Espoo Innovation Garden

Innovation Alley: Design Factory – Startup Sauna – Urban Mill

Situated in the heart of Espoo Innovation Garden, Innovation Alley is the focal point of innovation buzz on Aalto University campus. Its core activities pivot around Aalto Design Factory, Startup Sauna and Urban Mill. Together these three co-working and co-creation platforms, and their common yards, form a networked physical, virtual and social Knowledge Triangle with its nodes focused on learning (main responsibility Design Factory), systemic innovation (main responsibility Urban Mill) and new business creation (main responsibility Startup Sauna).

These three multi-disciplinary communities of practice work daily and closely together. Activities are mainly self-organised and collaboration is facilitated through shared boundary objects. The human-centered innovation orchestration approaches in use challenge the traditional institution-centered practices. Innovation alley attracts yearly thousands of international visitors (e.g. scholars, businessmen and investors) and the exchange with its global co-location networks is intensive.

Aalto Design Factory (founded 2008) is an experimental co-creation platform for education, research and application of product design – where ‘design’ has a broad meaning. Design Factory aims to develop a passion-based student-centric learning culture for the Aalto University.

Startup Sauna (founded 2010) is a non-profit space, organization and community for startups and aspiring entrepreneurs in Northern and Eastern Europe and Russia. The aim is to implement a blooming startup ecosystem and a pay-it-forward culture into the region in order to make it the best place for startups.

Urban Mill (founded 2013) is a thematic focal point and open innovation platform service for global urban innovators. It is a co-working space, an innovation community, as well as a change orchestration tool for urban development. It aims to re-define the way in which people accomplish joint innovation work, and aims to make societal impact in a global urban context.


One alternative future, based on ideas collected from the Innovation Alley communities.

Otaniemi: Innovation – Business – Quality of Life.

Otaniemi, located in Espoo, Finland, is the largest technology hub in the Northern Europe, featuring a unique mix of top-level research organizations, academic institutions and technology businesses. Otaniemi is a community of over 32,000 people that includes 16,000 students and another 16,000 technology professionals.

110 different nationalities. Buzz. Serendipity.

If you are interested in visiting Otaniemi or if you’re looking for a suitable location to establish your hitech business in Scandinavia or Europe, look no further – Otaniemi is the place to be. Are you in Otaniemi yet? If not – allow us already in Otaniemi to help you get started and connected!

Otaniemi Marketing Ltd’s mission is to enhance Otaniemi’s competitiveness by supporting close collaboration between its key players and boosting its recognition and exposure around the world. For more information about Otaniemi and Otaniemi Marketing please check:

Espoo Innovation Garden: Innovation and adventurous experiences!

Espoo is a garden of innovation and adventurous experiences – Espoo Innovation Garden. This refers to an innovative operational model that encourages a culture of collaboration; it’s the Espoo way of thinking and acting. Espoo Innovation Garden shares and enriches the Espoo story.

Espoo Innovation Garden is a growing and developing city garden that offers diverse services in the area that includes Otaniemi, Keilaniemi and Tapiola. It’s the home of the largest innovation hub in Northern Europe with thriving international companies, the hottest start-up sauna on the planet, various cultural activities and sports clubs as well as a renowned community of scientists and researchers. Science, financial activities and arts all make the Garden flourish.

Several world class companies have their global HQ’s, local or regional HQ’s or R&D units in Espoo Innovation Garden. These include Rovio, Kone, Nokia, Samsung, Microsoft, Bayer, Aalto University, VTT Research, EIT ICT Labs.

A total of 5,000 researchers, 25 research and development organisations and a number of Finnish listed companies operate in the area. The fact that there are people of 110 different nationalities working in the area is a clear reflection of its international character. The active centre of science and finance is enriched by abundant offering of arts and cultural events.


Espoo’s success in the European Commission’s 2014 search for the European Capital of Innovation inspired our gardeners to continue to work with the Espoo soil to make it even more of a fertile ground for growth and innovation. Espoo managed to get onto the shortlist of six prominent cities from among 58 applicant cities.

