Business Finland to start in 2018 with Pekka Soini as Director General

On 1 January 2018 Business Finland will commence its operations, intended to improve service to businesses.

The Finnish Government has submitted a bill for an Act on Business Finland. Business Finland will bring under the same roof all the present services of the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes) and Finpro related to innovation funding and internationalisation as well as to the promotion of exports, foreign investment in Finland and tourism.

Pekka Soini, Director General of Tekes, will continue as Director General of the new Business Finland

The purpose of the Act will be to create a national body that will clarify and simplify the public internationalisation services offered to businesses, and support international cooperation in research, development and innovation as well as regional growth services. The new body would have around 600 employees and nearly 40 service locations abroad as well as, in the future, service locations in 18 counties throughout Finland.

Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä is delighted that the legislative proposal will now proceed to Parliament for consideration.

“A single body will take the entire lifecycle of business renewal, growth and internationalisation better into account. The unified service path will extend from the development of products, services and business models all the way to market launch and the chain will not be broken at any stage. Removing overlaps will release necessary pairs of hands into the field both in Finland and abroad,” says Minister Lintilä.

Pekka Soini, Director General of Tekes, will continue as Director General of the new Business Finland body after the law is adopted. Soini will work closely with Pertti Korhonen, Chair of Business Finland’s Change Management Board.

“The Business Finland reform has been prepared as a close collaborative effort with the Change Management Board, which consists of representatives of Finpro and Tekes management, customers and stakeholders. The goal is to serve customers better than before when the new Business Finland is launched,” says Pertti Korhonen.

The Government bill proposes the passing of an Act on Business Finland – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation and the establishment of wholly state-owned limited company named Business Finland. The funding agency will be responsible for strategic leadership and official tasks, for example funding decisions. The company will focus on customer service.

The Act is intended to enter into force on 1 January 2018. The Government announced the establishment of the new body in March 2017.

Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

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