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Turku Southwest Finland

Pyhäranta Loimaa

Laitila Uusikaupunki

Kustavi Taivassalo





Nousiainen Masku


Raisio Naantali TURKU


Koski TL Somero

Tarvasjoki Marttila Lieto


Paimio Salo






Expert team: Matti Jussila, Sanna Kupila, Veikko Laakso, Paavo Okko, Timo Soikkanen, Henri Terho, Teppo Vihola, Kirsti Virtanen. Publisher: Turku Region Development Centre and The Industries and Know-how of Southwest Finland Showroom Project. Publishing team: Turku Region Development Centre: Hannele Haapam채ki, Hele Kaunism채ki (coordination), Niko Kyyn채r채inen, Aino Ukkola. Producer: InnolinkPlace Ltd: Aino Jalkanen, Henna Leino, Ioanna Mavromichalis (text), Kaisa Ruohonen, Juuso Suominen. Published: 09/2014 Cover photo: School ship Suomen Joutsen 1949. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku.


Declaration of Christmas Peace at Brinkkala Mansion in 1999. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Martti Puhakka.



INTRODUCTION TO THE STORY OF KNOW-HOW IN SOUTHWEST FINLAND... 8 TRADING TO THE EDGE OF THE EARTH AND BACK.................................... 12 FINLAND’S NUMBER ONE TRADING CENTRE AND PIONEER IN LOGISTICS........................................................... 14 MONEY MAKING TURKU.................................................................. 16 BY SEA, RAIL, AIR AND ROAD.......................................................... 19 LOGISTICS – THE SUCCESS FACTOR OF TRADE.............................. 23 OF SEA AND METAL.................................................................................... 24 SEAFARING, IRONWORKS AND DOCKWORKERS.............................. 26 TURKU BECOMES A CITY OF SHIPYARDS........................................ 28 PROFICIENT IN VEHICLES .............................................................. 31 CRUISERS FOR THE WORLD, A-CLASS MERCEDES BENZ AND HIGH TECHNOLOGY.................................... 35 TURKU REPRESENTS THE FUTURE OF THE MARINE CLUSTER........ 36 TECHNOLOGY AND DATA STREAMS............................................................ 38 RADIOS, TELEVISIONS AND TELEPHONES FROM SOUTHWEST FINLAND.......................................................... 40 TECHNOLOGY FOR HOSPITALS, CLASSROOMS AND THE STREETSCAPE.......................................... 42 FUTURE TECHNOLOGY IS BEING DEVELOPED TODAY..................... 44 IN THE NAME OF WELL-BEING................................................................... 48 FROM A MEDIEVAL SICKROOM TO A HOSPITAL............................... 50 NUMBER ONE IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY....................... 52 DIAGNOSTICS INNOVATIONS AND SUPERSTARS OF MEDICINE........ 54 HEALTHY CHEMISTRY AND APPETISING PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT............................................................... 55 TECHNOLOGY, TURKU SCIENCE PARK AND AURIA BIOBANK INSPIRE THE FUTURE OF THE WELFARE SECTOR............ 57 A BUFFET OF FOOD EXPERTISE................................................................. 58 FROM NATURE ONTO YOUR PLATE.................................................. 60 STORIES OF SWEET SUCCESS........................................................ 62 CANNED GOODS AND CONSERVED DELICACIES............................. 65 CHEERS TO THE BEVERAGE INDUSTRY........................................... 66 PROMOTING FINNISH FOOD CULTURE............................................. 67 GOOD FOOD IS A JOINT EFFORT..................................................... 69 CREATIVE BUSINESS AND ARTISTIC INDUSTRY........................................... 70 WORDS AND IMAGES...................................................................... 72 A CELEBRATION OF ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN........................... 75 STAGES AND LIMELIGHTS............................................................... 80 FIRST AND FOREMOST A CULTURAL CAPITAL.................................. 83 WHERE DOES THE STORY GO FROM HERE?............................................... 84 WELFARE FOR THE FUTURE............................................................ 86 BLUE ECONOMY, GREEN ECONOMY................................................ 89 INSIGHTFUL URBAN ENVIRONMENT................................................ 91 TOWARDS NEW ADVENTURES......................................................... 93


Aura River, fishing harbour beneath Pinella restaurant in the turn of the 1900s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / St책hlberg






he city of Turku and the surrounding region have always been an affluent area. The region’s success is based on its diverse economic structure, collaboration between universities, businesses and the public sector and on the solid tradition of research and development work welling from this symbiosis. This background has provided the courage necessary for pioneer work. The world has seen many changes over the years and the effect of history is evident in Southwest Finland. Experience creates layers and depth. These strong foundations serve well for building both something familiar and safe, as well as something completely new and unparallelled. The Turku region’s story is written as a continuation to what has already occurred, and the past has an influence on the future. Fortunately there are plenty of good stories to tell about the know-how in Southwest Finland. There were settlements by the River Aurajoki, on the shores of the Finnish Archipelago Sea, long before the Common Era. People have been catching fish from the sea for thousands of years, and the area surrounding the river was already populous during the Iron Age. Finnish history began in Turku and the surrounding region, Southwest Finland. Before Finland (Suomi in Finnish) became established as a wider area and a state, the word referred specifically to the region populated by south-western Finns. Even the city’s name speaks of the central role Turku played: it originated from the Russian word torgu, meaning a market and trading place.

Turku has had a significant influence on almost all fields of culture.

Little by little, Turku grew. It became a town and a capital, each the first of its kind in the country. The Cathedral School, founded in the Middle Ages, started higher education in Finland, and thanks to the founding of the Royal Academy of Turku, Finns have been able to study at a university in their own country since 1640. Turku can be proud of its educational portfolio to this day: now the city has four universities of applied sciences and two traditional universities, of which the Åbo Akademi University is the only Swedish speaking university in Finland. Turku has had a significant influence on almost all fields of culture. The reason why Southwest Finland has been the first, greatest or most important in many things is mainly geographical. Due to its port and its western neighbour Stockholm, Turku’s position became established as the gate to the western world for other Finnish regions. And so people, innovations, ideas and influences arrived in force to the valley of the River Aurajoki, and south-western products and people found their way to the world. The know-how in the region increased, and south-western Finns learned and adopted new skills and conventions, from making bronze and breeding plants to trading and Christianity. At the same time, many kinds of know-how became rooted in their everyday lives and have since been cultivated and grown. It was from these competences that the revolution of the mobile phones, the hormone coil that transformed medicine, the functional Xylitol chewing gum, the impressive Helsinki Music Centre and the world’s most stunning cruisers originated. But success stories are not just history. Impressive things are being prepared and completed right now on drafting tables and in meeting rooms in Southwest Finland. Time will tell what kinds of fruit this know-how will bear in the future.


Internationality has always been a part of everyday life in this important commercial port. In the Middle Ages, peasant sailors, as well as more affluent ones, sold their produce at foreign ports. The region’s strong bilingual traditions also help to explain its prevalent positive attitudes to internationality. In today’s officially bilingual Turku, 86% of the residents speak Finnish, 5.4% speak Swedish and 8.8% other languages (2012) as their mother tongue, and more than a hundred different nationalities are represented in the city. It’s only natural that education and research have always been highly valued in Finland’s first university town. A pragmatic attitude to research and development is prevalent: making information available, and thus exploitable for people and companies, is a priority. The region’s companies work in close cooperation with each other and educational establishments and research institutes.

Making new information exploitable is a priority.

Diversified know-how is a richness. It results in a wide-ranging supply of occupations and in success being built in an interdisciplinary way across branch limits. Wide-ranging competences bring stability to economic life and create new interfaces between different fields. Innovative products and services increasingly take advantage of and combine the know-how and opportunities of different sectors. Throughout history, an enterprising attitude and an education system that encourages people to become entrepreneurs have helped people to turn words into actions and make their dreams come true. The long traditions of internationality and the region’s strategic location between the east and the west will continue to be factors that ensure the region’s success. Diverse know-how has its own story. The journey has been long and eventful, and Southwest Finland’s culture, pioneer spirit, internationality, education and research, as well as chance, have all played a part in it. Best of all, the story continues day by day. Welcome along for the ride.

The inauguration procession of the Royal Academy of Turku on its way to a service held in Turku Cathedral June 15th 1640. Albert Edelfelt 1902. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Martti Puhakka.


The University of Turku campus area. Photo: The University of Turku / Hanna Oksanen.




AND BACK Grocery and general store T. Oiva at H채meenkatu 68 in 1929. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / H. Attila.



riginally the word turku meant a trading place. The name of the city comes from the Russian word torgu, meaning a market. To distinguish this market from others, it began to be called Turku of Finland (Suomen Turku in Finnish). As the name suggests, trade has always played an essential role in the life of the city and the surrounding county. Today, states and companies live on exports, and internationality is the default. Due to the efficiency made possible by technology, a huge amount of goods and people travel by land, sea and air constantly. The more there are people and products travelling from one place to another, the greater is the need for logistics, and the larger the company, the greater the significance of logistics to its competitiveness. It has been estimated that large trading companies today get approximately 43% of their competitiveness from logistics and industrial enterprises about 35%. No wonder then that it’s one of the strongest lines of business in the Turku area. The most important factors for logistics are an efficient operating environment, skilful workforce and, of course, location. In comparison to countries with a low level of costs, companies operating in Finland appreciate the steady and predictable operating environment. Southwest Finland’s long history as the centre of trade and its status as the gate between the east and west has embedded a great deal of logistics know-how in the region and helped to ensure that the basics are in order. In addition to this, this economic zone with its 310,000 residents and millions of people at a day’s travelling distance are convincing evidence of purchasing power.


Finland’s Number One Trading Centre and Pioneer in Logistics

Economic regulation confirmed Turku’s standing. As part of the kingdom of Sweden, Southwest Finland and Turku were an important economic, administrative, judicial, religious and educational centre, and Vyborg was the only Finnish town besides Turku to be named a first class staple port that had the right to receive foreign traders. In the 17th century, the state decided to develop the country’s economy. While previously all towns had been able to trade abroad freely, the trading and sailing regulations of 1614 and 1617 were designed to strengthen the position of Turku and Stockholm in trade. At the same time, European influences, such as urban culture, mansions and ironworks became more common in Southwest Finland and the whole country. The most important trading places were Stockholm, Denmark and Lübeck, where timber, tar, farm products and iron products were transported and sold. For the journey home, ships were loaded with salt and fabrics, among other things.

Historians tell us that, in the Viking Age, the inhabitants of the archipelago and coast traded with people from the Öland and Gotland islands (off the coast of Sweden) who sailed the Baltic to sell their goods. Little by little, Finns in this region began to follow their lead and took their trade to foreign ports. Both the middle classes and peasants loaded their boats and ships with fish, fur, pelts, timber, butter, animals and boats. From the Baltic countries they brought mainly grain and salt, while from Sweden they also transported ironware. Fishermen from Turku was the archipelago the 3 rd most acted as freighters important port and managed in the kingdom other people’s of Sweden. shipments for a fee as early as the 15th century, travelling from Southwest Finland and the Åland Islands to Stockholm, the Baltic countries, Tallinn, Narva, Riga and Pärnu.

Although ironworks became common in the 17th century and industrialisation didn’t start until the end of the 19th century, extensive cottage industry activities were widely practised in Southwest Finland, even before factories existed. Large scale manufacture of wooden dishes had made the northern part of the region known as far as the trading towns of Northern Europe and had even given it a name. Wackafinnar was the Swedish name used for the Finns from this area who produced large volumes of wooden articles for daily use, as well as goods that proclaimed their user’s status. Both of these were in great demand in the Baltic trading centres. Many skilful people were involved in the manufacture of wooden dishes; and villages, homes and families often specialised in a certain product or working stage. Some of the products were designed to be stacked inside each other so that as much of them as possible could be loaded on the deck, which carried duty-free goods. Old bills of entry reveal that tens of thousands of products were exported per year, and in 1793, for example, more than 75,000 articles were loaded onto ships in the Uusikaupunki port. Records show that in 1556, Eric XIV of Sweden ordered 30,000 wooden bowls

In the 16th century, Sweden – which then included Finland – was at war with Russia, and the government needed more sources of income. Exports, seafaring and economic regulation were seen as the solution. To facilitate monitoring and taxation, permits from the authorities became compulsory when establishing a factory, the number of traders and workers was restricted, trading became the right of towns and foreign trade centred around staple ports.


Parts for wooden dishes (called vakka) being prepared for production by vakka master Aksel August Julin in Mietoinen in 1932. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.


in one batch. Wooden dish manufacturing was a significant means of livelihood in Southwest Finland for 500 years, and it can be said that industry, production line work, logistics planning and standardisation has been practised in the region to some extent since the 15th century. Thanks to the region’s broad foreign trade and seafaring, in 1616 Gustav II Adolf established a new town in the northern part of Southwest Finland called Uusikaupunki.

the end of the century, Turku was the third most important port of entry in the kingdom of Sweden after Stockholm and Gothenburg.