Encounters – planned or random – between people are a source of innovation and new experiences. The garden will grow and flourish the more gardeners that tend to it. Everyone is welcome to do some gardening, make it bloom and create new innovation and experiences.

Making the dream garden come true

Espoo Innovation Garden’s aim is to bring together the various partners operating in the area and to encourage their collaboration and sense of community. We are making our dreams come true by nurturing the best companies, the best research and the best environment to work and live in. We want to prepare a seedbed for creating new jobs and a good strong living environment in collaboration with companies, communities and residents. Our aim is to develop both as a ground where innovation can grow and as a partner who makes innovation work.

We want to increase cooperation activities in order to create opportunities for success for the entire country as well as good life for the people living and working in the area. Our dream is to make the Innovation Garden bear fruit for the entire metropolitan area and all of Finland.

How to become a gardener?

People, companies and communities are the most important resources in our garden. Espoo Innovation Garden is an open network of residents, companies and communities. Anyone can become a gardener – science and research organisations, companies, cultural and sports organisations, city employees and residents. Anyone who lives in or likes Espoo is welcome.


1 thought on “Espoo Innovation Garden

    Invitation by EGOCREANET ( NGO-Italy);
    Type of action: Coordination and Support Actions.

    1.Title (Acronym + Full title)“BREAK “ + /-BREAK – BARRIERS for IMPROVING “Social Responsibility of Science and Art ”) .
    ”Break”, will be a European program of events open to a pause for reflection on the need ’to boost creativity socially responsible of Science and Art.

    Rethinking Science : scientific research has changed the world.
    Now it needs to change itself with an higher rsponsibility.
    → EGOCREANET would develop a project to enhance a deep reflection about the fast-technological modernization looking to favor a more conscious and responsible foundations for improving human values in a new science research & innovation more adapted to the future Thinking Design of responsible knowledge society.

    3. Scope .
    Science and innovations are often hidden behind simple buttons and patterns touchable with a finger. The Project BREAK Barriers for Improving Social responsibility of science aims to make explicit for young people to overcome the existing barriers between generations through the breaking down of these barriers for developing together a sense of conscious responsibility of the role of science in civilization’ of contemporary era. As a matter of facts often emerging technology contains high levels conceptually and complex science hidden behind the touch of a finger on a screen or press a button, causing difficulties in advanced science knowing. So that the stimulus response behavior, activated by the touch of your fingers on screens or buttons, could generate high levels of un-consciousness. For example, the natural activity of sharing emotions developed by the ”mirror neurons”,may be excluded using the modern ,ITC tools of a distance education These and other considerations involve a careful reflection on what systematically today tends to increase a deep un-responsibility of people living in a high technological-era. The project Break would develop activities of science popularization and dissemination to counter the continuing deterioration of the advanced scientific knowledge that also may be the basis to inhibit the contemporary creativity of people as it is necessary to improve a more disruptive and transformational innovation for improving a responsible social change.
    Therefore EGOCREANET offers to scientists and artists to participate in the Horizon project entitled ”BREAK” to favor a responsible creativity.

    4.Aims and Basic information
    Premise: As we may see, till today technology have advanced quickly and significantly over the past two centuries. Often the “best” technology one day rapidly becomes “outdated” the next and is conveniently replaced with something “better” for made a lot of work both intellectual and manual simply pushing with a click of some buttons. It seems that nothing can stop humans’ desire for making more and more simplify technological advancements to substitute human work .
    But what happen about human consciousness and social responsibility ?
    What about “human values and ethics ”?Has knowledge society advanced over the recent years?

    5.Description of the research and reports of the project
    RRI- BREAK Project first proposal by EGOCREANET- 02 FEB .-2015:
    The BREAK project aim to better incorporate scientific knowledge societal values, needs and expectations in research and innovation. Actual RRI goals are evolving in a way that the future deliberate focus of research and the products of innovation will be more and better oriented to achieve a social or environmental benefit of RRI European strategy

    6.) Goals
    a) The consistent, ongoing involvement of society as useful to assessing and effectively prioritizing social, ethical and environmental impacts, risks and opportunities, both now and in the future, along-side the development of future knowledge economy.
    b) Develop conscious creativity to anticipate and manage problems and opportunities which are also able to adapt and respond quickly to changing. and environment and knowledge.
    c) Identify and implement the best systemic organizational and managerial approaches to increase the public participation to remove obstacles and barriers to science & technology oversight. to growth social benefits.

