ELY Centre Ostrobothnia works for regional vitality and sustainability
In Ostrobothnia and Central Ostrobothnia – two regions, which are strongly export-led and characterized by internationality and entrepreneurship – ELY Centre Ostrobothnia plays an important role in supporting regional vitality and sustainability.
“Vitality as a concept is wide. It encompasses industrial, primary and service production, which in our regions all are thriving. It comprises educational levels and employment levels – also strong here. Our unemployment rate is the lowest in mainland Finland. Vitality can also reflect place attractiveness, natural resources, culture, adaptability and resident health. Across the board, we are doing very well, and by supporting our local businesses and employment our centre promotes further growth in these areas”, says Timo Saari, Director General at ELY Centre Ostrobothnia.
As promoting employment, labour-based immigration and business are among its core functions, social and economic responsibility are inherent in ELY Centre Ostrobothnia’s work.
“To help people find work, we offer trainings, guidance, recruitment coaching and appointments with vocational psychologists. We support existing companies, but also back new entrepreneurs with start-up grants. In 2021, we made almost 300 grant decisions in our region, of which the majority were positive. All these things add to our regions’ vitality”, explains Mika Palosaari, Director of TE Services Ostrobothnia, which operates under the ELY Centre.
The ecological handprint, i.e., how much an organisation’s actions reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is high for the relatively small ELY Centre Ostrobothnia, which in its daily work fights climate change by, for instance, supporting companies in their work towards the green transition. Both Ostrobothnia and Central Ostrobothnia have come far in this joint endeavour.“All the EU funding that we grant goes towards the green transition, which happens to be our regional strength. Here, we have a large renewable energy-supporting energy cluster, a battery chemistry industry, green hydrogen pilot projects, biogas plants, wind farms and widely used solar panels. The world is waiting for the solutions our regions provide”, says Terhi Mäkinen, Chief of Economic Development.