June 07, 2010
City of Espoo, Valmet Automotive, Fortum and Nokia announce Eco Urban Living initiative
Establishment of a demonstration initiative for electric cars will drive technology development and create an eco-conscious living environment in the Otaniemi – Keilaniemi – Tapiola area
Espoo, Finland – The City of Espoo, Valmet Automotive, Fortum and Nokia today announced the establishment of a demonstration initiative for electric cars in Otaniemi – Keilaniemi – Tapiola, the so called T3-area of Espoo. The Eco Urban Living initiative builds a better understanding for how new more eco-conscious requirements have to be taken into consideration in city planning. The collaboration agreement will be the first in a series of agreements that the City of Espoo intends to form to create a vivid Living Lab environment to maintain its position as a forward looking eco-conscious city. The initiative will work closely with Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Center of Finland to become a leading competence center for electric vehicles.
When signing the agreement, Marketta Kokkonen, Major of Espoo commented: "The Eco Urban Living initiative is a natural consequence of our strategy to strengthen the T3-area. Our ambition is to increase the attractiveness of the T3-area as a living area and as a vibrant and pleasant urban centre for science, business and culture and to improve the operating environment for the high-tech cluster of expertise in the area.”
The Eco Urban Living initiative will also be an international platform for collaboration with leading companies, cities and universities. A Sino-Finnish Innovativeness Forum will be organized in September to follow up a similar conference in China in March 2010.
“For Valmet Automotive this is a very important step to make sure we stay at the front line when developing electric vehicles. Our close collaboration with companies like Garia, Think and Fisker Automotive asks us to also be actively following how the users of electric vehicles will come up with new requirements. The demonstration initiative in Espoo means that we together with Nokia and Fortum can continue on our path to be a technological leader in this area”, continued Ilpo Korhonen, President of Valmet Automotive.
The T3-area will undergo a radical change due to the building of the metro line and the tunneling of the Ring road between Otaniemi and Tapiola. This will offer an excellent opportunity to once more use the area to provide some genuinely new city planning innovations, building on the tradition of the famous Garden City concept developed in Tapiola in the 1950s.
"Nokia's free pedestrian and car navigation software has been downloaded more than 10 million times since it was launched in January this year. The service is now available in46 languages and 74 countries. Partnering with leading companies to develop our technology further is a key element of our strategy. The Eco Urban Living initiative will provide us with excellent opportunities to demonstrate how Nokia’s services will revolutionize navigation and enable sustainable choices in everyday life”, said Vesa Luiro, Director, Automotive Services, Nokia."
The Eco Urban Living will engage citizens, researchers, company representatives and city officials in a multitude of development activities, for example building scenarios for how the T3-area may look in the year 2020. The efforts to establish similar type of partnerships with leading companies are expected to lead to additional announcements already later this year.
Timo Karttinen, Executive Vice President, Electricity Solutions and Distribution, Fortum sees the cooperation as a great opportunity for the partners to take a leading position in this new technology: “Fortum and the City of Espoo have already worked together to promote the wide-scale adoption of electric cars in the city since 2008. The Eco Urban Living initiative will speed up these efforts. It will secure the rapid development of the infrastructure needed to recharge the electric cars. The Eco Urban Living initiative also supports the sustainability targets of Fortum, as we want to actively mitigate climate change and work towards a low-carbon society. We as all the other partners believe there is potential for significant usage of electric cars in Finland, and the adoption of them can help to achieve the EU’s climate targets”.
To facilitate the Eco Urban Living initiative will engage Synocus Group as its orchestration partner. Johan Wallin, Chairman of Synocus Group, has been actively promoting the Eco Urban Living idea also internationally. He sees good opportunities for the partners to create an internationally recognized demonstration city that increases the attractiveness of Espoo as an innovation hub.
About the City of Espoo
The City of Espoo is a vibrant and competitive urban environment and a role model for sustainable development. The area formed by Otaniemi – Keilaniemi – Tapiola provides a platform for new bold initiatives for more eco-conscious urban living. The close links to Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Center of Finland provides a natural foundation for Espoo to proactively establish Living Lab environments to speed up innovations and make the area attractive both nationally and internationally.
About Valmet Automotive
Valmet Automotive is an experienced service provider for the automotive industry and a forerunner in the field of electric vehicles. The company is an engineering and manufacturing partner for the electric cars THINK City and the Garia Golf Car as well as the premium plug-in hybrid electric vehicle Fisker Karma. In 40 years over one million high-quality and premium cars have been produced by Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Valmet Automotive is part of Metso.
Fortum is a leading energy company focusing on the Nordic countries, Russia and the Baltic Rim area. Activities cover the generation, distribution and sale of electricity and heat and the operation and maintenance of power plants. Our vision is to be the benchmark power and heat company excelling in sustainability. In 2009, Fortum's sales totalled EUR 5.4 billion and operating profit was EUR 1.8 billion. The company employs approximately 11,500 people. Fortum’s shares are quoted on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.
At Nokia, we are committed to connecting people. We combine advanced technology with personalized services that enable people to stay close to what matters to them. Every day, more than 1.2 billion people connect to one another with a Nokia device - from mobile phones to advanced smartphones and high-performance mobile computers. Today, Nokia is integrating its devices with innovative services through Ovi (www.ovi.com), including music, maps, apps, email and more. Nokia's NAVTEQ is a leader in comprehensive digital mapping and navigation services, while Nokia Siemens Networks provides equipment, services and solutions for communications networks globally.
Synocus provides innovativeness as a service. We are pioneering new forms of collaboration in orchestrated ecosystems. We simultaneously work on cost efficiency, improve customer relationships and build competitive networks with other companies. Synocus has offices in Helsinki, Shanghai and Beijing and a large network of partners in Europe and North America. Synocus is responsible for the community portal for the Eco Urban Living initiative (www.eco-urbanliving.com).
The City of Espoo
Satu Tyry-Salo, Communications Director
Tel.+358 9 8162 2112
Teija Åhlman, Communications Manager
Tel. +358 20 484 8060
Katarina Ylikorkala, Vice President, Brand and Marketing Communications
Tel. +358 1045 20478
Tel. +358 7180 34900
Henrik Hultin, Senior Consultant
Tel. +358 9 622 6260