    7.Description of the activities and teaching materials of the project
    The overall contribution of the Break project would be focused on the following activities:
    a) develop an in-depth understanding RRI relationships with societal problems ethical issues and dilemmas in conducting responsible research in science with and for society ;
    b) provide of a set of recommendations and good practices, to be adopted by researches and managers teachers and students in a easy approach for including a large participation of citizen.
    c) developing and the web-community and to create a self sustaining ‘Responsible Creativity Observatory’ serving as a community portal and providing free access to all outputs of the project.

    8.RRI- Tool-Kit: Desciption of teaching materials, lesson plans, learning resources

    The RRI Toolkit will be an innovative and creative set of tools comprising practical digital resources and actions aimed at raising awareness, training, disseminating for implementing the RRI state of the art.

    Scientific issues : BREAK project partnerscip will organise Festival of science public exhibitions and participatory events throughout to engage citizens (children, youth, women, adults, and other relevant stakeholders) in advanced science and technology to enhance and improve an higher knowledge dissemination integrated with an conscius sense of responsibility .

    How EGOCREANET we propose the following topics to organize with the partners of the project and stakehoders BREAK, conferences, workshpos and production of educational materials for the TOOL KIT or by other modes of diffusion and implementation of the project, aimed to encourage the development of social and cultural responsibility science and art in Europe.

    Proposed themes:

    1 Neuroscience social responsibility in order to promote creativity and health to allow the welfare of citizens.

    2) Synthetic Biology: Scientific and ethical issues of creating new life
    What rational and irrational fears are at stake when the human being becomes the creator of new life forms created in the laboratory?

    3) Topics of the frontier of innovation in medicine concerning the application of stem cells and nanotechnology

    N:B: The list of the effective Working Plan in science topics will be chosen by the-Partnerhip. – (Thus these topics will take-up and further develop the information and training material produced by the RRI Toolkit developed by the Seventh Framework Programme project RRI Toolkit. )

    8.) List of projects and reports to be tacken in cosideration
    1)- RRI-TOOLS :; 2); 3) Gender Diversity:;(FRRIICT):;,

    BREAK Project (*) . Full title:
    – BREAK – BARRIERS for IMPROVING “Social Responsibility of Science”.
    Letter of Intent :
    This LoI is a Template for Community Partners signed as a simple preliminary gentlement agreement to participate in the project BREAK as partner
    (Name of Organization : )
    The (Name of Scientific or Artist or Organization),
    intend to participate as Partner in the project (Achronim of Project : BREAK ) that it is proposed by :
     (Name of the Promoter : EGOCREANET :ONG -Florence -IT) )
    See statute of the ONG (in Italian ) in:
    The (Partner- Organization ) will provide to an open collaboration with EGOCREANET to develop the project proposal till the date of its submission.
    Date/ and Signature of Representative.
    (Add the short profile of the partner’s Organization) 
    Name of Scientific / Artist or Organization 
    name of Representative: 
    Name of Contact Person: 
    (*)- see the call on RESEARCH & INNOVATION RESPONSIBILITY in :
    NB: To date, ( 14thFEB.2015) the project partners sustaining the BREAK proposal are :
    1) EGOCREANET (NGO) c-o Business incubator -University of Florence (IT) ; ;
    2) Departamento de Educación de la Theory, Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación y Philosophy,Institute of Educatiion Creativity, Avda. Blasco Ibañez, nº 30, (ES) Valencia; Contact: prof. Mª Carmen Moreno Bellver, telf. 96/386 4736, email. :
    3) The Museum of Chemistry Primo Levi University of Rome ”La Sapienza” (IT):,; Contact: Prof.Luigi Campanella .mail:
    4) Science for Promotion of Science in Serbia:;Contact Person : Divna Vuckovic


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