Money Making Turku After Finland was incorporated into Sweden, squirrel skins slowly made way to coins (around the 12th or 13th century). This happened on the Åland Islands at the end of the 13th century and on the mainland during the 14th century. In the 15th century, one of the most important mints in Sweden was located in Turku, and the town even had its own currency. Coins were probably minted in Turku Castle and they were called abo. A Finnish translation of the New Testament

Due to its staple rights, wide commercial area and good connections, Turku was at the forefront of Finnish trade at the end of the 18th century. In Europe, ships from Turku carried their cargo to and from towns in the Baltic, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, but also further afield as far as the West Indies, the Caribbean and North America. At

Finnish business college second year students during the academic year 1908–1909. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku.


by Mikael Agricola from 1548 makes a reference to the Finnish word for the currency: kuusinainen. In 1657, Johan Palmstruch founded a bank in Stockholm and six years later it opened a branch in Turku. This bank made trading easier because it granted certificates against payment with precious metal coins. Carrying metal coins was awkward and therefore a certificate of deposit simplified trading considerably. Soon the bank began to give credit notes too, and it can be said that this made it the first bank in the world to handle notes. But as sometimes happens to forerunners, the bank’s activities were too ahead of its time and the bank failed. The first Finnish bank, Turun Diskontolaitos, only operated from 1806 to 1808 due to the Finnish War starting. The Waihetus-, Laina ja Depositioni-Contori, which later became the Bank of Finland, opened its doors in 1811 in the Brinkkala house in Turku. The renovated Vähäväkinen house of Turun Osuuskauppa co-op in 1938. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.

Because Turku was the most Locals have important centre engaged in of trade in Finland at the extensive end of the 19th foreign trade century, the for centuries. first commercial school in the country was established in the town in 1839. This school was a forerunner of education in many ways, including equality – the school accepted female students in 1870, even before schools in Sweden did, and for the next 35 years 45% of the almost thousand students admitted were women.

into effect in 1901, Turku was the first town to see the establishment of a co-operative shop, the Vähäväkisten Osuusliike, now known as Turun Osuuskauppa. Particularly in the countryside, co-operative banks were being created at a rapid pace. To celebrate Turku’s 700th anniversary, the town’s trade got a boost from its first ever general trade fair in 1929. Turku’s position as the Finnish pioneer of the financial field, the forerunner of education and an important trading centre are proof that there have always been notable business people in Southwest Finland. Although internationality is often considered a modern idea linked to globalisation, it has been the mode of operation in Southwest Finland for a long time, as attested by the fact that people from the region have engaged in extensive foreign trade for centuries. One of the parties rising to the challenge today is the University of Turku’s School of Economics, which was established

Axel Wiklund, who had moved to Turku from Helsinki, opened a hardware shop in 1895 by the market at the junction of Eerikinkatu and Kauppiaskatu. The shop was exceptional: it was the town’s first department store where customers were able to browse and touch the products by themselves. When the Co-operative Business Act came


Steamboat Maurits Holmberg arriving at Orssaari dock in 1909 in Karuna, present-day Sauvo area. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku.


to meet the demands of commercial and industrial life and which to this day is known for its close connections to the business world. The educational establishment is home, for example, to the Pan-European Institute (PEI), the Global Innovation Management master’s programme and the Finland Futures Research Centre. Some of the key subjects of research at the school are business know-how and innovation.

By Sea, Rail, Air and Road Steamships made marine transport regular, which brought more opportunities for both passenger and freight traffic. Finland’s first steamer connection abroad came about when the Swedish company Solide started to ply between Turku and Stockholm in the summer of 1836. A couple of decades later, the shipping company Åbo Rederi began a service between Salo and Uusikaupunki for the benefit of the residents of the archipelago and coastal villages. Yearround shipping was brought by Ångfartygs AB Bore whose ship Bore ran between Turku and Stockholm from 1898. The company also acquired the first private ice-breaker in the country to ensure that the shipping lanes stayed open in winter. As a continuation to their joint traffic agreement, the shipping companies Bore, Suomen Höyrylaiva Oy and the Swedish Svea founded Oy Siljavarustamo Ab Siljarederi, the predecessor to the passenger transport company Silja Line.

The old Turku railway station, inaugurated in 1876, pictured from the tracks. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku.

For a long time international trade was limited to ports, and both people and cargo travelled by sea. As technology advanced, larger and larger loads were carried faster and faster also by rail, roads and air. The first railway connection in Southwest Finland was finished in 1876. The route travelled from the Turku port through the town to the municipality of Toijala and onwards to Tampere and Helsinki. It simplified trading in the domestic market, as well the availability of timber. The service extended to Helsinki in 1903. The Turku railway station

Horse-drawn tram car on Linnankatu in the beginning of the 1890s. Turku Cathedral can be seen in the background. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Ståhlberg.


was one of the most significant station building projects of its time in the country. Besides the station itself, the railway environment required homes for the workers, a workshop area and a park area. At the end of the 19th century, horsedrawn tram cars were introduced, and the long and level Linnankatu road in Turku acted as its test line. By the 1890s, the country’s first horse-drawn tramline ran from the Cathedral via the Kirkkosilta bridge to the Linnankatu road, all the way close to the Turku Castle. Electric tram cars began to clatter along Turku’s roads in 1908. Engineer J. L. Stenroos bought a bus from Germany in the summer of 1905 with the intention of running it between Turku and Uusikaupunki. The stony, uneven roads turned out to be too rough for the vehicle, but in the spring of 1906 the bus ran along the Linnankatu road carrying passengers. It’s an interesting fact that in the early days of motor traffic, drivers announced their right of way by honking. Road signs brought a quieter traffic system to Finland and this was first introduced in Turku.

The Kauppatori–Raunistula line bus and its driver in Raunistula in 1933. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / H. Attila.

As air mail traffic increased, to complement seaplane traffic on the Ruissalo Island off Turku, plans to build an airport in the Artukainen district of the town for planes with wheels were initiated in the late 1920s. The opening ceremony in September 1935 was probably the largest public event in the years between the Civil War and the Winter War, attended by President Svinhufvud and 30,000 spectators. The Artukainen airport was the first civilian airport in Finland. Logistic innovations and the development of vehicles always have a significant influence on trade. While carting timber on lorries, the Terho brothers from Raisio began to consider ways of making the heavy and slow loading process easier and more efficient. They came up with a cable skip device that made it possible to change skips and use the vehicle for other runs while the skip was being loaded. The brothers patented their idea in 1947 and two years later founded their company Autolava Oy. With the switch to hydraulics, the development work continued and the result was a unique hydraulic motor that received several international

Building runway foundations at the Artukainen airport worksite in 1933. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.


Passengers stepping aboard a snowy tram (line 2) on Aurakatu in 1936. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Birger Lundsten.


Express air freight travels regularly from Turku. Photo: City of Turku.


wholesale trade, transport and distribution centres for any company that wants to optimise its logistics solutions. The companies in the region offer numerous Turku enjoys opportunities for the benefits logistics businesses of both – for example, the east Valmet Automotive outsourced many and the west. of its logistics operations to international HUB Logistics after it settled next door to the car factory in Uusikaupunki. Companies are also served by Freja, one of the largest privately owned transport and logistics businesses in the Nordic countries, and Postnord Logistics, which has 5,000 service points and 120 terminals all over the North. In addition, the region’s logistic advantage and affordable real estate, plot and housing prices make it an ideal place for online shopping businesses. Even if the market places of the future are located in virtual space, a good location makes it easy to trade all over the world.

awards. Still in use today and popular throughout the world, these skips and loaders are the basic tools of modern logistics and nowadays carry the name Hiab Multilift. They are still being manufactured and sold in Raisio.

Logistics – the Success Factor of Trade The demands for know-how in the fields of logistics and trade have increased due to the fact that economic life has steadily grown more active and as a result of technical innovations, diversified duties, increased mobility and the internationalisation of the operating environment. Turku and Southwest Finland have a diverse repertoire of educational opportunities, with alternatives ranging from a vocational upper secondary qualification to a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and from a master’s degree in business studies to further education. Turku offers opportunities to study in several languages. When compared, for example, to the Helsinki metropolitan area, employees of the logistics field in Southwest Finland are extremely committed and their turnover rate is low. As regards location, Turku and the surrounding area have always enjoyed the benefits of being between the growing markets of both west and east. The Turku region ports, train stations and airport are all close to each other, no more than a quarter of an hour’s drive away. The road connections within the country to Helsinki, Tampere and the north are excellent, and the region is conveniently situated along the Stockholm – St. Petersburg route. Turku’s port system is the number one in the country for general cargo, and TNT, UPS and DHL offer express air freight from the Turku airport. Best of all, you don’t have to sit in traffic jams in Turku. Located at the hub of the airport, the railway to Russia and China, the motorway to Helsinki and the E18 ring road, the LogiCity area lends itself excellently as a base for storage,



AND METAL Turun Veneveistämö Oy boatyard in the 1930s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Mauno Mannelin.



n a changing world, the maritime and metal industries have always managed to adapt and develop in order to meet international demands. Whether it’s vessels, technology or machines that are being manufactured, efficient production methods, top level know-how, unique innovativeness and superior design skills with references to prove it are some of the greatest assets of the maritime and metal industries in Southwest Finland. Turku continues to be the strongest centre of the marine cluster in Finland and it has the potential to become the leading centre of maritime innovations in Europe. In many ways, water and metal are the basic elements of Southwest Finland’s economic life. The region’s culture and livelihood have always been substantially linked to the sea, sea routes and its location on the coast, while its metal know-how has created services, products and techniques that have had an impact across industry boundaries. At first glance, prehistoric fishing equipment and the largest cruiser in the world don’t seem to have a lot in common, but looked at more closely, it’s clear that an Iron Age fisherman and the ship M/S Oasis of the Seas are both part of the same sea-scented story.


Teijo or Mathildedal ironworks, 1936. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Mauno Mannelin.

Seafaring, Ironworks and Dockworkers

region for a long time before the marine cluster, with its shipyards, workshops and engineering offices, arrived and offered work for thousands of people. In the Middle Ages, when seafarers used to sail close to the coast, the locals guided them to safe routes using navigation aids. Historians have proven that already then there were piloting activities and beacons on Finland’s southernmost island Utö in the Archipelago Sea.

Bronze casting came to the west coast of Finland from Scandinavia, along with barrows for burying the dead and their most important possessions. The Ice Age sealer village on the group of islands called Kökar demonstrates that the Finnish Archipelago Sea provided a living for Finns in this


Ironworks represent Finland’s oldest and most advanced actual industry. It all began in the 1540s when Finland was a part of Sweden, and King Gustav I authorised Erik Fleming, master of the Kuitia manor house in Pargas, to establish an iron mine. Although the first ironworks were located elsewhere in the country, outside the borders of Southwest Finland, their business activities were the responsibility of the Turku-based middle class with the most power, such as the originally Scottish merchant Jakob Wolle, Finland’s first ironworks owner Carl Billsten and the Dutch-born merchant-shipowner Peter Thorwöste. But Southwest Finland was not long without its own ironworks: in the 17th century, foundries were started in Dalsbruk, Teijo and Mathildedal, which are located 70–90 km south from Turku. In the diverse maritime and metal industries, collaboration is the norm and community spirit has always been strong. Founded in the 16th century in Turku, the goldsmith guild is thought to be the first trade guild in Finland. Later, factory communities sometimes even had their own church, day care or school at their staff’s disposal, and in the town blocks for the working class in the ironworks areas, neighbours were often workmates. Education was highly valued, and the compulsory school attendance in place at the Teijo factory, for example, is a good example of this. Right after the factory’s four-year school was started in 1869, the factory’s employees were obliged to put their children there. Although the know-how in the maritime and metal fields has a long history, industrialisation didn’t reach Finland until the 19th century, starting with the textile industry, which was represented in Southwest Finland by the Barker cotton mill and the Littoinen broadcloth factory. The forest industry became the largest industrial field in the country, and Southwest Finland responded to this trend by developing technological solutions, producing machines and offering logistics solutions. The dismantling of the regulation of the economy in the 1860s and 70s further expedited this development, resulting in wide-ranging growth of the metal and shipbuilding industry in particular.


Loading egg crates to be shipped out to Germany at Turku harbour in 1933. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.

Launching the Rigel at the Crichton-Vulcan shipyard in1936.Turku Cathedral and Martinkirkko church can be seen in the background. Photo:The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.

Turku Becomes a City of Shipyards Turku was a natural home for Finland’s maritime industry and so in the 1730s work was begun to build a boatbuilding yard in the town for repair docking. In the same decade, the experienced shipbuilding master Robert Fithie in England was invited to Turku, and the building of large sailing ships for Spain, among others, was begun by River Aurajoki. Before long, Fithie realised the rich potential and founded his own company, Kaupunginveistämö.

navy and private ship owners, and the industry grew further. In the summer of 1836, Turku became the first town in Finland to have a regular steamship line to a foreign country when the Swedish ship Solide started travelling between Turku and Stockholm. In 1844, the workshop Turun Konepaja responded to the growing need for steamers by starting to build machinery for mills, as well as steam engines and boilers. After the English engineer William Crichton, with his connections to St. Petersburg, became a partner in the company, the number of orders from Russia boomed and the workshop soon began to manufacture steamships.

The formation of the Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809 brought Turku commissions for ships both from the Russian

Before industrialisation, ships were mainly built of wood. There was no shortage of raw material in this land of

The Crichton-Vulcan shipyard in the 1930s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Mauno Mannelin.


The festively decorated submarine Vetehinen, that has just been launched at the Crichton-Vulcan shipyard, in the Aura River in 1930. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.

forests, and the material and the techniques required for working it were well in place. This allowed wooden ships to be built well, efficiently and economically, and the industry grew larger than ever. In addition to large ships, boats were also built from wood with great skill in Southwest Finland. An excellent example of this is the boatyard Turun Veneveistämö (Åbo Båtvarf in Swedish), established by Alexander Crichton on the island of Ruissalo right by the city of Turku in 1889. For a long time, the company was the largest boatyard in the Nordic countries, and its vessels were sold as far away as the Americas. The boatyard manufactured, for example, racing boats, pleasure yachts for the upper classes and minesweepers for the Russian navy.

