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The Sport Finland network strengthens the common competence and co-development of the regions and increases the international visibility of sports, health and wellbeing industries. The aim is to strengthen a competence network to improve business conditions in the sector, as well as focus on deepening the research and innovation activities.

- I am happy about the strong cooperation between the three cities, where Kuopio and Lahti are implementing the project together with Jyväskylä. In addition, the cities of Helsinki and Rovaniemi are closely involved in the discussions, says Project Manager Nina Rautiainen from Business Jyväskylä

Growth, better decisions and wellbeing with physical activity data

Nationally, there are opportunities and needs for more comprehensive utilization of physical activity and well-being data. The data can be used for the advancement of knowledge management or research, development and innovation activities, as well as for improving the well-being of citizens.

- There is already a lot of different physical activity and wellbeing data collected but the information is very fragmented, and it involves, for example, open data protection and interface issues. Instead of each city struggling with the same problems, during the project the aim is to find solutions for better utilization possibilities of the collected data, e.g., with a uniform "playbook", says Ilja Venäläinen, Sports Services Planner of the City of Kuopio.

During the two-year project, the peripheral conditions, opportunities and practical applications of data exploitation will be investigated. This will include cooperation between cities, universities and companies.

The strong common will at the background

The cooperation between the Finnish sports cities - Jyväskylä, Lahti and Kuopio - in strengthening Finland's sports, sports and wellbeing sector will deepen further with the project. Also, the cities of Helsinki and Rovaniemi will be closely involved in the development.

Fruitful cooperation in the field of sports between the cities has already been done e.g., in the international Sports Events project. Now, in addition, the Sport Finland network brings actors into stronger cooperation specifically in the themes of data, RDI and internationalization.

- Lahti acts as a national lead for major international sports event cities, and international sports business and events are strongly promoted in our city. The Sport Finland project has an excellent network and there are many opportunities. We in Lahti are especially looking forward to implementing innovation and internationalization activities connected to the sports business in strong national cooperation. Together we are stronger than ever!, says Director of Development Henna Eskonsipo-Bradshaw from City of Lahti.

The long-term vision is for Finland to be known internationally as a hub for physical activity and wellbeing, where companies grow and become more international. Business in the sports and wellness sectors will be boosted through the development of piloting and experimentation environments as well as using new technologies and data. 

More information

Project Manager Nina Rautiainen, Business Jyväskylä
p. 0504137028, nina.rautiainen(a)jyvaskyla.fi

Director of Development, Henna Eskonsipo-Bradshaw, City of Lahti
p. 0444820838, henna.eskonsipo-bradshaw(a)lahti.fi

Designer of Sport Services, Ilja Venäläinen, City of Kuopio
p. 0447182500, ilja.venalainen(a)kuopio.fi

Shortly about the background of Sport Finland lead network:

    • The Sport Finland network is a joint initiative of Jyväskylä, Lahti and Kuopio to increase the competitiveness of the national sports, health and wellbeing sector. Also, Helsinki and Rovaniemi are involved in the development.
    • The project starts in January, 2023. 
    • The network project is part of innovation ecosystem agreements between cities and Finnish government.
    • Funding comes from the Regional Council of Pirkanmaa