the 2000s. Since 2008, the technology centre has been part of Technopolis Plc. Nowadays, around 200 ICT and wellness technology companies and communities are located at the technology centere. The municipality of Vehmersalmi, located 50 kilometers from the centre of Kuopio, became independent from Kuopio’s rural municipality in 1922. However, it became Kuopio’s 32nd borough when it merged back into Kuopio in 2005. Saaristokatu, the road which runs between the islands across Lake Kallavesi and connects the centre of Kuopio and the Archipelago City, was opened in 2008.

merged with the University of Joensuu in the beginning of 2010 to become the University of Eastern Finland. It is one of the country's largest and most diverse science universities, including 13 disciplines and more than 100 majors. In the Alatori project, started in 2010, the parking area under Kuopio’s market place was expanded to accommodate 1200 parking spaces. At the same time, a glass pavilion was built to replace the fish market wing in addition to the Apaja shopping centre located under the market. The Martti Ahtisaari's school, named after one of Finland’s former presidents, opened its doors in Saaristokaupunki (Archipelago City) in 2011.




Many prominent Finnish people have come from Kuopio. They have influenced the identity of Finns and changed Finland's image around the world.

MINNA CANTH was a multi-talented woman in the late 19th century. She was a writer, the first Finnish-speaking female newspaper owner, a single parent of seven children and a businesswoman. However, she was best known as the women’s voice representative and promoter of women's rights.

MARTTI AHTISAARI, the tenth President of Finland, also grew up in Kuopio. He was president between 1994 and 2000. Ahtisaari has acted internationally as an Ambassador, UN Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General and as a peace mediator around the world in, for example, Namibia, Kosovo and Indonesia. In 2008, he became the first Finn to receive a Nobel Peace Prize.

JYRKI KATAINEN is a politician from Kuopio and a European Commissioner. He served as Finland's Prime Minister from 2011 to 2014 and before that as a Member of Parliament and the President of the Coalition political party (Kokoomus).


KUOPIO'S SPORTS CULTURE is characterised by a wide variety of different sports and successes. Hannes Kolehmainen put Finland and Kuopio on the world’s map in long distance running. Arto "Tintti" Tiainen is a successful skier and Olympic medalist. Savo’s volleyball players garnered their reputation and have played on professional teams all over the world. KuPS Volley from Kuopio and Tarmo from Varkaus are the volleyball teams from Savo which have been successful at the national level. From the current top athletes, javelin thrower Antti Ruuskanen has won the heart of the Finnish people. Ruuskanen's first medal was bronze at the European championship’s under 19-yearold category in Tampere in 2003 when Finns won all the medals. Finland is a hockey country. The ice hockey team KalPa has produced an impressive number of successful hockey players. Sami Kapanen, Kimmo Timonen and Olli Jokinen all reached the star level in their

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long NHL careers. The Kapanen family from Kuopio is a real hockey family. Sami’s father, uncle, brother and even his own son are successful players. Kimmo Timonen was able to crown his career as the winner of the Stanley Cup. Jarmo Kekäläinen made history by becoming the first European to be elected as CEO in any NHL organisation (Columbus Bluejackets). Kuopio is also the birthplace of many Finnish entertainers, such as the singer and songwriter Jenni Vartiainen, who has received many awards in Finland. Her albums have sold over 260,000 copies in Finland and she is one of Finland's most successful artists. Marko "Marco" Hietala, a well-known bassist and singer from the bands Nightwish and Tarot, comes from Savo. Nightwish is the most successful Finnish band in the world and has sold more than eight million albums. Olli Herman, originally from the Savo region, is the singer of the rock band Reckless Love.


We invite you to the second Tahko Ski Lift Pitch startup event which will take place on 12–13 April 2018 in Kuopio. Make your dreams happen at

Europeans come up with good ideas which bring about advances in health, education, the environment, transport, digital technology and many other fields. These ideas can benefit us all, but they need support. European Union investments lead to innovation, more jobs and economic growth. Read how at



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In Kuopio, Finland has a lot of international know-how that belongs to the world. The Business Kuopio is an publication focusing on business...