Finland’s first submarine, Vetehinen, was also built in Turku. It was ordered from Crichton-Vulcan in September 1926 by Finland’s Ministry of Defence. The launch of the submarine was a special event, with flags all over Turku raised and the leaders of the defence forces, as well as President Lauri Kristian Relander and his wife, arriving on a special train to celebrate the occasion. Due to Prohibition, champagne was out of the question and so Mrs. Relander christened the submarine by cutting a blue and white ribbon. As Finland was obliged to pay Russia war reparations for over six years, for example in the form of ships and machinery, new orders for ships poured in between 1945– 1955, and Turku reasserted itself as the top shipbuilding site in the country. Crichton-Vulcan was the largest


Finland’s first tractor, Kullervo, is currently on display at Sarka, The Finnish Museum of Agriculture, in Loimaa. Photo: Sarka – The Finnish Museum of Agriculture.


shipyard in Finland, employing approximately 2,900 people in the early 1950s. At the same time, Valmet’s shipyard in the Pansio district of Turku employed approximately 1,000 people and Laivateollisuus, the largest manufacturer of wooden ships in the Nordic countries, employed 750 workers. It was during this golden age that possibly the most famous man in the history of the Turku port worked there: Mauno Koivisto, Finland’s President from 1982 to 1994, who acted as a stevedore supervisor for Oy A.E. Erickson Ab between 1949 and 1951.

a workshop, foundry and its own power plant in the mill’s courtyard area. Its fierce growth was based on product development; after all, Lindström was also known as the inventor of the pipe-bending machine and an adapter for a gas engine’s rotating valve. One day in 1910, Lindström is rumoured to have said to his men: “Boys, we’re going to build a car!”, and three years later, a car called Korvensuu was ready. The January 13, 1913 issue of the newspaper Uudenkaupungin Sanomat describes the maiden voyage of the first Finnish car and writes about Frans Lindström who drove it to Turku on the ice.

In the 1960s, the shipbuilding industry suffered from worldwide oversupply, and success in the business required dedicated know-how and specialisation. The Turku shipyards started to manufacture cargo ships, car ferries, refrigerated cargo ships, sea rescue tugboats, tanker ships, cutters, patrol boats and dry-cargo river craft. This concentration paid off: at the end of the 1960s, the three largest shipyards in Turku employed almost 8,000 people. With its 5,400 strong staff, Wärtsilä’s Turku factory was by far the largest employer in the city and, as a manufacturer of special-purpose vessels, it was one of the three largest in the world. A decade later, the company launched its manufacture of car ferries and luxury cruisers in the Perno district of Turku.

The story of the Finnish Alongside automotive shipbuilding, industry continued elsewhere in the Turku became region, because the leading bicycle the Korvensuu car manufacturer. was built as an example of skill and was never meant for serial production. The 1920s saw keen competition in bus bodywork manufacture between vehicle factory G. W. Wulff and the rim and wing factory, Suomen Vanne- ja Likasuojatehdas. After the Depression, the demand for buses grew, and in 1936 three bus operators co-founded the bodywork factory Autokori Oy. Also, the workshop Turun Konepaja, owned by the state railway company VR, was an important manufacturer of car bodies and at best employed almost 500 people. To this day, bus bodies are still built in Lieto in Southwest Finland.

Proficient in Vehicles Have you heard about the first car to be made in Finland? In the early 20th century, Frans Heikkilä, who had lived in the United States for some time, commissioned a car, which was built in the Alastaro district of Loimaa. Because nobody can say for sure what year this car was built, Heikkilä’s namesake Frans Lujala is considered the first actual car manufacturer in Finland. Lujala acquired the Korvensuu mill in Mynämäki in 1893, changed his name to Frans Lindström (because he deemed a Swedish name more appropriate for a manufacturer) and expanded his business successfully. Soon the company was manufacturing farm machines and kicksleds and assembling Reipas bicycles. It also built

The most diverse workshop in Turku was the ironworks company Turun Rautateollisuusyhtiö, which was established in 1857. It manufactured everything from steam engines and fire pumps to ferrules, spittoons and nails for shingle roofs. When it started to also make railway carriages, it changed its name to Turun Rautateollisuus- ja Vaunutehdas Oy (Turku Ironwork and Railway Carriage Factory). One of


the company’s most famous products is Kullervo, the first make of tractor to be built in Finland.

centre of bicycle manufacture. The new fields were early signals of the region’s power of innovativeness and product development know-how. The golden age of the bicycle industry also saw the birth of Aarne Harkke’s Pyöräkellari, the predecessor to his bicycle factory Tunturi, which is still in operation and known for its mopeds, as well as bicycles. In the late 1960s, the company entered yet another new field when it started making exercise bikes, which a decade later became its main product. In a little less than 30 years, Tunturi manufactured a million exercise bikes.

The first bicycle factory in the country was founded by Kustaa Merilä in the Nummenmäki district of Turku in 1904 and the second, Rautateollisuus Osuusliike Pyrkijä, opened two years later in the same town. Bicycles quickly became a hit, and the Turku factories produced bicycle parts as fast as they could. Kustaa Merilä is rumoured to have donated bicycle frames to his employees one Christmas with the words: “The other parts you’ve already taken!”

Saab-Valmet was founded in 1968 in Uusikaupunki in cooperation with Valmet and the Swedish company, SaabScania. The factory’s first car went to a distinguished owner: President Urho Kekkonen. The factory project was fuelled by the desire to increase car manufacture know-how in the country, offer jobs and build a network of

The bicycle factories in Turku gained ground in Finland in the 1930s, and at the end of the decade, almost 700 workers were employed by them. Alongside shipbuilding, the town also now found itself the country’s leading

Man pedalling his Tunturi exercise bike with his family watching. Photo most probably from the 1970s. Photo: TunturiHellberg Oy.


Bicycle factory Merilä, later known as Suomen Polkupyörä- ja konetehdas Oy, in the beginning of the 1930s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Mauno Mannelin.


Saab production at the Oy Saab-Valmet Ab factory in the 1970s. Photo: Valmet Automotive Oy.


subcontractors. The primary aim was to produce Saab cars for the Finnish market only, but thanks to their excellent quality and flexible production, the cars were in demand internationally. In 2005, the factory manufactured its millionth car, a red Porsche Boxster.

masterpieces include, for example, some of STX Finland’s largest cruisers, as well as M/S Oasis of the Seas and M/S Allure of the Seas, whereas the all-time environmentally friendliest ro-ro/passenger ship, M/S Viking Grace, which runs on liquid gas, represents the new wave of shipbuilding. The Valmet M/S Viking Grace Automotive is the world’s most factory in Uusikaupunki is environmentally now the only factory friendly in Finland that ro-ro/passenger ship. manufactures private cars, as well as the northernmost factory of its kind. The company has a contract for the production of more than 100,000 A-Class Mercedes-Benz cars between 2013 and 2016, and also extensive experience of the design and manufacture of electric cars. Loimaa-based Dinolift is one of the leading manufacturers of trailer-mounted lifts that allow people to

Cruisers for the World, A-Class Mercedes Benz and High Technology The shipyard in the Perno district of Turku is still the largest in Finland. Modern maritime industry comprises a wide scale of various fields of specialisation from engine production to the design of interiors and furnishings for vessels. Today, with most of the ship components being built elsewhere outside the shipyards, Turku’s competitive advantage is its tremendous project management knowhow and organisational skills. The marine cluster’s

The production of Mercedes-Benz A-Class started in Uusikaupunki in 2013. Photo: Valmet Automotive Oy.


Turku Represents the Future of the Marine Cluster

work above ground safely and effectively. The company has exported DINO lifts to more than 40 countries, and over 75% of its production is sold abroad. There are several top names in the metal industry that are based in Southwest Finland. In its category and size, the Loimaa-based Vilakone Oy is market leader in the manufacture of environmental management machines in the Nordic countries. Located in Uusikaupunki, Vahterus’s plate heat exchanger is a trailblazer in its field, and the Uutechnic company is impressive The giants rely both as a top expert in mixing on exports – their technologies products are used and as one of all over the world. the region’s most successful businesses. Throughout its 40 years of operation, Vallox in Loimaa has been a forerunner in the development of indoor air technology, and Pemamek is one of the world’s leading producers of automated welding solutions. Sandvik Mining and Construction in the Runosmäki district of Turku continues the traditions of the Auran Rautateollisuus ironworks factory and boasts the world’s most extensive device portfolio in the mining and earth construction industry. And so on and so on. The giants of the field make a living out of exports and their products are used in dozens of countries around the world.

Finland’s maritime and metal industries have always found a natural home on the coast by Turku. Since the opening of the first maritime academy in 1813, Turku has been the centre for marine education. With the region’s vocational institutes and six universities, the whole chain of education from basic competency to top research is available here. Considering the achievements the maritime and metal industries have made, the region has every reason to be proud. Little by little, these industries have moved from shipyards to factories, production plants and offices. Although there are less sparks, flashes and clatter in the harbour area than before, products and services in the field are still being developed, manufactured, marketed and sold at an impressive rate, most of them for export. Right now the focus is on digital development and environmental considerations, as well as on futurist-sounding solutions, such as floating buildings and districts.


The world’s largest cruise ships M/S Oasis of the Seas and M/S Allure of the Seas were both built in Turku. Photo: STX Europe.



The state telephone exchange in the end of the 1940s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.



oday, when technology, digital devices and the Internet cover all areas of life, it’s difficult to imagine what everyday life, work and industry used to be like before mobile technology. Of all lines of business, ICT is perhaps the fastest changing and most sensitive – a new innovation may change the whole field in one fell swoop, and you can never be sure what the world of technology will look like a year from now. Another special characteristic of the ICT field is that the person revolutionising it and shaking it up can be almost anyone, regardless of the size or public recognition of their enterprise, as long as their idea and its execution are good. Imagine the doors this opens! One by one the telephone, radio, television, computers, information networks, mobile devices, software and applications have become more and more popular in Finland and the rest of the world. In Turku and the surrounding region, the endless possibilities offered by technology have inspired inventors to work on all sorts of devices and applications. At the end of the day, behind quite a few important development steps and inventions, there’s a McGyver -type person or a group of McGyvers from Southwest Finland.


Radios, Televisions and Telephones from Southwest Finland

One of the pioneers of Finnish electronics was Arvo A. Sakrelius who, at school, became interested in chemistry, physics and electricity and who moved to Vyborg at the age of 15 to work as an assistant in an electrical supplies shop owned by a relative of his. Two years later he returned to his home town as a qualified electrician and started to build radio sets in his cellar. In 1922, only a year after the world’s first radio broadcast, Sakrelius finished his first radio. He named it ASA after his initials and founded Asa Radio Oy five years later.

The first telephone exchange in Finland was founded in Turku in 1881, led by sea captain Frans Nordfors. The private telephone line ran between the loading bay in the port and Nordfors’s Kaskenkatu office. The very next year, a larger public telephone company with three switchboards, each with 50 numbers, opened in the Aurakatu street. The end of the 19th century also saw Finland’s first communications sea cable to Sweden laid in the sea off Uusikaupunki. It wasn’t until after the turn of the century, however, that things really started to shift.

The same decade, the Finnish army and radio amateurs started their radio activities in Finland, and several small radio workshops began to spring up. The most notable of these was Radioliike Nordell & Koskinen whose owners, Fjalar Nordell and Lauri Koskinen, first sold their radio

Children and Uncle Markus (Markus-setä) recording a radio programme in 1938. Photo:The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.


sets themselves from door to door. After the national broadcasting company Yleisradio was founded in 1926, demand skyrocketed. In 1936, Olavi Laakso replaced Koskela, and the company introduced the Salora brand. The name came from the words Salo for the town of the factory and radio, and after the brand became a household name the company changed its name to Salora too.

With Nokia, the focus of this line of business in Southwest Finland shifted from radios and televisions to information technology and phones, this time mobile ones. Mobira’s Talkman (1984) was the world’s first mobile NMT phone, while Mobira Cityman 900 (1989) was one of the first compact mobile phones in the world and it was based on microchip technology. Nokia advertised it as a futuristic product: “The smallest and therefore greatest thing ever invented in phone technology. Mobira Cityman. A time machine. A direct connection. For people who appreciate privacy.” The designs of Salora’s and Mobira’s NMT phones also originated in Southwest Finland and were mainly the work of Turku-based ED Design.

By 1935 Asa Radio employed 120 people and had moved to a factory building at Yliopistonkatu 12 in Turku. Shortly after that the company opened branches in other towns and delivered 12,000 radio sets per year to retail shops. At that time, the radio represented the latest technology and cost about as much as a labourer’s gross salary for three months. Asa and Salora were true The importance of trailblazers in south-western knowFinland. Their how on Nokia has success was been considerable. based on their knowledge of the technology, the selfsufficiency of their production and their agility – in such a fast-changing field, the ability to create something new all the time is vital. Finland’s first portable radios (1939), fully domestic record players (1950), stereo amplifiers and car stereos (1965), among others, can be attributed to Asa, while Salora produced the country’s first VHF radios (1953) and televisions with a domestically built circuitry (1956) and manufactured two-way radios for the armed forces and fire brigades. Every second television in Finland was adorned with the Salora logo in the 1970s, and the proportion of exports in the company’s sales was more than 70%. The stories of both these giants of electronics ended in corporate acquisitions. Asa Radio Oy was bought by Oy Lohja Ab in 1979. Nokia and Salora co-founded the radiotelephone company Mobira in 1979, and five years later Nokia bought out the whole company.

