Sustainable urban development – ecosystem agreements 

In the 2021–2027 programming period, sustainable urban development will be carried out through ecosystem agreements, which the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has concluded with 16 urban areas. The Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council is the funding authority in three ecosystem agreements targeting southern Finland: the Helsinki metropolitan area, Lahti and Turku. The Regional Council of South Karelia is the funding authority in the ecosystem agreement for Lappeenranta (incl. Imatra).

Each ecosystem has its own priorities for which funded projects are sought. Further information about ecosystem agreements is available on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Ecosystem agreements of individual urban areas (PDF, in Finnish)

​The funded projects must comply with the regional and structural policy programme and the ecosystem agreement of each city.


Ecosystem priorities

Helsinki metropolitan area

  • Smart and sustainable urban solutions
  • Wellbeing and health technology
  • New learning environments and digital solutions for skills development
  • New initiatives and ecosystem development


  • Carbon neutral circular economy
    • Development centre and innovation ecosystem for carbon neutral construction
    • Lahti centre for material cycles and platform for research and education
  • Sports business
    • SportbusinessHub – National driver of sports export and business.
    • Finland’s ecosystem for sports, exercise, tourism and events.
    • Lahti SportsHub – The most international sports arena in Finland.
    • Sports research and education as part of the SportsBusinessHub business ecosystem.


  • Industry renewal
    • New production methods, service models and digital solutions
    • Clean and resource-smart solutions
    • Responsible, local manufacture
    • Smart Blue Industry
  • The life sciences sector
    • Pharmaceutical development and diagnostics, focusing on additive manufacturing
    • Promotion of digital technologies in business
    • Operations supporting national pharmaceutical development
    • Strengthening and internationalisation of the ProHealth growth programme
  • Cross-cutting themes
    • Circular economy, resource smartness and bioeconomy
    • Digitalisation
    • Urban development platform

Lappeenranta (incl. Imatra)

  • Green electrification
    • Energy-efficient electricity use (electric machines, power electronics, industrial automation)
    • Methods for producing carbon neutral synthetic fuels and biofuels (P2X)
      • Carbon dioxide capture and processing
      • Green hydrogen production and promotion of the hydrogen economy
      • Synthesising technology
    • Smart, demand responsive electrical power networks and buildings
      • Micro networks and storage solutions for electricity and heat
      • Digital services for building automation
    • Construction of a small modular reactor (SMR) ecosystem
  • Sets of measures
    • Preparing selected spearhead investments
    • Promoting ecosystem services and co-creation in the Greenreality Network.
    • Introducing the Talent Hub South Karelia operating model, creating links between learning and business development, commercialising business ideas
    • Channelling EU and international funding to Finland
    • Improving companies’ digital ability and competence
    • Innovative procurement
    • Establishing a carbon neutral business park and attracting experts


Hanna Laaksonen (Helsinki metropolitan area, Lahti, Turku)
Senior Specialist, EU regional and structural policy funding
Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council
Tel. +358 40 574 8930

Laura Peuhkuri (Lappeenranta)
Regional Development Manager
Regional Council of South Karelia
Tel. +358 40 631 5970


Susanna Kaskinen (Lappeenranta)
Administrative Specialist
Regional Council of South Karelia
Tel. +358 40 682 5819