Development priorities: Central Finland

The priorities for development selected in the regional strategy for Central Finland are bioeconomy, digital economy and knowledge-based economy. The achievement of these goals will also be support with structural funds, especially the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  The European Social Fund (ESF) supports the implementation of the strategy, especially through development projects linked with knowledge, well-being and inclusion.

1. Competitiveness of SMEs (ERDF)

Company funding will be allocated to growth and internationalisation. Taking priority in company projects are those projects which develop solutions linked with the bioeconomy, digital economy and knowledge-based economy. In digital economy, special emphasis will be given to companies in the cyber-security field. More precise target groups are new companies, microenterprises and small enterprises. The focus of company funding will be moved from technology investments to development and the increase of knowledge and skills. The development of new energy-efficient and material-efficient solutions in small and medium-sized companies will receive 25% of the funds.

2. Producing and utilising new information and expertise (ERDF)

Funding targets measures resulting in the growth of R&D investments made by SMEs, the emergence of new business activities, and the strengthening of the innovation base in the region. The first priority is with development and investment projects which promote bioeconomy, digital economy and knowledge-based economy solutions. In the Innovative Cities (INKA) programme, the Jyväskylä subregion focuses on the development of cyber-security and bioeconomy businesses. Points of emphasis are acknowledged in the selection of projects, while 25% of the funds will be allocated to the development of new energy-efficient and material efficient solutions and  to increasing the proportion of renewable energy in the region's energy consumption.

3. Employment and labour mobility (ESF)

Funding will be allocated to services and methods that promote employment, such as the organisation of counselling, training and support services. Special emphasis will be given to joint projects across different sectors. The aim is to support the youth guarantee. Funding will also be granted to services promoting the integration of immigrants. These services will be produced as a collaboration between several administrative branches. Funding will also be allocated to the development of skills and expertise among personnel and the management of companies with the aim of better adaptation, competition and innovation skills for companies and jobs.

4. Education, professional skills and lifelong learning (ESF)

The funding will be allocated with the aim of making education correspond better with the realities of work by, among other things, boosting students' readiness for life at work and increasing cooperation among educational organisations, companies, and other players.  Funding will also be targeted at improving capabilities for entrepreneurship, innovation and information society, and to ease the transition from education to work. The development and utilisation of new and versatile training methods will be supported.

5. Social participation and fighting poverty (ESF)

The funding will be used to develop services that support citizens' participation and well-being, improve their ability to function an their readiness for work, thereby preventing marginalisation. The services are developed with cross-sectoral methods and by utilising possibilities offered by digital services. The priority funds will also be used to fund local resident-based development projects.