Having run into trouble in the early 1990’s, Nokia negotiated with Ericsson at the Arlanda airport in Stockholm about the possibility of a corporate acquisition. The Swedish company was interested in Nokia, but insisted that all consumer electronics be eliminated from their operations. Nokia

A still ad for the ASA 433 radio shown in the cinema from 1933 to 1934. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku.


refused and the deal was off. Fortunately, as it happens, because otherwise all this wouldn’t have happened: Nokia’s pocket-sized mobile phones entered the market in 1992, the GSM network raised signal strength to a new level, bit by bit mobile phones took over the consumer market and Nokia became the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer. At the same time, it made Finnish electronics know-how world-famous. Although Nokia doesn’t come from Southwest Finland and its head office is in Espoo, the company’s influence on the region and, at the same time, the importance of southwestern know-how on the company has been considerable, because Nokia followed largely in the footsteps of Salora and Mobira. The only mobile phone factory in Finland was located in Salo, on the huge Nokia campus, where at best 5,400 people – a third of Nokia’s employees in Finland – were employed. Today Nokia’s legacy presents itself specifically as product development and design competence. Lumia 1520 is a prime example of local innovation.

Mobira Cityman 900 from 1987. Photo: Museum of Cultural and Industrial Heritage, Collection of Electronics / Salla Pesonen.

Technology for Hospitals, Classrooms and the Streetscape In addition to consumer electronics, over the years equipment and programmes for almost every field from medicine and the game industry to education and surveillance have been developed in Southwest Finland. One of the country’s first internationally-known high tech entrepreneurs and Finnish innovators, Jorma Wallasvaara, was born in Turku in 1929. At the age of 14, the young inventor launched a fish tank heater as his commercial debut product. His technology company Wallac Oy developed various measuring instruments, until in the 1960s its main branch became medical diagnostics instruments. Wallac still operates as part of the multinational PerkinElmer technology company whose products have enabled the screening of more than

Salora’s Vip-Ultra colour television as seen in a product catalogue in 1977. Photo: Museum of Cultural and Industrial Heritage, Collection of Electronics.


Man assembling an x-ray analyser at the Wallac Oy factory. (Picture taken before 1965.) Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Hans Othman.


380 million babies so that they can get the treatment they need. The company’s Wallac unit in Turku is one of its most important offices in terms of product development, production and marketing.

multimedia and virtual learning solutions. Sanako’s products and services are used in more than 30,000 classrooms in universities, other educational establishments and companies in over a hundred countries.

Another company established in the 1950s, Teleste Oyj is an international group specialising in video and broadband technology and services. Its story began with the production of communal antennas for VHF receivers and expanded to central radio and other audio systems. In the Technology 1970s, when has been harnessed customers in the for educational region wanted to purposes in Turku watch Swedish TV broadcasts, since the 1960’s. Teleste developed a solution. With this project, the company refined its know-how and products, until it became the leading manufacturer of cable technology. In the following decades, Teleste also invested in satellite dishes and became one of the top names in Europe in companies utilising AM and FM fibre optics. In the new millennium, the company’s IP network products and solutions have shown the way for video industry in the rest of the world. Among Teleste’s achievements are the surveillance systems for the Paris Mètro and Chicago public transport, as well as the technology used to solve the 2005 bombing in the London Underground.

Sanako is an excellent example of a successor to Teleste. Over the years, Teleste has abandoned several areas of business one by one to focus on its core business: network solutions. As a result, the field has seen a dozen or so spinoff success stories, such as Miratel (today called Ascom Miratel), the expert on nurse call systems and mobility solutions; Audico Systems, number one in demanding AV solutions in Finland, and Hotellinx Systems, the leading manufacturer of information management systems and services for the hospitality industry. Although the Teleste case is special in how many success stories it has generated, similar stories where one kind of know-how breeds new business have been written in this region in numerous industries.

Future Technology Is Being Developed Today Agility and the ability to regenerate are important in any field, but in the fast growing and continuously changing ICT sector the ability to reinvent oneself and innovate is vital. In Southwest Finland, this relatively young field has made plenty of impressive achievements and its know-how is not limited to just one kind of industry. The visionary ability of local experts such as Wallasvaara has helped to feed entrepreneurship in this sector and led to the creation of the Turku-based DataCity and BioCity Business Parks and the Turku Science Park.

Technology has been harnessed for educational purposes in Turku since the 1960s, thanks to Teleste. Due to its product development in sound reproduction technology and astute corporate acquisitions, Teleste became the largest manufacturer of language laboratories in the 1970s. In 2001, it separated its language lab know-how from the rest of its activities and formed a company called Sanako, which today specialises in language teaching technology, teaching systems and classroom management software that utilise

Turku Science Park is one of the largest and oldest of its kind in Finland. It brings together experts from the University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, Turku University Hospital and over 300 other organisations, a total of 17,500 employees. It focuses on biotechnology,


Teleste’s PA system including amplifiers and a reel-toreel tape recorder. The first piece was delivered to Piikkiö school in 1958. Top right: Teleste’s first product, an antenna box, from 1954. Bottom right: Teleste’s ad from the 1960’s. Photos: Teleste.


Though the way in which we play changes, Kuvateksti tulee tähän ja kuvathe popularity of games remains. Boys teksti tähän. tulee playingtulee a board gameKuvateksti in 1931. tähän jaMuseum kuvateksti tulee tähän. Photo: The Centre of Turku / H. Attila.


information and communication technologies, creates new business activities and promotes the know-how of universities and the competitiveness of companies with the help of business development and incubator services. The supply of education in Southwest Finland has arisen to meet the needs of the region’s industries and so the strong presence of the ICT sector is evident at the universities. The University of Turku and the Åbo Akademi University’s departments of Information Technology engage in high level research and offer education based on it. The engineers graduating from the Bachelor of Information Technology programme of the Turku University of Applied Sciences will have the skills to work in different fields as product, technology and software developers and experts. The region’s diverse ICT expertise is utilised, for example, in health care and social services, maritime and metal industries, biotechnology, electronics industry, digital media and speech and language technology. An example of ICT know-how is Walkbase, a company that was founded in 2010 in Turku. It was one of the first companies in the world to develop and produce indoor positioning technology for shopping centres, airports Internationally high and other large premises. Boost quality expertise in Turku offers game technology is start-up training, one of Turku’s trump support and cards. courses for projects in the technology field. Of all the individual sectors of the ICT field, the game industry is one of the fastest growing. Game technology is taught in the region’s universities and, in addition to entertainment, it is utilised for educational and training purposes. A good indicator of the potential of the region’s game industries is the Collapsticks game, developed by the Turku-based Rumilus Design, which has had more than two million downloads, top 10 rankings in dozens of markets

worldwide and a ranking at third place in China in the iPad games category. The largest game industry hotshots from Southwest Finland by a long chalk are the founding members of Supercell, Ilkka Paananen and Mikko Kodisoja. The high standard of know-how, research and development in the field, even on an international level, guarantees that there will be plenty more digitally flavoured success stories coming from this region in the future.




BEING Students of medicine practicing listening to lung sounds at the tuberculosis hospital in Turku in 1948. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.



n 2013, pharmaceutical exports from Finland climbed to 1.1 billion, more than half of which originated in the Bayer factory in Turku. In the same year, three new medicines developed in Turku received a sales permit in Europe and the United States – an achievement that warrants admiration for any country, let alone a city, considering that all in all only 65 sales permits were granted for new drugs in Europe and the United States. The commercial potential of Bayer’s new kind of hormonal coil, Biotie Therapies’ drug for alcohol dependence and Hormos Medical’s product for treating menopause symptoms are tremendous. The Turku factories are also busy making Bayer’s contraceptive implant Jadelle, which was selected as the contraceptive for the UN’s family planning project for developing countries. The Finnish company Orion and American Eli Lilly and Company have also set their hormone medicine factories in Turku. The regulations of the pharmaceutical industry tighten year by year, while at the same time companies set more and more quality criteria for their production. Known for its top experts, reliability and high quality, Finland fares extremely well in comparisons, and its scientific know-how, research, education and development work, as well as its production, are exemplary. Inside the country’s borders, the Turku region is at the cutting edge of the welfare sector, as demonstrated, for example, by the honour granted to the city of acting as the engine for the national HealthBIO cluster. But how on earth did the region get from a medieval hospital to bone regeneration material made from bioactive glass?


Nurses in the turn of the 20th century. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku.

From a Medieval Sickroom to a Hospital

at the same time, Finnish research and development work in the field got off to a good start. Mainly as the result of the efforts of Professor Johan Haartman, Finland got its first general hospital in 1759 when the Turku Lazaretto was established. Turku also saw its first female health care workers in the 18th century: midwives. Initially midwives were trained in Sweden, but domestic training became available after the first maternity ward was opened in 1816. In the 19th century, Turku was still the centre of nursing in Finland.

In the 14th century, two hospitals were founded in Turku. Saint George’s Hospital (1355) was intended for lepers and the House of the Holy Spirit (1396) was a cross between a hospital and old people’s home. As far as is known, these were the first medical institutions in the country. Although doctors, nurses and hospitals had been serving patients for a long time, Finnish medicine is not considered to have started until the year of the foundation of the Royal Academy of Turku and its medical faculty in 1640. The academy allowed Finns to study medicine in their home country, and

The regional hospital moved to Kiinamyllynmäki Hill in Turku in the autumn of 1881. This was the largest hospital project


in Finland and the facilities were the best in the country. The hospital trained nurses from 1883, and the actual nursing school started in 1931. The University of Turku established its Faculty of Medicine in 1943 to meet the needs of the people at war, and the Turku regional hospital became a teaching hospital for the university in one fell swoop. The Turku University Hospital is the oldest functioning hospital in Finland and is considered one of the most important man-built cultural environments in the country.

University Hospital. Turku is also home to Auria, Finland’s first clinical Biobank, which stores and supplies human biological samples, such as tissue and blood samples, for medical research. Population-based health care, diagnostic sample collections from different decades, extensive case histories and register files and the population’s positive attitude towards medical research make the Biobank unique in the world, as does Olli Carpén’s nomination as the first Biobank Professor in the Nordic countries.

The Anatomy Unit of the University of Turku has been conducting studies on the chemistry of human sperm and semen since the 1960s, and in 1985 the unit founded the first sperm bank in Finland. Later most of the clinical operations of the sperm bank were transferred to the Turku

Little girls bathing in a primary school bathhouse under surveillance in 1910. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Viktor H. Auer.


Number One in the Pharmaceutical Industry

1946 as a medicine plant, and its role at first was mainly to package the products. Because the company needed a permit to operate as a pharmaceutical company and this permit required research, Leiras established Finland’s first medical substance factory in 1960 and began to successfully produce and develop its own drugs. The same decade, the number of staff it employed rose to more than 200, and Leiras became the second largest pharmaceutical plant in Finland after Orion.

As Professor of Medicine at the Royal Academy of Turku, Elias Tillandz was one of the most renowned people in 17th century Finland. He was a scientist with a pioneer mindset and, among other things, he organised the first public dissection of a human body at the Royal Academy of Turku in 1686. Considered the father of Finnish botany, the Professor published the first botanical work in Finland in 1673 and a botanical catalogue in 1683, founded the Academy’s botanical garden and, as an enthusiast of pharmacology, established a home pharmacy before the existence of official pharmacies. The first pharmacy in the country was Turun 1. Apteekki in Mirena’s annual Turku, also known as Kauppatorin sales total €680 Apteekki. It was million – half of all opened in 1689 pharmaceutical and stayed in exports. business until 2012.

Lääke Oy’s story began in 1950, around the same time as it launched its production of medical and technochemical products in an old ammunition factory in the district of Räntämäki in Turku. Due to its medicine development, it employed more than 330 people in the 1960s and quickly became the largest manufacturer of veterinary medicine in Finland. The company had an extensive team of product demonstrators in Finland and Sweden, being the first Finnish pharmaceutical company to register its products there. Over the years, Lääke Oy went through several organisational changes and operated also under the names Farmos and Lääkefarmos. Today the company is part of the Turku unit of Orion Pharma, which employs 550 people and is the number one in veterinary medicine in the Nordic countries.

Before pharmaceutical factories, medicine was made in pharmacies. After the malaria epidemic of the early 19th century had exhausted the medicine stores, the Baltic area was in severe need of the quinine-rich powder made from cinchona tree bark and used as medicine. In 1813, Johan Jacob Julin, the pharmacist of the Royal Academy of Turku, and Gabriel Freudenthal, the owner of the pharmacy Turun 1. Apteekki, acquired a mill intended for making snuff and turned it into Finland’s first pharmaceutical factory. The mill was used to grind the bark of the cinchona tree, and the quinine powder was sold domestically, as well as abroad to wholesale dealers in St. Petersburg and Berlin.

The most notable export product of the Finnish pharmaceutical industry, the hormonal coil, was also created in the Turku region. Originally a Leiras product, this coil, called Mirena, is still produced in Turku, but now in Bayer Schering Pharma’s shopping centre sized production plant. Mirena has sales of 680 million euros per year, and its export volume is half of the total pharmaceutical exports from Finland. Although the product has been on the market for over 20 years, its sales figures keep growing year by year. The company’s new hormonal coil, which is intended for young women who have not given birth and which was granted a sales permit in 2013, is expected to follow in Mirena’s footsteps.

The modern pharmaceutical industry was started in Southwest Finland by the companies Leiras and Lääke Oy. The colossal Huhtamäki company founded Leiras in


Pharmacy personnel in 1907. Most probably Kauppatorin Apteekki. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku.


Pharmaceutical development in Southwest Finland is at the cutting edge of world medicine. In 2013 approximately five per cent of pharmaceutical products that were granted a sales permit in Europe and the United States were developed in Turku. This success is made possible by a long tradition of pharmaceutical development, as well as academic research, the ability to innovate and the companies’ growth-orientation. The story continues following the same recipe.

Jorma Wallasvaara’s company Wallac launched its operations in the 1950s producing various measuring instruments, but moved on to make instruments for physical science research and hospitals in 1963. Today Wallac employs 530 people and belongs to the multinational enterprise PerkinElmer. It is one of the Group’s most important units for diagnostics product development, production and marketing. As a result of the screens developed by Wallac, 50 children get the treatment they need every day. One of the best-known brands in the pharmaceutical industry originating in this region is the GenomEra testing system for hospital bacteria from the Turku-based company Abacus Diagnostica.

