Field: Partnership
Global Technical function: Support to business
Technical Function Unit: Enhancing the cooperation, Networking, Public grant partial funding for R&D
Geographic Area: Finland
Type of actors: Industry, Investors, SMEs

Nordic Innovation Accelerator

An open innovation platform for solving environmental challenges and enhancing the cooperation between large corporations and SMEs

The challenge

Start-ups/SMEs & industry could both benefit from enhanced collaboration in the development of innovative solutions. SMEs can receive resources for improving the concept and  large-scale corporations can receive solutions to their R&D problems.

The network

Veolia Environment, the world leader in the environmental services and Lahti Region Development LADEC Ltd, launched the Nordic Innovation Accelerator in Finland in the autumn of 2013. This new, open innovation platform offers the cleantech companies support to business by offering opportunitities to showcase their innovations on an international forum. And for large companies it offers the possibility to open their internal R&D challenges and find new solutions/ideas outside their own organization.

The model is based on the Veolia Innovation Accelerator programme, a major initiative designed and developed by Veolia Environment, to support green growth around the world by promoting the development and deployment of leading clean technologies in partnership with entrepreneurs.

The Nordic Innovation Accelerator, hosted by LADEC, targets cleantech companies of various sizes with different maturity levels operating in Finland and other Nordic countries with the ambition to speed up their growth through networking and cooperation.

Registered users form a network of innovative companies who can offer their solutions to open calls and the large companies who can launch innovation calls via the online platform. Each launched challenge is promoted by digital marketing and events organised to reach the Scandinavian companies.

The platform is financed by Public grant partial funding for R&D and companies’ own contributions.

The benefits

Companies need help in order to perform to the best of their abilities on international markets. The network allows companies in different regions to find new partners and development projects. For the growth companies (start-ups & SMEs) the service is free of charge.

Open innovation has become a vital way of boosting the innovation process of environmental technology companies and creating successful business through interaction. Interaction with innovative SMEs benefits the larger companies involved in the network. Larger companies pay for the service by means of a yearly fee.

Further deployment

The next step is to include the investors in the network. Investor would benefit from the due diligence made by the larger companies during the innovation challenge processes and the interesting companies in the network.

The GML is estimated at 7GML 7as the pilot project has shown good results and the networks could be easily scaled up to other regions.