The evolution of local innovation system in Northern Finland: Case renewable energy solutions pilots in Oulu

Aki Aapaoja, Pekka Leviäkangas

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


    To respond to the dynamics of urban surroundings, enhancing the innovativeness in urban environment has become increasingly important. The major challenge with innovations in urban environments is that many of them do not diffuse easily. This is typically due to the nature of urban innovations: they comprise complex entities consisting services, technologies, physical assets, and social practices - all these linking together a heterogeneous set of stakeholders although many types of collaboration between firms, authorities, and other actors are usually needed. This paper studies a local innovation system in Northern Finland by focusing on one particular case project: Renewable Energy Solutions in City Areas (RESCA). The main objective of RESCA is to generate reasoned and reliable concepts to guide and help builders, developers and planners in choosing and combining renewable energy sources for single-family homes. Adopted solutions and concepts had to be simple to use, effective and they needed to be applicable to be used in later projects or in other cities as well. The paper attempts to identify the challenges related to urban innovation processes and their scaling-up, using RESCA project as an empirical case. This is done by discussing the position and maturity of RESCA in an innovation typology context, and by assessing the performed actions aimed at boosting the innovativeness in the case project. Findings emphasize the essential role and attitude of the local building administration, especially when they acknowledged that the national building code standards did not offer the quality level or the functionalities that were aspired by the local building administration and supplied already by the market as ready-to-used applications or technologies. The other innovation hot-spot was that the administration quite genuinely allowed market actors to collaborate, take steps and present their ideas, and furthermore, to actually realize these ideas without any risk that administrational or regulatory standards could be made to work against these ideas.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2015 International Conference on Quality in Research (QiR)
    PublisherCurran Associates Inc.
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4799-6552-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    Event14th International Conference of Quality in Research, QiR2015 - Lombok, Indonesia
    Duration: 10 Aug 201513 Aug 2015
    Conference number: 14


    Conference14th International Conference of Quality in Research, QiR2015
    Abbreviated titleQiR2015


    • innovation
    • innovation process
    • urban innovation
    • renewable energy
    • RESCA
    • scalability


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