Growth and success from creativity

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Modern world is full of different kinds of economies. We have bioeconomy, mineral economy, digital economy, solar economy and even methane economy, to name but a few.  During my visit to South Korea towards the end of last year, I came across the concept of ‘creative economy’.

Of course, creative economy is also one of the many forms of economy that we in Finland recognise. But believe it or not, creative economy is not quite what it sounds like, especially to a technological ear, but a completely serious economic trend. Wikipedia defines ‘creative economy’ as follows:

“Creative economy refers to the economic value added by know-how and creative industries to national economy. The value of creative economy is measured on the basis of patents, design rights and copyrights.”

This sounds exactly what we in Finland are trying to achieve by means of research and technological development.

But why is South Korea investing in creative economy? We have learned to think about South Korea as a country that uses research developed elsewhere and turns it quickly into commercially viable products. That is an impressive skill and surely something that we would also like to be able to do.

When I asked my hosts what they meant by ‘creative economy’, they replied that economic growth comes from thinking and doing things differently. In the case of South Korea, the era of copying others is over and the country now wants to make their own innovations and become trailblazers and pioneers. This means a shift away from South Korea’s comfort zone, approaching things from a different angle and finding innovative solutions to challenges.

In the current economic climate, this way of thinking is also essential for us at VTT and in Finland. Restructuring has forced us to look for new philosophies and operating models. For example, bioeconomy should be a “low-hanging fruit” for our national economy, as we have a wealth of expertise, know-how and experience in that field.

VTT is actively involved in establishing Finnish businesses as pioneers in their respective industries. We have made a substantial contribution to Finland’s national bioeconomy strategy, for example, by formulating a vision of Finland’s opportunities in bioeconomy. Our vision, which we have named “People in Bioeconomy 2044”, will be published before the summer, and it will introduce readers to characters such as Helmi and Igor, the Anderssons and the creative genius Jonas “Brad” Salmi.

By going creatively beyond our comfort zone we can ensure that Finland becomes the best place for investments!

Anne-Christine Ritschkoff, Executive Vice President

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