Internationality and the internationalisation of enterprises have also expanded to cover the international expertise of companies, which brings with it new ways of thinking and new operating models. For a long time, large companies have made it more a rule than an exception to recruit experts from abroad, and corporate operating cultures have become more international from within. These examples have increased the appreciation of international networking and a wide network of contacts is seen as a part of the competence of a top expert.
The launch of the Tampere Ambassador network in 2015 was one of the first openings in the activation of international networks and in the utilisation of the competence and contacts of foreign professionals already here. Another fresh example is the Twinkle event, which is being held this year for the second time, bringing together international experts and companies. The development of these international networks has been an eye-opening experience, through the fact that the Tampere City Region is a pioneer in promoting measures relating to the utilisation of international experts.
We often name Canada as an example of the highly effective attraction of experts but, in the end, the measures that we perform in the region to integrate experts into the business life are new and there is great demand for them. However, as examples Canada and Silicon Valley are fascinating, as for their success is strongly based on diversity and active influence by international expert communities at different levels of business life.
In Finland, 60% of SMEs seeking growth intend to increase their investment in internationalisation in the following year. Along with growth and internationalisation, the significance of competence is growing: the growth in exports is largely based on the availability of high-quality competence. In almost half of companies, a lack of skilled labour restricts growth. Every tenth company says that the poor availability of skilled labour is the most significant obstacle to the growth of the company. The most significant weaknesses in the internationalisation of business operations of companies concern target market resource- and subject expertise and the management of the right contacts and networks. International expert communities could introduce smooth and innovative solutions to this problem.
The availability of experts and international competence are both significant factors impacting growth in the Tampere Region. Unfortunately, companies and the region’s public actors have not yet been able to make full use of the possibilities offered by the international networks and experts available in the region. One way of utilising international expert networks is to promote the international visibility of the Tampere Region, for example through Ambassador activities, by promoting dialogue between expert networks and companies. In line with the examples of Canada and Silicon Valley, before long this would even impact the decisions of international companies to set up in the area and the export opportunities of domestic companies. This requires firm will and motivation to render the Tampere Region even more international by utilising expert networks.
Senior Business Advisor, Talent Attraction