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The most innovative data-driven solutions could be Finland’s next success stories

More than 20 business and organisational solutions have made it to the first list of Finland’s Most Interesting Data Economy Solutions. New ways of using data can generate new business, reform society and generate well-being.


Johanna Kippo

Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs


The first list of the Most Interesting Data Economy Solutions in Finland highlights the 24 most interesting data solutions from different sectors and from all over Finland, from Pori to Joensuu and Helsinki to Sodankylä. The solutions selected for the list use data to solve sustainability issues, in school education, to improve consumer well-being, to modernise industry and agriculture, or to make transport more efficient.

The solutions selected for the list reflect, for example, Finland’s pioneering role in so-called MyData solutions that respect individual rights. They enable service users to benefit from the data collected about them and to manage it more easily. 

Examples include the Vastuu Group’s job search service and services offered by grocery chains, where consumers can access information about their purchases to support healthier or more sustainable everyday choices. The Finnish Olympic Committee’s Suomisport service collects information on the movement of athletes for use in research in the sector. 

Sitra selected the solutions for the new list together with an evaluation panel of data economy experts. Nearly 80 solutions were submitted in an open call organised by Sitra.

Laura Halenius, Project Director at Sitra, is delighted that Finland has pioneers in data science from a variety of sectors, from large established companies to growth companies, public organisations and educational institutions. Data-driven services are available for both businesses and consumers.

“Data-driven companies are more productive than others, and we see good examples of this in Finland. We want to encourage more and more companies to seize the opportunities offered by data and develop their own data-driven solutions,” says Halenius, who was also on the jury for the list.

Satellites to help reduce emissions and showcase emerging innovations

Several of the solutions selected for the list use data to drive the green transition and mitigate the climate crisis. They provide tools that companies can use to assess and monitor their impact on nature, calculate their carbon footprint and report on the environment. For example, Biocode, which works with companies in the agri-food sector, and Materialisting, which works in the construction sector, are doing so, while the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the University of Vaasa have used data collected by satellites to improve emissions monitoring.

“For example, the circular economy, which aims to keep materials and their value in circulation, needs data that moves with materials, products and services. In the past, the lack of digitalisation was a brake on the circular economy in Finland. Now, tightening legislation in the European Union is also driving the circular economy forward with data,” says Halenius.

Data-driven services also offer opportunities for cost savings and operational efficiency, both in logistics and in the emerging industry. For example, the Port Activity App, which provides real-time ship and port information to maritime transport operators, is one of the most efficient applications for maritime transport and port operations. It was developed by Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and Fintraffic, a traffic management company.

Some of the solutions on the list are still at an experimental stage,” says Emma-Leena Kemppainen, an expert in the Sitra project, which aims to encourage Finland to innovate and succeed by exploiting the opportunities offered by the data economy.

“We wanted to include solutions in the early stages of development, interesting pilots and emerging services to show the future potential of the data economy,” says Kemppainen.

This is the first time that Sitra has compiled a list of the Most Interesting Data Economy Solutions. Since 2016, Sitra has been compiling a popular list of the most interesting companies in the circular economy, helping different stakeholders to understand the business, corporate landscape, and opportunities of the circular economy.

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