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Conference programme


Thursday 9.11.2017

Venue: Multidimensional Tourism Institute (MTI), Viirinkankaantie 1



Transport from hotels to the venue, pick-up and drop-off for all participants will take place at one central location: the Santa Claus hotel.

Registration and welcome coffee



MTI, Sports Hall

NSPA Workshop: Taking ownership of regional development in the North - Smart Specialisation as a tool

This joint workshop with Economic Council Members of the European Union Committee of the Regions (CoR), the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA) Network and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will focus on NSPA experiences in regional development and OECD policy recommendations for the region. Concrete lessons will be drawn to advise the future of the EU regional policy and Smart Specialisation agenda.


  • Welcome words: Mika Riipi, Governor, Regional Council of Lapland

  • NSPA welcome: Satu Vehreävesa, NSPA Chairwoman
  • Future of Smart Specialisation: Markku Markkula, Vice President, CoR
  • Nordregio s3 from research point of view and comments on OECD study: Jukka Teräs, Nordregio
  • Lapland Arctic Smartness concept as a hands-on example of best practice of Smart Specialisation: Kristiina Jokelainen, Regional Council of Lapland


Smart Specialisation networking lunch buffet 





NSPA forum - looking for the future 
MTI, Auditorium


The first part of the session will explore the various possible ways in which the NSPA can optimally utilise the opportunities of the future cohesion policy. The recent EC Smart Specialisation Communication emphasises the role of S3 in their future policies. In the same vein, the recent OECD study on the NSPA clearly demonstrated the benefits of the Smart Specialisation approach for the NSPA area and the need to explore common ground for collaboration among the NSPA regions. Smart Specialisations will thus form a natural basis for the future of the NSPA collaboration.

  • Opening, Setting the Scene: Jukka Teräs, Nordregio, on Smart Specialisation for the NSPA in a Nordic context
  • Panel Discussion - "How to be Smart with Smart Specialisation in the NSPA":

o   Recap of results from first common NSPA discussions:  Päivi Ekdahl, Regional Council of Lapland

o   Experiences on the BSR Funding alignment cooperation, Cleantech pilot: Seppo Ahola, Digipolis

o   Jukka Teräs, Nordic Council of Ministers research centre Nordregio

o   Regional representatives from Sweden, Finland and Norway: Päivi Ekdahl, Regional Council of Lapland; Erik Lövgren, Västernorrland, Norwegian rep. TBC

  • Conclusion: Jukka Teräs, Nordregio



Coffee Break



MTI, Auditorium

The second part of the session will focus on the EU level policy developments, affecting the conditions of NSPA regional development, notably the EU regional policy and the EU Arctic policy. In particular, the recent EC reports from these policy fields and the NSPA comments/positions will be discussed.

  • Key Note speech: Markku Markkula, Vice President, CoR
  • Arctic Stakeholder Forum - Potential for the NSPA to take ownership of the Regional Arctic Development

o   NSPA Position: Kari Aalto, Director, East & North EU office  

o   Harri Mäki-Reinikka, Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland

o   Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian regional representatives: Anders Josefsson Västerbotten; Riitta Koskinen, South Savo; Nils Nilsen, North Norway European Office

  • NSPA views on the EU cohesion report and reflection papers: role of regional policy for the future of EU

o   NSPA Position: Mikael Janson, North Sweden European Office




Conclusions and the next NSPA Forum:

  • Conclusions: Mika Riipi, Governor, Regional Council of Lapland

  • Next NSPA Forum: Anders Byström, Jämtland Härjedalen





Departure from hotel Santa Claus to dinner venue Lehtopirtti. 

Finland's 100-year celebration dinner

- History of Lappish food  

40€ at own cost & limited number of participants


Dinner will be at Lehtopirtti, approximately 30min bus ride from Rovaniemi.





Friday 10.11.2017

Venue: Multidimensional Tourism Institute (MTI) , Viirinkankaantie 1
Sports Hall



Transport from hotel Santa Claus to the venue

Registration and coffee


PART I - ECON CONFERENCE and CoR Local event - Reflecting the Europe

Case Arctic Smartness - Supporting emerging industries to boost the regional growth


This "Arctic Smartness" conference will explore how best to support emerging industries to foster regional economic growth, including through implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies. Conference will feature speakers from Finnish government, European institutions and regional authorities across Europe.


Opening the conference
Arnoldas Abramavicius, 1st Vice-Chair of the CoR's ECON Commission

Reflecting Europa - to make the voice of the regional authorities to be heard, Markku Markkula, Conference General Chair,
First Vice President, Committee of the Regions


The concept of emerging industries in the European North: Transregional collaboration supporting future development

The Arctic Smart Rural Communities Cluster has been one of the success stories in Lapland since it was launched, in part thanks to European transregional collaboration. Agri-food and natural products are now among emerging industries in the North and a good-practice example for the EU at large.

Debate - How to better create opportunities for next generation industries to boost growth and business creation?

Debate facilitated by Kari Aalto, Director, East & North Finland EU office, Brussels

Debate participants:

  • Mika Riipi, County Governor
  • Markku Markkula, First Vice President, Committee of the Regions
  • Thomas Lämmer-Gamp, Director, ESCA - European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis
  • Ilkka Kauppinen, CEO, Arctic Warriors



Coffee break


Being active and strong in European collaboration - EU territorial investments and programmes as drivers for collaboration

Many regions throughout the EU, in particular remote and rural regions, face important challenges to their economic development, including for instance a lack of human resources and negative net migration, especially of younger generations. Creating a favourable environment, attracting and retaining skilled individuals and entrepreneurs, or creating cross-sectorial networks and platforms are thus paramount for the regional knowledge base and economy to grow. Smart specialisation and entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP) are some of the EU tools available for regions to tackle these challenges.

Debate - How to best use EU tools and programmes to overcome challenges to development in rural or remote regions in Europe?

Debate is facilitated by Timo Aarrevaara, Professor of Management, Lapland University of Lapland

Entrepreneurship facilitation, rural approach (15 minutes)
Beatriz Casado Sáenz, Director, Agency for Innovation, Funding and Internationalisation of Castile-Leon

  • Heinz Lehmann, CoR member, rapporteur on the EU industrial policy strategy

  • Tanja Häyrynen, Project Manager, Arctic Bioeconomy, Regional Council of Lapland

  • Alexiei Dingli, Mayor of Valletta, Malta

  • Hank Kune, Director, Educore
  • Sanna Jämsä, Wild from Arctic, Lapland



Closing of the conference



Lunch buffet


PART II - Study visits: "Putting Arctic Smartness into practice"

Following up on the morning conference, the study visits will present examples of putting Arctic Smartness into practice. Study visit will provide two possibilities for the showcases.

Arctic Development Environments and Arctic Design clusters - Supporting the growth of Northern livelihoods

Visit is organised in SINCO service design laboratory at the University of Lapland.
Bus transportation will be provided from MTI to SINCO lab.

Presentation of Arctic Development Environments Cluster work towards region wide innovation service ecosystem for SMEs and industry.

Arctic Design Cluster - designing Smart Mobility Service concept with industry using biometrics.


Arctic Safety Cluster - Regional cooperation tackling the challenges of sparsely populated areas.

Visit is organised at Multidimensional Tourism Institute (MTI), room 321.

    - Synergies among success story of cohesion funding and European funding (ERDF + Interreg Europe)

    - Current state of social entrepreneurship in Lapland

The day will end with a visit to the magical Santa Claus Village close to the airport.