Otaniemi Opens Innovation Agency in Silicon Valley

4/12/2005 - Otaniemi, the leading technology cluster in the Nordic countries, will open an office in Silicon Valley. The new Otaniemi Innovation Agency will promote collaboration between Finnish and US-based technology organizations and open new avenues for academic exchange initiatives.

Incorporated as a US corporation with non-profit status, the Otaniemi Innovation Agency will make it significantly easier for top Finnish researchers to arrange exchange programs at US universities. The new company will be established by Otaniemi Marketing Ltd, a joint venture between leading research and public sector organizations in the Otaniemi area.

"Until now, Finnish research institutions have not had a focal point to coordinate their activities in the United States. A joint non-profit corporation is the ideal way to bring Finland's technology and research presence in the US to the next level and to create new possibilities for two-way exchange programs. Local presence offers US organizations an opportunity to use unique resources and knowledge of Otaniemi community. For Finnish companies, this offers an opportunity to learn about true demand oriented markets by being involved in innovation very early on" said Maija Hämäläinen, Managing Director, Otaniemi Marketing Ltd.

Located in the Helsinki metropolitan area, Otaniemi is an internationally recognized centre of research, science, higher learning and technology. The technology community in the area actively promotes the innovations and companies that will drive the economy of Finland and northern Europe both now and in the future.

Silicon Valley was a natural choice as the location of Otaniemi's US office. The area is home to many of the world's most esteemed technology universities and research laboratories, including Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Stanford Research Institute. Of the global Fortune 500 companies, 400 have innovation-related activities in the region.

Mr. Kaarlo Heiskanen has been named Managing Director of the Otaniemi Innovation Agency. The office will open in July 2005 adjacent to the premises of Finpro, an organization that promotes the internationalization of Finnish businesses. Other Finnish companies and organizations operating in the vicinity include the National Technology Agency of Finland (Tekes), Solid Information Technology, Nokia, F-Secure, MySQL and Nexit Ventures.

The EU Commission has twice nominated Otaniemi as one of the most innovative regions in Europe. The area is host to nearly 15,000 students of the Helsinki University of Technology, as well as over 6,000 researchers and more than 300 technology companies employing 4,000 people.

Mr Ron Gonzales, Mayor of San Jose and Mrs Marketta Kokkonen, Mayor of Espoo held a press conference in Espoo, Finland April 8th, 2005. Photos available at www.netprofile.fi/espoo_finland.

About Otaniemi
Otaniemi is the leading technology hub in the Nordic countries, featuring a unique mix of top-level research organizations, academic institutions and technology businesses. Located within the Helsinki metropolitan area, Otaniemi offers technology professionals, students, companies and other organizations an inspiring environment that provides countless possibilities for multidisciplinary collaboration. The community of over 25,000 people includes 15,000 students of the Helsinki University of Technology as well as 10,000 technology professionals, of which 6,000 are employed by research organizations and 4,000 by technology companies. Otaniemi Marketing Ltd. develops and markets the Otaniemi area. The company is founded and owned by the City of Espoo, Technopolis, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, The Helsinki University of Technology, The Student Union of the Helsinki University of Technology (TKY), Keskuslaboratorio-Centrallaboratorium (KCL), Espoo-Vantaa Institute of Technology (EVTEK) and Laurea Polytechnic.

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