A prosperous Lapland - with sustainable innovations

As the name suggests, the smart specialisation strategy aims for regional specialisation – the kind of development activity that differentiates us from other regions nationally and internationally. The strategy has been built taking into account the needs of Lapland’s leading industries, and the strategy partly guides the region’s research, development and innovation (R&D) investments in the current EU funding period. In Lapland, we implement smart specialisation under the joint Arctic Smartness brand.

Lapland’s smart specialisation supports the sustainable growth of the region’s main industries and the innovation capabilities of Lappish SME´s. Lapland’s smart specialisation strategy has four priorities:


The goals of smart specialisation strategy

  1. To boost research and education organisation´s ability to support the innovation operations amongst Lapland´s micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises
  2. To renew expertise and joint action models in the research and education sector
  3. To promote the willingness of companies to invest in the advancement of expertise, production, services and processes, as well as foster the attractiveness of Lapland as an investment target
  4. To strengthen co-operation among businesses, research and educational institutions, municipalities, the public sector, development organisations and civil society around strategic priorities

Strategic priorities

Lapland's smart specialisation strategy has four priority areas to which, by directing development activities, Lapland SME´s have high growth and development potential. The region's strong R&D capabilities and the desire to steer the region toward a more environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable future are also taken into consideration when choosing priorities.

Implementing the strategy

Plans for implementing the smart specialisation strategy have been created for all strategic priorities. The primary objectives of the implementation plans are to increase the level of planning for Lapland’s development activities, to collaboratively create more efficient development entities, and to make extensive use of the expertise of different organisations in the development of Lapland’s main sectors.

The regional smart specialisation coordination group oversees the strategy’s implementation. Every two years, the coordination group takes part in the process of updating the strategy.

Monitoring and evaluation

Strategy evaluation occurs via indicator monitoring, in addition to which project monitoring is carried out in relation to the implementation plans. Project monitoring is implemented mainly with regard to the regional and structural policy funds. The implementation plans are followed up also in terms of the total number of companies involved. Based on Statistics Finland’s material, the strategy monitors the development of Lapland’s business base and turnover, R&D expenditures and R&D personnel by sector, Business Finland’s funding in the region, and the development of the processing value of production.

Indicator evaluation with respect to the smart specialisation strategy is conducted annually, and the implementation is evaluated every two years.