Innovation platforms 2017: Platforms as synapses of the innovation ecosystem

The number of platform-type operators and operating environments continues to increase and diversify in the Tampere Region since new operating environments enabling platform-like operations have been established in the area. The area’s accelerator operations, for example, were complemented with Mediapolis’ Maccelerator. Another newcomer, Crazy Town, offers enterprises collective work space with related services. During the past year, communities for enterprises in the start-up phase have also been established, such as Tampere Startup Hub and Tribe Tampere, which brings together the area’s start-up and growth enterprise ecosystem. At the same time, environments that have been in operation for a longer time develop and revamp themselves. The principles of platform-like operations have also been recognised as part of the basic operations and services of organisations.

These development trends are steps towards a stronger entity in the region. Platforms enable the development of new kinds of innovation partnerships and connections, for example, between public and private actors, and offer interfaces between different operating environments. At their best, platforms serve as kinds of synapses of the innovation ecosystem.

The ecosystem of Innovation Platforms and startup services in the Tampere Region 2017. Status september 2017. Visualization: The Council of Tampere Region, Taina Ketola

We are globally known for our open innovation environments.

There is solid proof, especially of the cooperation between universities, the public sector and companies, in the creation of new operating methods and the development of new products. At Demola, real problems are solved by assembling as diverse a team as possible in which the members complement each other’s expertise. For students, Demola is a part of their studies but it also gives them valuable networks in working life and possible licensing remuneration in addition to just ECTS credits. Demola is an important, world-conquering innovation from Tampere, which is well worth boasting about. Harri Melin, Vice Rector of the University of Tampere


The Tableau presentation above provides a look at some of the platform actors of the Tampere Region and the enterprises operating on them. A similar examination was also done in connection with last year’s Situational Picture. In comparison to the Tampere Region’s economic structure, the platforms still have few enterprises, for example, from the construction or trade sector. Instead, there are more enterprises from industry, professional operations and the information and communications sector actively involved in the operations of the platforms. A majority of the enterprises are over five years old. The geographical division of the enterprises is fairly even between the Tampere Region and rest of Finland. The majority of enterprises coming from outside the Tampere Region are from the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region.

The platform environments seem to have been divided into actors focusing their service offering on young and small enterprises, and platform environments focusing on serving medium-sized or large established enterprises that have been operating for a longer time. As a whole, it can be seen that the enterprises operating on the platforms represent enterprises of different sizes fairly evenly.

It has been challenging to collect systematic information on the platform field, for example due to the heterogeneity of actors in the field and different data collection methods. The goal of the Situational Picture of the innovation operations is, however, to collect information on platform operations more extensively in the future.

“It has been challenging to assemble information supporting the conceptualisation of the overall picture of the platform ecosystem from the innovation platforms, since the data models and data collection methods vary greatly between the different platforms. Information on the operation of the platforms and innovation created as part of their operation is, however, essential for the area’s innovation political decision-making and strategic development work of the functions to be based on data that is as topical and accurate as possible. The ongoing AIKO-funded InnoDigi project is currently testing what kind of data model and user interface could be used to assemble and combine data produced by the platforms to support information and knowledge management.” Taina Ketola, Development Manager of the InnoDigi project

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