Diagnostics Innovations and Superstars of Medicine

In addition to diagnostic devices and methods, the region also produces raw material for the diagnostics industry, intended as key components for laboratory tests. Turkubased HyTest is a market leader in the production of certain immunological reagents, such as cardiac markers and influenza antibodies. It sells its products to diagnostics companies and international research groups in over 40 countries, on all six continents.

In addition to pharmacy, diagnostics has also been improved in Southwest Finland. The secretary of the Finnish Economic Association C. C. Böcker’s “workshop and foundry” manufactured thermometers and other medical tools in Turku as early as the 1820s, until the Great Fire of Turku burned it down in 1827.

Women packing Vim detergent at the Åström soap factory. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.


Since the days of the Royal Academy of Turku, the city has been a site for several internationally known top names in their fields, and the region’s private doctors’ clinics play an important role. When David Beckham’s Achilles tendon required an operation, the world-famous footballer came to Turku to see the sports medicine surgeon Sakari Orava. This eminent veteran of sports medicine has performed more than 20,000 operations and has clinics in Turku, Madrid and Rome, as well as a long history of co-operation with the doctors of A.C. Milan. Pekka Vallittu first became interested in dentistry when he had a summer job as a postman in Mikkeli. One day the young man In 2013 5% of new visited a dental pharmaceutical sales technician’s permits in the EU and laboratory and, US came from Turku. as he had time to spare, browsed through a specialist magazine that had an article about the carbon fibres used in Sweden to strengthen dentures. Vallittu became enthusiastic about the subject straight away, because carbon fibres were a familiar material to a boy who had built model planes. While studying to become a dental technician, Vallittu realised that there were hardly any reinforcements for dentures and so he started to work on them himself. Now this dentistry guru is a University of Turku professor whose portfolio includes about 20 patented inventions and more than 400 publications. This awardwinning, innovative master’s latest inventions include a fibrereinforced composite that is suitable for dental restorations. Stick Tech sells these products called everStick in more than 40 countries. The research group led by Vallittu has also developed a glass-fibre reinforced biocomposite that is unique in the world. It can be used to manufacture skull bone implants, i.e. prostheses for patching up the skull.

Soap and detergent packages: Lux, Vim, Valo, Sunlight, Olva, Åström’s shaving cream. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.

Healthy Chemistry and Appetising Product Development Products that promote good health are not only manufactured for the medicine cabinet, but also for the bathroom and kitchen. Turun Saippua was founded by Edward Åström in 1886. In its technochemical plant it manufactured toothpaste, cosmetics and detergents, etc. for more than a hundred years and at its peak it sold them also in the Swedish market. Farmos, which had previously operated under the name Lääke Oy, manufactured washing powders, disinfectants, bandaging and aerosol products in the 1950s and 1960s. Similarly to the pharmaceutical products it produced, these were also products for the welfare sector.


Hellas’s Xylitol Jenkki ad from 1975. Photo: Cloetta.

While previously problems caused by food were treated with medicine, new kinds of food products, such as xylitol chewing gum and Benecol now offer treats and well-being in one handy package. The benefits of xylitol on dental health were discovered in Turku in 1970, and five years later Hellas launched its The EJCN listed Xylitol Jenkki chewing gum in Benecol’s active Finland and the ingredient in their United States. TOP 10 nutritional Research by discoveries. research, little by little, dental associations in different countries began to recommend the use of xylitol, and so chewing gum from Southwest Finland became more and more popular around the world. Research shows

that 100% xylitol chewing gum also prevents children’s ear infections effectively. Today this smart habit is known all over Finland, including day-care centres, and Cloetta continues the good work started by Hellas (and later Leaf) in promoting xylitol and xylitol products. The 1995 publication of Raisio’s cholesterol reducing Benecol innovation immediately stimulated international interest. The effectiveness and safety of Benecol’s active ingredient, plant stanol ester, has been verified in more than 50 published clinical studies, and in 2009 the renowned European Journal of Clinical Nutrition listed it among the ten greatest discoveries in nutrition. Currently Benecol food products lower users’ cholesterol in more than 30 countries and on five continents. Xylitol and Benecol products are first-class examples of how top-class know-how is harnessed to create an international success story through research, product development, production and marketing.


Technology, Turku Science Park and Auria Biobank Inspire the Future of the Welfare Sector

sector. The Salo-based Evondos is currently developing and producing interactive, automatic telecare systems primarily for the home care of the elderly. Their device reminds the customer to take their medicine, dispenses it and enquires about their well-being. Another Salo-based company, Hygion, has built an ozone cabinet that freshens up articles and clothes by creating ozone from the air to kill microbes and bacteria. This invention will meet a demand in the sports and welfare sectors.

Turku Science Park’s BioTurku unit is in the forefront of technical development for biotechnology enterprises and the densest cluster of such companies in Finland. The cluster’s expertise is especially strong in the pharmaceutical industry and diagnostics, and the largest application areas are hormonal disorders, cancer, infections and diseases of the central nervous system. Turku Science Park encourages interdisciplinary activities and creates synergy benefits, and its field of know-how covers the whole chain from education and research to product development and production. Its business incubator operations guarantee support even for the smallest operators, and the region’s logistic chain operates faultlessly.

The Auria Biobank, established jointly by the University of Turku and the Hospital Districts of Southwest Finland, Satakunta and Vaasa, makes new kind of research and product development possible, especially in the demanding fields of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. BonAlive BioMaterials is busy conquering the world with its Turkuborn bioactive glass granules, because despite the company’s numerous competitors, this material is the only one that prevents the growth of bacteria and generates new bone growth. The whole field of biomaterial know-how, from skull bone implants to dental restoration composites, opens numerous new opportunities in the Turku region for international success.

ICT and technology know-how play a key role in the development of new products and services for the welfare

Bioactive glass can be used, among other things, to substitute bone deficiencies. Photo: BonAlive Biomaterials Ltd.


A BUFFET OF FOOD EXPERTISE Sausage production in Lonttinen in Raunistula in 1930. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / H. Attila.



outhwest Finland is known as the country’s grain store, but in addition to grain, the region’s food culture and food industry have been significantly influenced by the proximity of the sea, as well as trade, research and product development. Over time, ingredients have been taken to laboratories and food processing has become chemistry. The result has been the creation of functional foods, such as Benecol and Xylitol chewing gum, and high-grade production methods that emphasise food safety, for example, in the production of baby food. Globalisation adds its own flavour to the mix. But knowledge doesn’t grow only among professionals. Consumers are growing more and more interested in the origin of their food and the contents of products and demand a great deal from food. That’s why organically and locally produced food is also growing in popularity, and the value of simpler and cleaner nutrition increases. And why not – good food has long been produced using both traditional and brand-new methods, and modern know-how is being harnessed right now all over the region in order to produce better quality food than ever. Food has been sold in Turku since fishermen and farmers gathered along the river and in the market with their catches and crops. Merchant ships returned from their voyages carrying spices, sugar and exotic flavours that found their way through the region to the rest of the country. Huhtamäki, Felix, Raisio, Ipnos, Marli, Jalostaja, Hellas, Leaf and other giants of the industry delivered food to be stacked on shop shelves, Hesburger brought the double burger to every town, tourists head for the region’s organic farms and the restaurants in Turku are among the best in Finland year after year. There’s no denying: the region’s importance to the whole country’s food industry and food culture in general is considerable.


Sorting tobacco leaves at a tobacco factory in 1924. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.

From Nature onto Your Plate

town has had several sample gardens over the years where the cultivation of new varieties has taken place. The middle classes also planted varieties brought from far-off lands in their gardens, which later became more common. In the 18th century, the Swedish Crown encouraged its subjects to grow and produce tobacco, which resulted in two extremely popular tobacco workshops in Turku. In the 19th century,

Agriculture became rooted in Southwest Finland more than a thousand years ago. In terms of climate and soil, the region is among the best in the country for primary production. Thanks to the Royal Academy of Turku, the


the Rettig tobacco factory, which had come from Gävle in Sweden, quickly turned into the largest of its kind in Finland. In the mid-19th century, the emphasis in agriculture shifted to dairy cattle, but after the sector became mechanised, the crops from the clay soil of Southwest Finland grew larger. Workman Juho Mäkelä had such faith in the rye crispbread his wife had developed that in 1904 he opened up a bakery and became an entrepreneur. Eight years later a local manufacturer bought the bakery, named it Leipätehdas Ipnos and the legendary crispbread, Mensa. This was the first time in Finland that bread had been made into a brand. The crispbread grew in popularity and production was expanded. In today’s stores, this crispbread can be found under the name Vaasan Pieni Pyöreä Kumina. The Raisio Group’s story began with the mill company Oy Vehnä Ab. It was established in 1939 to grind the grain of its co-owners and to market the flour produced, but the Winter War and rationing made things difficult. In 1950, the oil factory Oy Kasviöljy – Växtolje Ab moved in next door, thanks to whom turnip rape farming spread all over Finland. The companies collaborated and eventually merged into Raisio Oy in 1987. The margarine factory started to cultivate a spread from vegetable oil, and after the publication in 1995 of the new Benecol innovation, Raisio became known internationally. The triumph of cholesterol lowering products continues: Benecol foods are sold in more than 30 countries. Raisio engages in cutting edge product development: all its spreads, yoghurts and other Benecol foods are always developed with the local eating habits in mind.

Fishmonger weighing fish at the Turku Market in the 1930s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.

With industrialisation, dairy and meat production also began to take place in factories. The co-operative slaughterhouse Lounais-Suomen Osuusteurastamo (LSO) was founded in 1913 and its sausage production began in 1915. When its product portfolio expanded to include precooked dishes and canned food in the 1930s, LSO became the largest meat producing company in the country. Today the company is a part of HKScan’s history, but its best-known product, the Popsi sausage, is still being enjoyed all over Finland.

Sweet factory Seres in the 1930s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Mauno Mannelin.


organically and locally grown food in the Western countries opens new opportunities for Finland, a country known for its pristine nature, and also for Southwest Finland with its excellent location and already existing, ample ecological and ethical food production. An excellent example of this is the Heikkilä farm in Loimaa, which the WWF and the Finnish Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) selected as the most environmentally friendly farm in Finland in 2010.

In difficult times when the crops were lean or destroyed by fire, the sea offered a way to survive. This fishing tradition is evident to people walking in Turku, in its Archipelago and Baltic Herring markets, but fishing and fish processing has also become an important industry in Southwest Finland. Some 35 million kilos of fish travel every year through the Suukari harbour in Uusikaupunki, which is one of the country’s most important harbours for Baltic herring. Uusikaupunki is also the home of Kalaset Oy, which The co-existence specialises of the traditional in the food and new generates industry and processes fish interesting for institutional opportunities. kitchens and fish wholesale businesses, and Kalarannan Vihannes, which specialises in supplying and processing fish from the wild and other fresh high-quality products and exports these to Switzerland, France and Estonia, etc. Kalaset Oy has a net turnover of over 8 million euros (2012), and Kalarannan Vihannes over 6 million euros (2012). Martin Kala ja Vihannes, famous for its lutefisk, has operated in the Turku region since the 1950s. In addition to its most popular product, it specialises in supplying Baltic herring steaks to the leading processors, central firms and wholesale and retail businesses in the country, as well as lake whitefish to smokehouses. Jalostaja and Felix-Abba are two giants of the herring business.

Stories of Sweet Success As coffee, tea and hot chocolate became more common in the 18th century, the consumption of sugar increased, and the first sugar factory, Turun Sokeritehdas, was founded in Turku in the 1750s. The sugar factory Auran Sokeritehdas was established a century later along the eastern shore of the River Aurajoki. During the 19th century, it grew into the largest factory in Turku and by 1913 it produced as much as 23% of the country’s sugar. Finland’s first beet sugar factory, Salon Sokeritehdas, began production in 1920, and 1953 saw another beet sugar factory, Oy Juurikassokeri, open in Naantali. The factories in the Turku region have manufactured sweets for almost a century. The first facility to dedicate itself to this sweet cause was the Hellas factory whose wheels started turning in 1916. The factory’s bestFactories in the known original Turku region have products include manufactured Ruusu chocolate, sweets for almost Figarol drops and Jenkki chewing a century. gum, which is still on the market. Another original sweet from the factory, Hopea Toffee, has recently made a comeback. The most famous sweet from the region, the

The municipalities in Southwest Finland support each other with their production, which is evident particularly in the food industry. Agriculture still plays an important role in the Loimaa and Salo regions, whereas research and product development are showcasing their know-how to the world in the Turku area. The co-existence of the traditional and new generates interesting opportunities also for agriculture. For example, the Raininko farm in Lieto was the first in Finland to start growing organic quinoa in 2009. The popularity of


Suomen Sokeri Oy’s Aura sugar refinery in the 1930s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Mauno Mannelin.

Sisu drop, was developed by chemist Juho Ponkamo, who added gum arabic and the carefully protected Sisu flavour to liquorice in his fume-filled cellar in 1927. When the Seres sweet factory launched the drops in 1928, Sisu caused an instant sensation. The same year, it won gold at the Liège International Food Fair, and since then the Sisu packet has been adorned with the image of a medal.

Leaf’s Budapest chocolate confections, which have become established as Christmas sweets, are the longest running sweets in Finland to be in continuous production. The original recipe was developed in the Ipnos factory and included a drop of rum, some almonds and, as a bakery legacy, some wafer crumbs. The factory’s most successful product is probably the Jenkki chewing gum, which was created in the 1950s when the factory was called Huhtamäki-Hellas. The gum’s triumph began with xylitol, which has been used as the main sweetener in Finnish chewing gum since 1987. Today, the story of the xylitol products is continued by Cloetta.

