Tampere City Region is an appealing environment for companies, but often additional sales and marketing are needed to turn interest into action. Providing relocation services in the region, Tredea influenced Suunto's decision to set up a mobile competence center in Tampere.
“This is great news for the IT field,” stated Aamulehti, the local newspaper in Tampere, in August 2015 upon publishing the news that the Amer Sports subsidiary Suunto would be opening a centre of mobile competence in the city. The unit will initially employ about ten people.
Suunto's story began in the 1930s with compasses. These days, it is known for sports watches, dive computers and other sports instruments, which are sold in more than a hundred countries. Both the company headquarters and production facility are located in Vantaa in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The new unit is focused on the development of mobile applications, and Tampere was selected as its location first and foremost due to the existing talent in the mobile field.
“We have subcontracting co-operation in Tampere, which proves the fact that the region provides the competence we need,” says Antti Hermunen, Technical Project Manager at Suunto.
Mobile expertise in the Tampere Region originates from the 1970s, and, in fact, the world's first NMT phone call was made in Tampere in 1974. Since then, developments in mobile technology and Nokia's growth created the competence of the region.
“According to some estimates, there are still almost 6,000 mobile experts in the area. In addition to the mobile sector, the expertise is utilised by businesses in the fields of smart traffic, intelligent machines, manufacturing industry and health technology, for example,” says Senior Manager Oula Välipakka, the man in charge of new investments at the Tampere Region Economic Development Agency Tredea.
Many Finnish cities market the opportunities they provide for companies as investments and new jobs are welcome everywhere. Tredea, which represents the Tampere Region, wasted no time after finding out that Suunto might be interested in expanding to the area.
“We were tipped off by a partner at the Tampere Business Campus, and we held the first meeting with Suunto in the same week,” explains Petri Nykänen, Director of Business Development and Investment from Tredea.
The investment decisions are always made by the company, and it is Treadea's duty to ensure that the people making them have sufficient information to work from.
“Tredea has been a big help in building our confidence for coming to Tampere and assuring us that we will find what we need,” says Sami Männistö, Head of Suunto's unit in Tampere.
Tredea and its partners work to ensure that the region gets more great news in the form of investments, activity and jobs in a variety of sectors. Tredea is constantly reviewing potential companies and eagerly seizing new opportunities, as was the case with Suunto.
The service is tailored to the needs of each respective company. International companies are often interested in competence relevant to their operations and product development, university-level research and possible partners – in other words, the ecosystem of the area. In addition to this, Tredea has in-depth information about the availability of sites and premises in the region.
“Tredea can provide assistance in all of these areas and present the company with a tailored overview of the region,” Välipakka explains.
The vibrant mobile sector in the Tampere region had picked up Suunto's interest even before the establishment decision was made.
“Ongoing research and talents in the Tampere University of Technology and new innovations in the start-up field are of great interest to us. We are continuously looking for new partners and opportunities. In this way, we can also establish our own role in Tampere,” Männistö says.
Expertise in developing mobile solutions is necessary for Suunto since a sports watch for sports enthusiasts and adventurers is nowadays a path towards goal-oriented and rewarding exercise experiences. The watch sends exercise data to Movescount, which is Suunto's online community for sports enthusiasts.
“On Movescount, you can see how your workout went, how it fits in with your plans and what sort of progress you have made,” Hermunen explains.
“In addition, you can keep an eye on your friends’ performances, view the routes they take and make your own plans – in other words, share experiences with others,” Männistö continues.
According to Männistö, the use of mobile applications is growing at an astonishing rate and users value seamless solutions. Digital services must interact with devices smoothly and in real time.
“For instance, when you train for a marathon and go for a “quick run” at five in the morning, your colleagues will see it on Movescount before you even get to work,” Männistö says with a chuckle.
Contact Tredea's "Invest in Tampere" team: www.investtampere.fi/who/