New center implemented by Finpro, Lappeenrannan Kaupunkiyhtiöt and Technopolis

A Finnish-Russian innovation center will commence operations in St. Petersburg,
Russia this November. The center will strengthen collaboration and relations
between the participating Finnish businesses and public entities and the
evolving Russian innovation environment. The new center will be implemented by
collaboration between Finpro, Lappeenrannan Kaupunkiyhtiöt and Technopolis Plc. 

"Networking with Russian competence and innovation capacity will enable us to
provide a great new window of opportunity for Finnish companies searching for
success on the global marketplace," says Jorma Turunen, Managing Director of
Finpro, which will coordinate the center's activities. 

There are similar centers already in operation in the Silicon Valley in
California, USA and Shanghai, China, both started up with funding by the
Finnish Ministry of Trade and Finance. 

From the outset, the innovation center premises in central St. Petersburg will
accommodate a good number of companies and other entities. Spring 2009 will see
the center's relocation to the Nevsky Centre, once construction has been
completed. The Nevsky Centre is a shopping center being developed by Stockmann,
the Finnish department store company, and Technopolis will control about 4,300
square meters of its premises. 

As outlined by Managing Director Turunen, the innovation center aims to gather
under its roof a diversified pool of customers and business partners, that will
be large and versatile enough to form an interactive community creating new
ideas and operating concepts. 

Pertti Huuskonen, President and CEO of Technopolis, points out that the St.
Petersburg innovation center is a substantial addition to the company's service
offering. As a result of the new center, Technopolis will be able to more
efficiently support companies that are gaining a foothold in the Russian market
or expanding their operations there. 

Each of the collaboration parties behind the innovation center will play its
own special role. Finpro will be responsible for the innovation center's
national mission and its linking to innovation policy. Technopolis's role is to
support the growth and development of tenant companies by offering them
premises, services and networks. The City of Lappeenranta (through
Lappeenrannan Kaupunkiyhtiöt) will provide the center with practical innovation
services and university collaboration. 

The participation of the City of Lappeenranta in the innovation center's
operations is another new way to develop close relations between the region,
the Lappeenranta University of Technology and the City of Lappeenranta to
businesses and other players in Russia, especially St. Petersburg. 

Tom Hultin, Managing Director, Lappeenrannan Kaupunkiyhtiöt, underlines that in
the St. Petersburg Corridor collaboration program between Southeast Finland and
St. Petersburg, Lappeenranta's particular responsibility is the development of
collaboration in innovation. Building a bridge of innovation between the EU and
Russia has been generally emphasized in the development of relations between
the two. The new St. Petersburg innovation center bolsters this collaboration
in a major way. 

"In this respect, we consider active participation in the new innovation
center's activities to be an important priority and something that comes very
naturally to us," he concludes. 

For additional information, please contact:

Technopolis Plc,
Pertti Huuskonen, President and CEO, tel. +358 400 680816

Seppo Laine, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 40 3433409

Lappeenrannan Kaupunkiyhtiöt Oy,
Tom Hultin, Managing Director, tel. +358 40 5560961