The Kokkola-based Huhtamäki sweet factory bought Hellas in 1931 and expanded its know-how of the food industry in the Turku region one company and unit at a time. As well as Hellas, Huhtamäki also acquired Jalostaja, Ipnos, Leiras and Marli. Over the years, this giant has produced both medicine and sweets, but today it specialises in the manufacture of consumer packages. For some time, the company operated under the name Huhtamäki-Hellas, but then merged Hellas into the giant company, and in 1983 the sweet producing branch of the business was named Leaf.

The newest emperor of sweets in the region is Karkkimaailma, established by Leaf’s former employees. It favours domestic ingredients and makes fruit-flavoured sweets and salmiac that are sold as loose candy under its own brand and to the private label and licence markets.

Sisu pastilles being packaged at the Seres sweet factory in the 1930s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Mauno Mannelin.


Jalostaja pea soup can label from the 1960s. Photo: Jalostaja.

Canned Goods and Conserved Delicacies

Jalostaja’s stroganoff, pork in dill sauce, meatballs and pea soup arrived in shops in 1952. The canned soup that was made in the Artukainen district of Turku was immediately a great success. In slightly over 60 years, Jalostaja has canned more than 300 million cans of pea soup, and even restaurant critics have chosen it as the best convenience food in Finland (2013). In the mid-20th century, Jalostaja started developing baby food in collaboration with paediatricians. Its Piltti series of baby food was launched in 1961 with the instruction “open with a spoon.” The product and its catchphrase became so famous that a letter sent from Sweden, simply addressed to “Piltti, Open with a spoon, Finland” found its way to the recipient with no trouble.

Jalostaja began in 1936 as a manufacturer of garden products, but bit by bit, after it was merged into Huhtamäki six years later, its operations expanded to include food. The first canned foods were vegetables and they appeared in shops in 1948. Soon after that, fish also began to be canned, and Finns love to squeeze a tube of the one and only Turun Sinappi mustard on their sausages. The 2002 announcement that the production of the mustard would be moved to Sweden caused Finns to go to the barricades, because as the mustard advert says: “There are two things I won’t give up. One is the Turun Sinappi mustard and the other is…”


Felix Abba (now known as Orkla Foods) was an important local operator in canned foods. Its story began in the 1980s with the acquisition of the canned vegetable company Marco California in Sauvo, located about 35 km south of Turku. In 1996, the company bought Turun Kala, a few years later Ahti herrings (originally a Jalostaja product) and in 2012 Rymättylä-based Boyfood. Next time you sit at a dining table in the summertime think about this: the herrings and new potatoes set before you probably come from Southwest Finland.

litres of beer! Mansions also often had their own brewery facilities. Records show that the Kankainen mansion, for example, sent 50 barrels of beer in the 1570s to Stockholm to Duke John, the then ruler of Finland and subsequent John III of Sweden, and the mansion’s books mention that merchant ships transported the mansion’s own beer as far as Germany. The actual brewing industry started in Finland in the 17th century, when towns were obligated to start breweries and rent them to members of the middle class. By 1870, Turku had three breweries, but even they didn’t have the capacity to quench the thirst of the south-western Finns. The newspaper Sanomia Turusta wrote in 1882: “The consumption of beer in Turku must be very great, because the three breweries in our town that make a lot of beer cannot fulfil the need. For this reason, beer is brought to the town from further afield, such as Rauma, and not only by ship, but also by road.” Soon after this the town got its fourth brewery, Auran Panimo.

Cheers to the Beverage Industry Throughout history, Finns have always enjoyed a beer. It was brewed in huge amounts in Turku Castle, as the garrison’s daily portion in the 16th century included as much as 11

Nordfors Oy’s wine factory at the end of the 1940s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.


Promoting Finnish Food Culture

Although Finland is not a wine growing country, white currants have been used to make domestic sparkling wine since the 19th century. Anders Nordfors set up a wine and liqueur factory in Turku in 1867, but during Prohibition its production naturally shifted to alcohol-free beverages, such as juices. In 1946, Huhtamäki acquired the Helsinkibased wine factory Marvi, moved its operations to Turku and changed its name to Marjaviini- ja likööritehdas Marli Oy. Huhtamäki also connected the Nordfors factory to its operations in 1954. Marli’s number one product was the Elysée wine, uncorked for the first time in 1953. It is still one of the most popular bubblies in Finland.

It’s no surprise that many food trends have come to Finland via Southwest Finland. German Hansa traders brought sausage production to Turku and from there it spread to the rest of the country. The region also acted as an example in presenting and eating food when pewter and silver cutlery travelled further inland via Turku Castle. There were already a lot of pubs in Turku in the 18th century; according to one source, there was one for every 121 residents. When directing the play Albatrossi ja Heiskanen for Turku City Theatre, writer, actor and director Jukka Virtanen is rumoured to have said: “There are more pubs here than bus stops!” The café culture is believed to have come to Turku in the 1790s, and the restaurant culture began to evolve in the 19th century. One of the oldest restaurants in Finland is Pinella, which was established by the river close to the Cathedral in 1848 and which still feeds locals to this day. To promote food culture, the first Finnish cookery book in Turku was published in 1849. It was written by J. F. Granlund and its name is quite a In 18 th century mouthful, even Turku there was when translated into English: Cookery a pub for every Book with Advice 121 residents. for the most Useful Every Day and Festive Foods, as well as Various Cakes and Beverages and Useful information about harvesting and preserving food and foodstuffs, etc.

The beverage company Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas started producing traditional soft drinks in Fazer’s old facilities in 1995. The company’s business idea is based on quality products and traditional images of beverages. Thanks to their enthusiastic staff, Finland’s fourth largest brewery and largest microbrewing plant have extended their product portfolio and now also make Kukko beer, Oiva cider and Into long drink. Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas received the Entrepreneur Award in 2010 and numerous productspecific awards. Established in 2007, the brewery VakkaSuomen Panimo continues the long brewing traditions of Uusikaupunki. The company makes specialty beers, and its products have received awards in several competitions, twice at the European Beer Star competition in Munich as the only Finnish brewery. There are several wineries in Southwest Finland and over 20 small juice manufacturers. The story of the Kaarinabased Bioferme begins with a juicer set up in a garage, the Piispanristi juicing station. The company’s close cooperation with the University’s research on probiotics, berries and flavours and the development of the manufacturing technique created its probiotic Yosa oat products, which are milk-free but resemble yoghurt. The popularity of Bioferme’s products is proof of the logic of specialisation, an ecological standpoint and ethical production.

The city’s energetic restaurant culture also includes its numerous street-side grill-kiosks. The most famous of


Samppalinna pavilion and restaurant in the 1870s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku.


these is the Kievari Grill-Kiosk in Naantali where Heikki ‘Hese’ Salmela started his story in 1966. After running the grill-kiosk for some time, Salmela expanded and opened a Hesburger grill-kiosk in the Puutori market square in Turku in the 1970s. The opening of the first Hesburger restaurant was celebrated in the Hansa shopping centre in 1980. Today the burger chain’s sales are close to 260 million euros per year, the company employs 6,000 people and there are 278 Hesburger restaurants in Finland and 125 abroad (2013). The company’s operations even extend to biotechnology, as it produces biofuel from the vegetable oil used in its restaurants and uses it to heat the logistics centre of its subsidiary. In the future, the chain plans to use vegetable oil to manufacture bio-diesel suitable for turbine use so that it can produce electricity. The Salmela-Yhtiöt’s international subsidiary Clewer develops and produces water purification technology, which is utilised, for example, in Hese car wash shops.

This dominant field is very visible in Southwest Finland’s educational establishments. The Department of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry at the University of Turku is not only important for education, but for product development. The department collaborates a great deal with the region’s companies and other educational establishments. What is special about the teaching is the focus on molecular biotechnology and production processes. The university’s Functional Foods Forum (FFF) produces new information, for example about the health effects of food, and engages in important research concerning the properties of food ingredients. The results will have a fundamental effect on product development and quality management. The university’s educational and development centre, Brahea Development, carries out development projects concerning the region’s food chain. The Åbo Akademi University’s laboratory of analytical chemistry focuses on chemical analyses. The Turku University of Applied Sciences’s Process and Material Technology programme trains engineers for the biotechnology and food industries. Numerous universities of applied sciences, vocational institutes and colleges are preparing skilful people for work on fields and in farms, restaurants, testing kitchens and catering, as well as to become entrepreneurs and experts in their fields throughout the region.

Good Food Is a Joint Effort As the planet’s population grows, the food industry grows too. In Southwest Finland, the industry has always been considered profitable and that is why training and research in the field attracts special investment. Food safety and cleanliness are rising trends and strengthen the region’s competitiveness. For example, the development and production of functional foods and expertise in the field of baby food are already top-level in the Turku region.

The food industry is linked to many other fields. The packaging industry is vital for food safety, as are the fast connections and cold chain know-how of the logistics sector. The metal and ICT industries develop equipment and technologies for fields, laboratories and factories, while the welfare sector feeds the development work. Food is also essentially connected to tourism and culture. There’s a lot going on in this sector, and research and technology keep shaking things up. Despite the fast-changing trends, food will always be a topical issue, that’s for sure.

Although globalisation is a strong trend, focusing on organically and locally grown food opens many new possibilities. Diverse primary production is supported by the approximately 300 small and medium enterprises that are processing food in the area. In addition to the strong knowhow in bakery products, meat and fish processing, the processing of berries, fruit and vegetables is very advanced in the region.



INDUSTRY Production of Kupittaan Savi ceramics in the 1930s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Mauno Mannelin.



he oldest city in Finland has been the natural route for influences, as demonstrated by the fact that phenomena have tended to land right here, thanks to its proximity to Stockholm. In cultural circles, the city is still considered the birthplace of the underground movement; and an indicator of the presence and essential importance of culture for the city is the fact that Turku was chosen the 2011 European Capital of Culture. Following this magnificent year as Capital of Culture, cultural know-how, supply and demand have grown stronger than ever. There are currently 8,000 people in the region working for companies in the creative sector, and the sector’s turnover amounts to 1.3 billion euros. The number of jobs and companies in the field has grown by 10% in just a couple of years. The film and game industries are growing, there are more and more popular events every year, design is utilised in all kinds of fields, architect and design studios impress their clients with their know-how and even alternative culture is alive and kicking. Turku has always been and will always be an important centre of the creative sector.

Culture is more than just individual artists and works. The creative sector is appreciated in this region, as proven by the significant investments in premises, education, events and projects, as well as the general attitude towards the field. In this region, culture has never been seen as the counterbalance to industry; instead, they are viewed as bedfellows because each feeds the other. The results of creative collaboration can be seen in the buildings designed by Alvar Aalto, medicine packages using Braille, Vares films and the stylish design of the Oras water taps.


Words and Images

Latin also in the 15th century, is considered the oldest work in Finnish history.

In the Middle Ages, art mainly served the purposes of the church. The culture of the period consisted of the artworks in the church, spiritual music and religious writings. Although the thematic material was strongly coloured by Christianity, the church made art accessible to everyone, regardless of status or wealth.

But what about written works in Finnish? We have the father of written Finnish and Finnish literature, Mikael Agricola, to thank for its existence. This bishop of Turku wrote more than a thousand pages of Finnish text, including the ABCbook Abckiria (1543), the prayer book Rucouskiria (1544) and a translation of the New Testament, Se Wsi Testamenti (1548). That was the beginning of literature in Turku and Finland.

Folklore had travelled verbally from generation to generation since prehistoric times, but written texts and works didn’t appear in Finland until the Middle Ages. In the 15th century, the existing legislation was collected and compiled into one book, and so one of the country’s most important works and its oldest law book, Codex Aboensis, or the Turku Manuscript was created. In 1488, the first book specifically for Finland, Missale Aboense, or the Turku Mass Book, was printed in Lübeck. Jöns Budde, a monk from the Naantali monastery, who translated religious texts into Swedish, was the first writer in the country, although his output mainly consisted of translations. Saint Henry’s Legend, written in

Church art in Southwest Finland reflected the styles of European art, from Baroque to portraiture. Turku-based Margareta Capsia is considered the first female artist in Finland and the most talented Finnish church artist of the early 18th century. The Royal Academy of Turku offered drawing instruction in its drawing hall from 1707 onward. The Turku School of Fine Arts, established in 1830 by the Turku Artists’ Guild, was the first actual art school in the country and one of the first in Europe to offer tuition for both girls and boys. Some of the most famous students of the school include architect Erik Bryggman, sculptor and artist Alpo Jaakola, sculptor Wäinö Aaltonen, artist Kaj Stenvall and artist Heikki Marila, winner of the greatest art award in Finnish history (Carnegie Art Award 2011). Today the school’s traditions are being maintained by the Arts Academy at the Turku University of Applied Sciences. One of Finland’s best-known artists internationally is Kaarina-based Touko Laaksonen aka Tom of Finland. The artist’s homoerotic comic strip Kake, his drawings, photographs and the Tom of Finland company, foundation and clothing collection have had a significant impact on western gay culture since the 1970s. The controversial artist has been the subject of books and films, the newest of which will be completed in 2015. That same year, Finnish fine arts will be represented at the Venice Biennale by the artist duo from Southwest Finland, Patrik Söderlund and Visa Suonpää, otherwise known as IC-98.

The first spread of a facsimile of Mikael Agricola’s 1543 Abckiria. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Pekka Välimäki.


Wäinö Aaltonen sculpting the Rovaniemi hero statue in 1954. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Wäinö Aaltonen photo archive / H. Seppänen.


