Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation

Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation’s goal is to make the Metropolitan Area and Lahti the world’s best test bed for smart and clean solutions by 2021. The Smart & Clean project is a fixed-term non-profit foundation. Therefore, it is not a traditional project organization or funder. The foundation operates during 2016–2021. In these five years it challenges the status quo, guides and gathers together initiatives that help the city battle against climate change and advance circular economy. By gathering the different stakeholders together such significant changes are achieved that they are adopted also in other cities around the world. The ambitious projects aim to create growth and world class breakthroughs that improve the international image of the capital city region and Lahti.


Smart & Clean operates together with cities, governmental operators, companies and research and educational institutes. These initiatives can be technologies, solutions or services for citizens in for example the built environment, energy system and transportation. These solutions come to fruition across city or sector limits, and the actors behind them are decision makers, entrepreneurs, researchers, citizens – all of us.

Why does the Smart & Clean Foundation exist?

In order to be able to tackle climate change we need to harness the existing best practices and develop new smart solutions. The common nominator will be smart cities. Different actors in cities develop sustainable solutions that are globally in huge demand. According to Sitra’s estimation the market for cities’ smart solutions is 1500 billion euros in 2020.


The Smart & Clean Foundation was founded because Finland needs a world class reference area and display window to the world to speed up the business for smart solutions and clean technology. This will also enable the cities to develop new expertise and develop in and new way. The initiative to found Smart & Clean came from the founding members of the Climate Leadership Council ( The fixed-term foundation that carries out the collaborative Smart & Clean -project was founded in June 2016.


The foundation’s goal is to create growth and world class breakthroughs that increase the international attraction of the Helsinki Metropolitan. Open ecosystems give birth to export concepts and domestic market references for companies. Simultaneously cities will be developed in a new way. The foundation’s operation encourages cities to implement climate-related and environmental objectives faster and more ambitiously than they do now. Successful export concepts generate new employment in the field of smart and clean solutions.

The Smart & Clean project has three main objectives. Firstly, it supports the product development and commercializing innovations of companies that offer smart and clean solutions. Secondly it supports the growth of export and sales. Thirdly it promotes cities expertise which leads to changes in city behaviour, for example in innovative public tendering. The main thing is to combine digitality with traditional lines of business, since new smart services have the most potential for growth. Smart & Clean also drives the cities to reach environmental and climate goals faster than they are currently planning to do.



The foundation’s five-year operation is funded with donations and contributions. One third of them comes from cities and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, one third from companies and research institutes and one third from Sitra. In addition the government, the cities in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Lahti and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council have made a growth agreement that promotes smart and clean solutions. The agreement is set for 2016–2018. It concentrates on recognizing strategic needs for development and objectives that both cities and the government can commit and put resources into.

What are Smart & Clean’s goals?

By 2021 the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and Lahti will display the best smart and clean products and services, both Finnish and foreign. They will give an example of how digitalisation and circular economy bring forth opportunities to reduce emissions and make everyday life more straightforward and the living environment more thriving. Solutions and operational models born in the metropolitan area will be implemented in Finland and in the rest of the world.

What are Smart & Clean actions?

Smart & Clean has clear criteria that provide the guidelines for the foundation’s work. Smart & Clean actions have to improve the citizens’ quality of life, decrease emissions and utilise available resources efficiently. Those in charge of the actions have to represent both public and private sectors. Smart & Clean actions have to create new business and internationally attractive references from domestic markets. By following these criteria the foundation achieves changes that help make the Helsinki Metropolitan Area the world’s best test bed for smart and clean solutions.