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Urbaania kasvua – GSIP Vantaa

Urban Growth Vantaa project co-created and tested innovative new solutions targeted for small and medium sized companies (SMEs) in Vantaa. The services combined the elements of growth; recruitment, lifelong learning and consultancy for technological change in socially responsible ways. The project was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.

  • Implementation date11/1/2018 - 7/31/2022
  • Funder1 Other international fund
  • Research programmeService Business and Circular Economy
  • Project typeInternational RDI
  • ThemesDigitalisation and information management in society, Pedagogy and cocreation, Entrepreneurship
  • Project managerLaura Erkkilä

Urban Growth - GSIP Vantaa project provides SME companies with the tools to adjust and to utilize the technological change. On one hand, the project aims to improve local SME’s growth in general and competences towards intelligent automation and digital transformation in particular. On the other hand, the project also aims to improve the capabilities of low-educated workforce for lifelong learning and further education and lower the risks for their future unemployment. All these elements are designed to the companies’ needs as well as the recruitment support of the new workforce.

Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) is an Initiative of the European Union that provides urban areas throughout Europe with resources to test new and unproven solutions to address urban challenges. Urban Growth GSIP Vantaa project received nearly 4 million euros funding to address the challenge.

Co-creating with partner companies, city of Vantaa and education organizations

The development process started by co-creating the tools, practices and objectives with the city of Vantaa organization, five partner companies and education organizations. After the design and testing, the deals are piloted in 60 companies in Vantaa. After the pilots, the mechanisms of growth in GSIP Deals will be automated to utilize big data and intelligent solutions.

Laurea is responsible for designing and organizing the training and lifelong learning education throughout the project. The education is designed to answer to the contemporary work life needs. The content and the form of education is piloted with the partner companies and then tested with SMEs of Vantaa. We collect data in various workshops, in co-creation processes and continuous communication with the companies and partner organizations.


The requirements of competences needed in work life are changing rapidly. The acceleration of technological development, artificial intelligence and robotics affect the needed skills in all industries. In this transformation of work, the companies, particularly which have low-skilled workforce, are more likely to face the risks on their competitiveness capabilities. At the same time, workforce with low education and outdated skills face a risk of unemployment.

Low-skill jobs (17 percent of all jobs in Vantaa) and under-educated workforce (32 percent of workforce in Vantaa) cause, not only a bottleneck of growth, but also a holistic risks for local economy. The recent economic growth in Vantaa seems to concentrate on low-skilled jobs, in human intensive and routinely operated industrial sectors, e.g. on a sizable logistics sector. In the future, the knowledge-intensive workforce is the bottom of resilient growth.

Solution proposed

Altogether three different GSIP Deals are designed in the project: one for recruitment, one for competence growth and one for taking over digitalization. The deals are tailored for small and midsize companies (20-200 employees) in Vantaa. The project focuses in the human intensive and routinely operated industrial sectors and the IT companies, which have workforce with outdated skills caused by rapid changes in technologies. Secondary targets are employees and unemployed with low-education or outdated working skills. 

Expected results

Creating and piloting GSIP Deals in different phases will provide new competencies and job opportunities for unemployed persons and several apprenticeships. Training and coaching initiatives to enhance the growth will meet and affect hundreds of participants from different companies.

The ultimate target is to increase the growth and competitiveness of the companies and to decrease the level of low-educated workforce. The methods for that will be designed and piloted first in order to be delivered in EU level. If succeed, GSIP Deals are the future tools for European cities for improving companies’ growth, enabling better match of skills needs and supply, creating new jobs and improving social inclusion of the labour markets.


Municipality of Vantaa - Main Urban Authority
Laurea University of Applied Sciences - education organization
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences - education organization
The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA) - research institute
Labour Institute for Economic Research (PT) - research institute
Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce - business network
Finnair Cargo Ltd.  - partner company
Infocare Ltd. - partner company
ISS Services Ltd  - partner company
Solteq Plc.  - partner company
Vantti Ltd. - partner company

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