Mobile library in Pikisaari in 1961. Photo: Turku City Library.

The region has always been a great inspiration to writers, whatever their genre. Everybody in Finland knows the private detective Jussi Vares and has held the novel In the Parlour at Alastalo in their hands. Finnish readers of today are being entertained by such writers as the poet Heli Laaksonen; writer of books for young people, Seita Vuorela; writer of non-fiction, Esko Valtaoja; comics artist Jussi ‘Juba’ Tuomola; detective novelist Reijo Mäki and the award-winning young author Leena Parkkinen. Indicators of the region’s appreciation for literature include the first travelling library in Finland (1961), the annual Turku International Book Fair and the magnificent, recently renovated Turku Library, the most popular in Finland with over a million visitors a year (2013).

Until the Great Fire of Turku in 1827, the region was also the centre of the country’s press. Tidningar Utgifne af et Sällskap I Åbo (1771) was the first newspaper published in Finland. In everyday language, its name got shortened to Åbo Tidningar, and its eight-page layout was more reminiscent of a book than a paper. The newspaper stopped being published in 1861 when readers chose its local competitor from 1824, Åbo Underrättelser, as their favourite. Åbo Underrättelser is still read in the Turku region, making it the oldest newspaper in the country to be still published. Suomenkieliset Tieto-Sanomat (1776) was the country’s first newspaper written in Finnish, but this publication was short lived, because the farmers it was directed at had poor reading skills and Finnish-speaking


journalists were hard to find. The Uusikaupunki newspaper Uudenkaupungin Sanomat (1890), which started as Nya Tag, is also among the oldest in the country.

of Turku Castle began to enjoy a glamorous renaissancestyle life like nowhere else in Finland. The fads of the times sometimes drove the most fashionable members of the middle classes to personal bankruptcy. Lusting for a gold and pearl encrusted headdress, the noblewoman Agneta Ram from Mietoinen is known to have pawned her estate in Ravea village! In the 17th century, mansions for nobles were being built, such as the Louhisaari mansion in Askainen, which is famous as the birthplace of C. G. E. Mannerheim.

The success of the press industry in Turku demonstrates the symphony of text and image. The first printing house in the Nordic countries, the Turku Academic Press (later known as Frenckellin Kirjapaino) was founded in 1642 and printed, for example, the country’s first newspapers (1771), newspapers in Finnish (1776), magazines (1782) and banknotes (1812). The history of Hansaprint begins in the same year as that of the newspaper Turun Sanomat, 1905. The company printed telephone directories for 40 years for Finland and abroad and was in charge of printing Nokia’s manuals. At its peak, the company’s turnover came close to 200 million euros, and Hansaprint is still one of the leading printing houses in the Nordic countries. Other top performers in this field include Jaakkoo-Taara, which is known for incorporating Braille into medicine packages, and Turun Offsetpaino, which specialises in labels for the food and technochemical industries.

The most renowned architect of the Turku region is without a doubt Alvar Aalto, who lived in the city from 1927 to 1933. Aalto designed four important buildings in the region, the internationally best known of which is the Paimio Sanatorium. Among professionals and students in the field, the building has become something of a pilgrimage

A Celebration of Architecture and Design The architecture of the Middle Ages is encapsulated in its stone churches, the most notable of which is Turku Cathedral from the turn of the 14th century, the only medieval basilica in Finland. The most noteworthy residential buildings are the mansions. The Kuitia stone castle is a mansion built mainly from natural stone using mortar, located on the Lemlax Island (now known as Pargas). It is the oldest remaining mansion in Finland. Although Kuitia is mentioned as a residential mansion already in the early 15th century, the building of this stone castle is presumed to have begun in the 1480s under the instructions of Joachim Fleming, a member of the King’s council. In the 16th century, more attention was paid to secular architecture and furnishings. At that time, the residents

Building Turku Castle began in the 1280s. Photo: City of Turku / Suomen Ilmakuva Oy.


Carpenters at Oy Huonekalu- ja Rakennustyötehdas Ab bending parts for Alvar Aalto furniture in the 1930s. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Mauno Mannelin.

site. The influence of this highly praised functionalist wasn’t restricted to just the streetscape. Together with Turku-based furniture manufacturer Otto Korhonen, Aalto developed wood treatment methods and designs based on curved laminates. The furniture was extremely well received internationally and made Finland a top name in design. Furniture classics like the Alvar Aalto stool remain sought after products even today, and the furniture factory Huonekalutehdas Korhonen is still operating in Littoinen.

Bryggman’s hand was more refined – he wanted his buildings to merge into the milieu, not stick out. The exhibition area of Turku’s 700th anniversary in 1929 was a specimen of Aalto’s and Bryggman’s collaboration. The Resurrection Chapel in Turku is considered Bryggman’s most impressive building and it belongs among the elite of the European architecture of the time. As with the Paimio Sanatorium, architect enthusiasts and students flock to admire the Chapel.

Another notable representative of functionality, Erik Bryggman, lived and worked in Turku at the same time as Aalto. A student at the Turku School of Fine Arts,

In the field of architecture, one generation has learned from the one before it. Pekka Pitkänen, who had worked for Bryggman, and Ola Laiho, who had done renovation work


to the Paimio Sanatorium, got together with Ilpo Raunio and founded the architect studio Pitkänen, Laiho & Raunio in 1973. The name was later shortened to LPR Arkkitehdit and Pitkänen was replaced by Mikko Pulkkinen. The company has been granted nearly 20 awards and its most famous works include the Parliament House extension (1978), the Southwest Finland prison (2007) and the Helsinki Musiikkitalo with its award-winning Aicon chairs (2011). Another Turku-based architect studio that has become known internationally is Arkkitehtitoimisto Sigge / Viiva Arkkitehtuuri. Its works include the Finnish Embassy in Berlin, which won the Best Building in the World Prize in Hong Kong in 2001. No matter how high the quality of design, buildings also require constructors. After the war there was a surge of people moving to town. This created a severe shortage of dwellings, and to meet this growing demand two notable construction companies were founded in Turku in the 1940s: Urakoitsijat Oy (1942, the predecessor to Hartela) and Rakennustoimisto A. Puolimatka Oy (1947). After establishing its position in Finland, Hartela began to build hotels, holiday villages and health centres in the 1970s in the Middle and Far East and the USSR. In the 1980s, hospital construction was the company’s strong new growth area. In the 2000s, Hartela Building Services Ltd. has become one of Finland’s leading specialists in the design and implementation of demanding building services systems. Today Hartela builds homes, office buildings, warehouses, manufacturing areas, shopping centres and logistics centres, and the company has supplied building services systems to the 10,000 seat multi-purpose arena in Kazan, Russia and to the renovated Turku Library.

The Resurrection Chapel. Photo: Timo Jakonen.

Puolimatka’s most famous projects in Finland include the Malminkartano suburb in Helsinki and the suburbs of Kaivoksela and Myyrmäki in Vantaa, as well as the Heureka Science Centre. The company came about when master builder Armas Puolimatka made an agreement for his first own contract to build a large storage building in the Uusikaupunki dockyard without telling his employer about it. The construction project in the Patterinhaka district in Turku

Products from Barker factory. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.


Employees package and wring fabric in the fabric finishing hall of Barker textile factory in the first decade of the 1900s. The hat-donning supervisor is monitoring actions in the background. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku C. J. Schoultz.

then the company’s building activities and design have been transferred to the Swedish NCC Group.

in the 1950s opened doors to new town building, and bit by bit Puolimatka’s operations spread throughout South and Central Finland. The company was the first in the country to start industrial building in 1963 and a year later it started construction design. In 1967, Armas Puolimatka received the Finnish honorary title ‘vuorineuvos’, and by the end of the decade his company was among the top three domestic construction firms. Around the same time, Puolimatka founded Finland’s first structural element prefabrication factory in Forssa. This new kind of construction, based on prefabricated elements, brought the company many important international projects. The company was sold to Hankkija in 1984 in one of the largest acquisitions between private persons in the history of Finnish economy. Since

There have always been several trendsetters in the field of design in this region. During industrialisation, the textile industry had a steady foothold in the area. The Barker factory had several top clothing designers and at its peak it employed 1,250 people. At the turn of the century, Boman grew from a small workshop into the largest steam joinery shop in the country. The company was in charge of the original furniture for the Parliament House and the furnishings of cruisers, for example, and its products were particularly popular among the upper class, also in Russia. Boman represented Finland in numerous events abroad


and was awarded several international prizes, as well as the status of Royal Purveyor to the Court of Sweden in 1927. The Kupittaan Savi pottery company was known beyond the country’s borders and was given awards both at the World Exhibition in Paris (1937) and the Milan Triennale (1957). It operated in the Itäharju district of Turku and transported clay from the shores of the River Aurajoki in the Halinen district to its factory using its own railway.

became a hit domestically and abroad. The company met a setback when the oil crisis in the mid-1970s affected their sales, and Treston decided to make an acquisition to facilitate its transfer to industrial furniture. The decision paid off: now the Turku-based company is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of industrial furniture. Another strong furniture producer is Piiroinen, which designs and manufactures metal, furniture and design products in Salo with more than 60 years of experience behind it. It’s impossible to dismiss ED Design when talking about products that please the eye: for more than 50 years, the company has skilfully designed televisions for Finlux, NMT phones for Salora and Mobira, taps for Oras, tractor bodies for Valtra and saucepans for Hackmann.

There are still some big names in furniture manufacture in Southwest Finland. Treston, which was established in 1969, started to develop novelty products from plastic, the new craze in interior design. It wasn’t long before the Palaset collection, designed by Ristomatti Ratia,

ED Design’s Aina saucepan. Photo: Fiskars Home.


Stages and Limelights

The Turku Musical Association was founded in 1790 to promote musical culture. Its descendant, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, is one of the oldest functioning orchestras and has been led by the eminent Jean Sibelius. The Turku Music Festival was organised for the first time in 1960 by the same association. Nine years later, Turku Jazz was born. The same year, 1969, without knowing anything about Woodstock, a local rock band called Information organised a protest and demanded that the Turku Music Festival also include pop and rock music. The group visited the deputy mayor persistently once a week to discuss it and sent invitations for bids to 70 foreign artists from the Rolling Stones to Pink Floyd. The next summer, the oldest rock festival in Finland, Ruisrock in Turku, took place on the Ruissalo Island in front of 38,000 people. In 1988, the Turku City’s Festival Association organised the first city festival called Down By The Laituri.

One of the earliest large-scale events planned in Turku was the festival to mark Bishop Hemming’s beatification in 1514. The town was supposed to be decorated with flowers, doves would fly by the Cathedral and communion wafers would rain from the sky. There would be plenty of food and beer, processions would march along the streets and incense and beautiful lanterns would burn here and there. Because of the Reformation, the canonisation was unfortunately not completed and the event The first never took place, but May 22nd is rock n’ roll still Hemming’s concert in Finland day in Finnish was organized calendars.

in Turku in 1956.

Techno music came to Turku in the 1980s. Organised by the trio Hyperdelic Housers, Finland’s first warehouse rave was held in Turku in the summer of 1989, and the first domestic techno record, Mindprobe, by Corporate 09 was produced in Turku in 1991. The Hyperdelic Housers also organised raves called Typpihappobileet and Koneisto. In 2004, techno music blasted away at the Konemetsä event in the Marttila woods and at the New Music Festival in the Kupittaanpuisto park. Pan Sonic, Mr Velcro Fastener, Darude and Jori Hulkkonen are techno music gurus who are known all over the world. The region’s newest festival for electronic music is Turku Modern, which has been organised since 2009.

Despite the bishop’s bash being cancelled, Turku can be considered the birthplace of event production; after all, this is where the first rock n’ roll concert in Finland was organised! The town’s young had learned to dance jive at a dance studio, but they never had the opportunity to dance it at public dance halls where the music was mainly tango and other traditional dance music. When the Turun Pyrkivä sports club decided to organise a rock concert in 1956 at the Concert Hall, the venue quickly became crammed with young people dying to dance. After the concert was over, the dancing continued in the streets and the police got involved. Film critic Tapani Maskula looks back at the hullabaloo on the streets after the concert: “And when the gang saw that there were police cars standing there with doors wide open, and some guy was being thrown into one so that his cap flew down the street and buttons pinged off his clothes, that’s when they realised that they’d better split.” As a result of the concert, Turku also had the dubious honor of being the first in the country to forbid rock n’ roll music. Luckily the ban was only in effect for three months.

But musical events in the region are not restricted to just one genre. Composer-clarinettist Bernhard Henrik Crusell, who was born in 1775 in Uusikaupunki, was a talented and popular musician. As well as in the Nordic countries, he was also known in England and Germany, where his music is played on the radio more than Sibelius! In his honour, Uusikaupunki organises every summer the musical Crusell Week, an event that is focused on woodwind instruments. Other famous musicians from Southwest Finland include


Young volunteers’ work party at Åbo Svenska Teater in November 1944. The prompters can be seen in the front. Photo: The Museum Centre of Turku / Turun Sanomat.


The tv-series Nymfit (Nymphs) was filmed in Turku. Its distribution rights have been sold to over 50 countries. Photo: Fisher King Production.


First and Foremost a Cultural Capital

Karita Mattila, Matti Salminen, Riku Niemi, Suurlähettiläät, Jori Sjöroos, PMMP, Robin and many more. Both Finnish and foreign artists have always enjoyed spending time in the culturally rich Turku. Douglas Blair, the guitarist of the Boston-based band W.A.S.P. who shares his knowledge with young aspiring musicians at the Turku Rock Academy considers Turku his second home, and Mike Monroe from Hanoi Rocks can’t praise the city enough: ”I have chosen Turku after living in Stockholm, London and New York. Doesn’t that say something about this city?”

