Jyväskylä Human Tech Center blends humanities with technologies
"The key to success in this millennium is to understand humans."
Fundamental yet revolutionary, this outlook summarises the campaign promoting one of Finland's fastest-growing cities - Jyväskylä, where traditional strengths in the humanities blend with leading-edge technologies.
Branding itself as the country's Human Tech Center, Jyväskylä is intensifying international activity alongside co-operation among businesses, educational institutions and other organisations.
"Our core competence is the deep understanding of human perspective and applying this understanding to different aspects of life," says Jyväskylä Mayor Markku Andersson. "This is the groundwork for what we believe will generate the future's success stories, which will no longer be achieved only by technological expertise - but by how technologies, products and services are being humanised."
Jyväskylä brings together some of the country's world-class clusters of expertise, from education to new-generation equipment and bioenergy. These, along with an advanced infrastructure, a highly skilled workforce, a broad network of potential business partners and the full co-operation of local agencies, make the city an ideal place to work, live and invest.
Stepping up efforts to put its name on the world map as a top business destination, Jyväskylä established Jykes, a regional development company aimed at creating a favourable business environment and improving the co-operation between companies and the public sector.
With the mainland being one of Jyväskylä's biggest partners, Jykes is keen on strengthening its role as a bridge between Finnish and Chinese industries. It also serves Chinese companies that are interested to find partners in Finland, other European countries and Russia.
"China's 12th five-year plan raises environmental and education issues - and Jyväskylä is equipped in these areas," Andersson says. "We aim to continue our operating model, which is long-term partnership."
Such partnership is exemplified in the city's environmental programme in Kunming, wherein Jyväskylä has a twin-city co-operation agreement.
As a host to global technology leaders including Metso and Vapo, Jyväskylä is likewise reinforcing industries including papermaking, energy and environmental and information technologies, while nurturing growing sectors such as wellness and nanotechnology.
"Collaboration between education and business is the foundation for new entrepreneurial activity," Andersson says. "We are also looking for partners in business and interested to exchange ideas on innovation-related issues and urban policy."
As part of its renewing urban policy, Finland is emphasising the role of major cities in the national economy. In this context of "innovative cities", Jyväskylä aims to concentrate on the wise use of resources, developing cyber-security and new value chains, services and products of bio-economy to guarantee the continuous well-being of its citizens.