Meet the Buyer - Finnish consortium (Aalto University, City of Espoo, Smart Otaniemi)
Discover the full buyer profiles here.
Espoo is the second-largest city in Finland with 280.000 residents and a part of the
Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Espoo aims to be Europe's most sustainable city and carbonneutral
in the 2020s. Clean technology solutions will be developed and implemented with
partners to support sustainable growth. Together with businesses, the city is at the
forefront of smart urban development, climate work and the circular economy.
Kera is the most extensive zoning project currently running in Espoo. The Kera area will
undergo major changes in the 2020s. The industrial and warehouse area will be
transformed to an urban and smart district with at least 14,000 residents and 10,000
jobs. There are already large corporate headquarters in Kera and the new change is
beginning with the revival of silent and crumbling industrial halls for temporary use.
Kera will be built into a pearl of sustainable urban development and an international
reference point where the city, together with its partners, will create new clean and
intelligent solutions that make life easier for residents.
The modern Kera, which will be built in the coming years, will provide a significant pilot
ground for new smart city solutions, which will also pave the way for larger
international projects. Espoo's role as a UN model city for sustainable development
contributes to this. The City of Espoo’s objectives of permanently becoming the most
sustainable city in Europe and achieve carbon-neutrality during the 2020s will be taken
into account in Kera’s development. Smart solutions and permanent value will be
created through the cooperation launched with the City’s partner network.
The goal for Kera is to become an international example of circular economy based on
a digital platform. The aim is to create a pleasant, safe and clean district based on cocreation
and circular economy. This will include testing and introducing new digital
solutions and applications. Kera will feature, for example, new energy solutions, modes
of transport and urban food production as part of a vibrant urban environment. The
existing railway traffic and the ongoing development of 5G technology in the area
make it possible to implement cutting-edge IoT and mobility solutions already in the
construction phase. New buildings will be constructed while the repurposing and
temporary use of the existing ones will be enhanced.
What are they looking for?
The energy sector is at a turning point. The transition to low-emission energy production methods and new smart technologies is shaping the operating environment. At the same time, energy production is being dispersed even to the property or flat level – anyone can become a producer and distributor of energy. This upheaval is further being increased by the opportunities presented by digitalisation and the electrification of transport.
An energy ecosystem has been outlined for the Kera district in Espoo to respond to the challenges of the future. The objective is for energy production, distribution and management to take place in a multifaceted manner as a whole, serving the citizens in Kera. In practice, the new ecosystem could mean, among other things, regional and city block-specific energy production, a smart grid, smart buildings, household demand response, energy storage and energy communities.
The goal of future energy services is for solutions to be easy and cost-effective for the citizens and, at the same time, low in emissions, supporting the regional carbon neutrality target. The development of Kera’s new energy services and solutions is an example of cooperation that breaks organisational boundaries and is based on a new kind of voluntary multi-operator model, an energy ecosystem.
City of Espoo together with The Six City Strategy and in collaboration with Smart Otaniemi innovation ecosystem, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., Aalto University Startup center and Kirahub are looking for solutions for the following topics related to the development of the Kera area and especially to area’s energy services:
- Energy communities: Service design and concept
- 2-way low-heat network - How to get the properties to produce and supply energy to the grid and exploit the investment potential?
- Electricity and heat energy stores - How to implement?
- Producing electricity in the area - How to create cost-effective model?