The influence of the Turku University of Applied Sciences’ Arts Academy on the culture in the city can’t be overestimated – after all, new professionals of the creative sector graduate from it every year. In addition to the general lessons in performing arts, design, fine arts and music, the Arts Academy offers unique study units that can’t be found elsewhere, such as puppetry, circus, creative advertising and animation (which has twice been selected the best animation training in the world). The region’s universities and universities of applied sciences offer art from creative writing to media studies and from communications to art history.

Finland’s oldest theatre, the Swedish language Åbo Svenska Teater, is also located in Turku. Theatre has always been popular among the region’s residents, and so have cinemas. The Turku Cinema Club is the oldest of its kind in Finland and still as enthusiastic about films as ever. There are also several film festivals in the region, such as the Finnish Film Festival and the festival for narrow-gauge film rarities called Kinokult, which takes place in the courtyard of the old Sirkkala barracks area. The nationwide film festival Vinokino, which focuses on gender and sexual minority films, is also coordinated from Turku. Since 2000, numerous films and series have been shot such as Levottomat, Käsky, Hella W., the Vares films, Ella ja Paterock, Nymfit and Mika Kaurismäki’s The Girl King. New productions are being located in the area all the time – Johanna Vuoksenmaa, who directed the most popular Finnish film of 2013, shot her new film, will be shooting her new film Viikossa aikuiseksi in the Turku archipelago during the summer of 2014. The West Finland Film Commission serves both local and international film production by offering support, for example, for funding, shooting arrangements, equipment purchases, recruiting, training, etc. Thanks to the Arts Academy, there is plenty of amazing animation skill in the area, too.

The city also invests in the cultural sector by buying and maintaining facilities and services. More than 200 creative professionals work at the Logomo Centre of Culture, and the venue is also regularly used for exhibitions, concerts and performances. The old Manilla spirit and rope factory offers facilities to many studios, theatres, artists and companies in the creative sector. More than a hundred professionals from the cultural sector work in the Barker area. The Turku Science Park combines creativity and ICT know-how, for example, and so is home to numerous media and game industry companies. In Turku, you can also find Creve, an incubator for the creative sector.







hat the focus will be in the future in Southwest Finland will be determined according to knowhow, experience, international potential and networks. The greatest expectations for new success stories lie on the shoulders of the maritime industry, ecotechnologies and the welfare sector. ICT, commercial, logistic and creative know-how cut through the whole field of economic life and open new doors with their innovative viewpoints. Companies from Southwest Finland already operate globally, and the demand for new, high-quality products and services keeps growing in the fast-developing, large target markets, such as Russia, China, Brazil and India. Although history is a thing of the past, the effect of our story on today is considerable. Without the legacy of the Royal Academy of Turku, it would probably not have been possible for research to follow the product development in the various fields as closely as it now can. Would the effects of xylitol have been noticed at all, and would the hormonal coil not have been invented? Without Salora and Mobira, Nokia’s story would probably be quite different, not to mention the story of the ICT sector. What about the trading trips and voyages made possible by the shipyards and shipping companies? It’s difficult to even try and imagine Turku without the maritime industry because it’s such an essential part of the city’s identity. Long roots have an influence on attitudes and actions. When you have been road-testing ideas, developing new things and acting as a gate between the world and Finland for centuries, innovation, development work and internationality are the backbone of your identity. Over the years, collaboration with different countries, fields of business, companies, units and industrial plants has also become a natural part of who you are and what you do. Know-how keeps creating well-being, even if factories are now producing Benecol instead of quinine powder and design has moved from workshops to virtual space. Biotechnology and food, sea and metal, the city and culture are themes that gather the region’s know-how together in diverse ways. They are themes bursting with international opportunities. The possibilities of the future’s health, renewed industry and insightful city culture are already spawning commercial success stories worldwide, but even more so when combined with high-level education, top research and innovation clusters like the Turku Science Park. And the growth potential in these fields is huge. Relying on its strengths, a region that’s used to being a forerunner has the enthusiasm and zeal to go forward and conquer new areas. Turku has met many new challenges and had to evolve. On the one hand, development requires the ability to adjust and on the other, the ability to reinvent oneself – this is the time for reinventing. Luckily we have a solid base to build upon.


Welfare for the Future

origin of food has become more important than ever. Cleanliness, reliability and traceability are some of Finland’s assets, while the advantages of Southwest Finland lie in its leading position in primary production in our country, plus diverse food processing and research. Success stories such as those of Raisio and Benecol prove that there is know-how in the world market for functional foods, and the food safety of Nestlé Finland, which makes the majority of Finland’s baby foods in Turku, is very impressive.

The aging population, the ever more common lifestyle diseases and the rise in public health-care costs require solutions here in Finland as much as abroad. These challenges are answered in the Turku region by developing preventive, individual products and services that support well-being and have no age limits. Backing by top research in the field, diverse business activities and commitment by the public sector to the development of the welfare sector will give the development work wings. The region’s special know-how is represented by pharmaceutical development, imaging, diagnostics, welfare and health technologies, the development of functional foods and material technology.

International-level microbe and metabolism research, as well as research into probiotics, berries and flavours, enhance the local food industry. New functional and other types of products are created by combining recent The annual research data with turnover farmers’ expertise of the food industry and companies’ in the region is long and varied experience. €3.8 billion. Intelligent packaging, culinary tourism and individual worlds of flavour also offer opportunities for the future.

In the Turku region, the framework of biotechnology is in very good order. In the Turku Science Park campus, there are more than 300 companies and organisations, more than 1,000 international researchers in more than 10 research groups, 400 professors and 25,000 students. The Science Park also includes two universities, two universities of applied sciences, a vocational institute and the laboratories of the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the Hospital Districts of Southwest Finland and the University of Turku. Finland’s first clinical Biobank also operates in the area and soon there will also be a new children’s and women’s hospital and a state-of-theart research laboratory Mikromedicum. It’s no wonder that BioTurku is world famous.

The productivity of the biotechnology sector is undeniable: among the TOP 15 companies of the Southwest Finland’s list for accrued corporation tax, the proportion of life science companies in 2011 was a respectable 76%. The turnover of BioTurku organisations alone is close to 800 million euros. The annual turnover of the food industry in the region is 3.8 billion euros. New experts and doctors graduate from educational establishments all the time, and the investments of more than 100 million euros in the Science Park area will improve things even further. An indicator of the sector’s forward-looking attitude is the top unit statuses of the life science sector, granted by the Academy of Finland, of which 40% were given to Turku.

In diagnostics, attempts are being made to respond to emphasised individuality by utilising mobile technology and developing personal measuring devices that will monitor well-being in real time. Pensioners should also be able to live at home and to this end, technology can be harnessed to support the services. ICT know-how is strongly present in the biotechnology and food industries. As lifestyle diseases increase, the wholesomeness and


One of Finland’s largest and oldest science parks, Turku Science Park, offers an excellent setting for cutting edge biotechnological research. Photo: Turku Technology Properties Group


Sensory attributes of food, such as smell, taste and appearance, are studied in Functional Foods Forum’s sensory evaluation laboratory. Photo: Functional Foods Forum / Arto Puolimatka.


Regional zoning also supports sustainable development e.g. by improving conditions for wind power production.

Blue Economy, Green Economy

The City of Turku invests 500,000 euros per year in the development of top know-how and research in the maritime and metal industries. The Meridiem research community, which is anchored in Turku, will bring together the research on marine technology performed by the City of Turku, University of Turku, Aalto University, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Novia University of Applied Sciences and Åbo Akademi University. This exceptionally diverse palette will take advantage of domestic, international and interdisciplinary expertise to produce truly ground-breaking perspectives and solutions. With its comprehensive service chain, the Aava innovation cluster will offer a route to Norway, Brazil, Europe, Russia and Asia.

In the future, the reserves gathered from the history of marine and material technology, expertise and experience in Southwest Finland will be harnessed more intensely than ever for the use of renewable industry. Blue growth and green tech will form the new wave of industrial development, and thanks to the region’s impressive achievements, Southwest Finland will ride the crest of the wave. The Marine Cluster brings approximately 3.5 billion euros every year to Southwest Finland in turnover, and a significant part of Finland’s most promising clean tech companies work partly or completely in this region.

Greenness will have an influence across different lines of business, and Southwest Finland will show the way: Turku has simultaneously managed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 15 per cent since 1990 while still boosting its economy. Sustainable growth in Finland, as elsewhere, requires investments in responsibility and new green technologies, methods and materials. In the future, competitiveness will be determined by green tech, clean

Utilising the current basis of industry and in collaboration with the sector’s new kinds of business, blue business will create growing trade from everything connected to the sea. Innovative solutions are green and clean tech at their best, and their market will spread throughout the world. The region has 250 blue network companies, 20 planning offices, 15 shipping companies and 5 shipyards.


In 2008 professor Bjarne Holmbom from the Åbo Akademi Process Chemistry Centre and Master of Science in Technology Christian Eckerman accepted the distinguished Marcus Wallenberg prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf and Marcus Wallenberg. Photo: The Marcus Wallenberg Prize / Janne Eriksson

energy and technology solutions, resource efficiency, smart material and service solutions, bio-economy, agriculture economy and environmentally positive industrial processes, etc.

clean technologies, renewable fuels, biomaterials, research based on wood and other natural materials and the research of industrial production. When paired with strong research know-how, the region’s expertise is impressive: material and chemical process technology have achieved the Academy of Finland’s top unit status time after time (Process Chemistry Center ‘PCC’, 2000–2005 and 2006–2011 and FunMat, Functional Materials Research Unit 2008–2013). Professional skills become concrete in the growing stock of enterprises of renewable energy production, the resource efficiency of material flows and the closed cycle of operations. The practical applications include sensors, thin film, biomaterials, medicinal substance transfer matrices and bio and solar energy solutions. Around two hundred new experts in the field graduate every year from the three local universities.

There are currently more than 400 researchers of material and process technology in approximately 25 research groups working in Turku. Turku invests Emphasised in €500,000 per year the research are printed in R&D in intelligence, the maritime and nano-coating, metal industries. composite materials and bioactive glass; whereas in the chemical process technology the focus is on combustion technology, bioenergy, catalysis research of


Insightful Urban Environment

In order for the environment to be functional and support its residents’ everyday routines, the services and infrastructure must run smoothly and efficiently. The greatest business potential resides in social and health care services and education. The agenda includes, among other things, the renewal of public administrative systems so that they become more open, smooth, flexible and proactive. Part of the Kupittaa district of Turku, with its Science Park and hospital, will be made into a welfare pilot district, where modern health care, encouragement towards independent exercise and healthy aging and the testing of new ICT, nutrition and lifestyle solutions meet. Strong ICT know-

The environment affects people’s everyday lives on a practical level, making it smooth or difficult, cosy or uncomfortable. Social challenges, changing modes of operation and digitalisation lay demands on cities, but at the same time, encourage them to reach towards new, better solutions for the future. Functional cities are founded on efficient services, sustainable solutions, smart applications, meaningful design and rich culture.

The new Skanssi district will combine IT, sustainable energy and traffic solutions, innovative services, and functional urban structure. Photo: City of Turku / Thomas HagstrĂśm


The former VR railway workshop has become a diverse culture centre for both creative professionals and culture lovers. Photo: Logomo Oy.


Towards New Adventures

how, close interaction between the city organisation and economic life and an understanding of business will support the development work in the urban environment. Turku wants to act as the test Turku wants to laboratory of be Finland’s test the services in Finland and to laboratory and show the way show the way to to the rest of the rest of Europe. Europe in the future.

As this long and winding story shows, many kinds of knowledge and skill have taken root in Southwest Finland’s soil. The region’s history is coloured by its vibrant stories about the different paths the various industries and sectors have taken to get to where they are now. A lot has been done and a lot has happened. Methods of production and working have developed. Technology has taken long strides forward, one invention at a time. Lifestyles have been turned upside down and people’s everyday lives have been molded accordingly. Meanwhile state borders have moved, rulers have changed, people have been at war and the economy has fallen and risen. There’s a time for everything.

The Turku region has extensive experience of learning environments. An active group of small and medium enterprises is currently developing products, services and business models of teaching technologies, virtual and innovative learning environments and electronic teaching materials and learning solutions for a large scale export market. Virtual environments created for handling machines, equipment and vehicles, and making teaching into a game causes growing demand and creates endless possibilities. Alongside the services of the Turku Science Park, a meeting place for representatives of different sectors will be created in the near future. It will be a social hub that encourages people to exchange ideas openly and to develop new ideas.

With perseverance, There’s no flexibility and shortage considered risks the storms have of courage been weathered, and the pioneer never forgetting spirit is still at hand. to consistently invest in professional skills. Although nobody knows what tomorrow will bring and the world is changing faster than ever, Turku and the region embracing it are well prepared. Faith in cooperation, research, development work and quality live on. There’s no shortage of courage and the pioneer spirit is still at hand. That’s why the region wants to continue to promote bold new ideas and practices and be at the forefront of development, showing the way. One thing’s for sure: the Turku region will continue to create well-being. What kinds of plot-twists the story will bring remains to be seen. Perhaps you too will have a hand in future chapters.

However, functionality doesn’t guarantee enjoyment and comfort. A meaningful environment offers surprises and stimuli for all the senses. That’s why the cultural sector is so strongly invested in the Turku region. Logomo’s 5,000 square metres allow creative people to meet in flexible facilities and bounce ideas around in order to create art, events and cultural products and services. The film, event and tourism sectors also have plenty of opportunities and an excellent capacity to grow.





Merchant ships, mobile phones and medicaments  

A story of industry and know-how in Southwest Finland throughout time

Merchant ships, mobile phones and medicaments  

A story of industry and know-how in Southwest Finland throughout time