Located by the Baltic Sea, region of Southwest Finland has strong historical roots in the maritime business. Today, Turku region is the most important production cluster of Finnish maritime industry. Sustainable blue growth is key as Turku and Southwest Finland strive to protect the vulnerable Baltic Sea and to preserve the unique biodiversity of the Archipelago Sea. Turku systemically promotes cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region and is an active member in many Baltic Sea related organisations.

Maritime Turku

The shipbuilding traditions in Turku date back to the 18th century. Today, almost one-third of Finnish maritime industry companies are located in the Turku region. Meyer Turku, the biggest shipyard in Finland, is the driver of the maritime industry sector. World’s biggest and most environment friendly cruise ships are designed and built in Turku shipyard. Alongside of the strong shipbuilding industry, Turku has evolved into a centre for the global development of intelligent, autonomous ships as well as smart maritime logistics and port operations (eg. Awake.AI).

Sustainability, eco-efficiency and digitalisation are the key elements to characterise the maritime cluster of Turku. It is therefore no wonder that blue growth is one of the priorities of Southwest Finland’s smart specialisation strategy (S3) and Maritime Turku one of the main industrial clusters.

Maritime Turku in figures:

  • Turnover 3.3 billion euros
  • 8,000 empoyees
  • 400 network companies, 20 design agencies, 15 shipping companies and 5 shipyards
  • Around 27% of Finland’s maritime industry jobs
  • Four universities and universities of applied sciences
  • Several maritime training and/or research institutes

Stronghold of maritime R&I

Education and research expertise relating to maritime industries are at the national top level in Turku, and new innovations emerge in the region. TechCampus Turku promotes technological education and research in the four higher education institutions of Turku. For more information on maritime research, see Marine and maritime research in University of Turku and Baltic Sea research in Åbo Akademi University.

The global market challenges of the future require continuous renewal and new exploration in research and business. Maritime Accelerator is an example of an innovation platform bringing together bigger maritime corporations and agile startups. The goal is to create an innovation ecosystem that generates new business and speeds up industry development.

Turku region in action for the Baltic Sea

The Archipelago Sea is paradise for tourists and travellers alike, and almost 5 million passengers pass by its ports each year. At the same time the Baltic Sea is one of the most vulnerable and polluted seas. Nutrient losses as well as emissions from maritime transport have had a dramatic impact on marine nature especially in the Archipelago Sea. There are many initiatives to improve the state of the Baltic Sea. One of these is the Baltic Sea Challenge, a joint initiative by the Cities of Turku and Helsinki, aiming to reduce their loading to coastal waters.

Cooperation within the Baltic Sea area is important for the whole region. Turku is an active member in the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) network and hosts its Sustainable Cities Commission focusing on the environmental and urban sustainability. The Regional Council of Southwest Finland is member in the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission. Centrum Balticum, located in Turku, is a policy think tank on Baltic Sea regional issues. All three organisations are closely linked to and support the goals of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.