Turku is a vibrant and steadily growing city by the Baltic Sea. Founded in 1229, it is also the oldest city in Finland and the former capital. Nowadays, the City has almost 200.000 inhabitants. The Turku region, comprising Turku and neighbouring municipalities, has approximately 330.000 inhabitants which makes it the third biggest urban region in Finland.
Turku has four higher education institutions: two universities – University of Turku and Swedish-speaking Åbo Akademi University, as well as two universities of applied sciences – Turku University of Applied Sciences and Novia University of Applied Sciences. In addition, two other universities of applied sciences have their campuses in Turku. Altogether there are some 40.000 students in the city.
Sustainability is Turku's key priority. The city has set an ambitious objective to become carbon neutral by the year 2029. Digitalisation and smart use of data play also an important role in the city strategy, Smart and Wise Turku being one of the City's flagship projects.
Regional Council of Southwest Finland is one of Finland's 19 regional councils. Regional councils are joint municipal authorities. Their role is to operate both as regional development authorities and as planning and lobbying organisations.
Council of Southwest Finland is comprised of 27 municipalities with a total population of almost 500.000 inhabitants. The biggest municipalities are Turku and Salo.
Maritime industry plays an important role in region’s economy. Life science and health technologies constitute another important economic sector, Turku being the leading region in medicine development in Finland. Metal and electric industries have long been strengths of the region and nowadays the Uusikaupunki automotive plant counts Finland's largest concentration of industrial robots. Southwest Finland is also Finland's leading agricultural area and a significant food producer.
Turku Business Region gathers together businesses, universities, organisations and municipalities of Turku region. The 22.000 companies, six universities, and an extensive co-operation network of different players in the region speed up the generation of new products and services as well as growth of business operations and local well-being.
Smart Chemistry Park, as part of Turku Business Region, is an innovation platform and co-operation network for start-ups and SMEs operating in bio and circular economies and cleantech.