Regional innovations and experimentations

Launching regional innovations and experimentations (AIKO) is one of the regional development measures initiated by the Government of Prime Minister Sipilä. The aim is to ensure Finland’s competitiveness, promote growth and use resources and expertise available in different parts of the country. Regional business structures will be strengthened by improving operating environments and the ability of the regions to adopt new operating models.

 Launching regional innovations and experimentations (AIKO) involves three tools:

1) measures for anticipated structural change (ERM),
2) growth agreements between the state and selected cities, and
3) establishing nationally important growth zones.

A total of EUR 30 million will be available for the measures between 2016 and 2018 (about EUR 10 million each year). About one half of the appropriation will be allocated to implementing the agreements and the rest to ERM measures.

Management of anticipated structural change means active renewal of business approaches. Regions are encouraged to specialise and introduce pilot projects based on their own strengths.  Renewal of business operations, growth, internationalisation and pilot projects promoting employment and entrepreneurship play a central role in this process.

The aim of the growth agreements is to promote growth and competitiveness of enterprises by focusing on a small number of strategic key projects. The agreements concludeed in 2016 with the cities submitting the best proposals. The growth agreement concludeed with the Helsinki Region is part of the metropolitan policy.

Developing growth zones is a new tool for regional development. The aim of the growth zones is to expand business activities, improve labour mobility and make commuting across municipal boundaries easier. The state will conclude strategic agreements with one or two growth zones with the aim of developing the zones.

Further information: jarmo.palm(at) and heli.ponto(at)