Arctic Smart Rural Community_white_EN

Arctic Smart Rural Community, ProAgria Lapland
Arktinen älykäs maaseutuverkosto, ProAgria Lappi

Finland: North and East Finland
Johannes Vallivaara
90% completed


About us

The objective of the Arctic Smart Rural Community Cluster is to cut off the outflow of capital from rural Lapland and demonstrate the business potential of rural areas. This is achieved by creating new business operations in food products and processing as well as decentralised energy production.

Rural Lapland has enormous natural resources, but we are not utilising them efficiently and sustainably enough. Rural Lapland is by no means a remote corner of the world but is situated amidst incredible sources of raw material with almost infinite uses by utilising the principles of the circular economy.

The cluster consists of mutually supportive actors working towards the same goals: entrepreneurs, developers, municipalities, funders, politicians, projects, research and educational institutes, and business advisors. The cluster also coordinates development and project activities together with regional, national and international partners for the benefit of rural areas and businesses.

Established - 01 January 2016
Staff in the management team - 1-5
Support services for upskilling and reskilling of companies workforce
  • Competence development
  • Hiring of specialists
  • Mentoring

Cluster composition

  • 60
    Cluster Members
  • 50
  • 10
    Research Organisations, Universities, Technology Centers

The cluster consists of a wide network of entrepreneurs, developers, municipalities, financiers, politicians, projects, research and educational institutes, and business advisors working towards the goal of developing the rural areas in Finnish Lapland.

Lapland is the leading Arctic area in utilising arctic resources and knowhow in a sustainable way

Lapland is the northernmost part of Finland and of the entire European Union. At the same time, Lapland is geographically the most international region of Finland as we are located in the middle of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.

Lapland’s strong growth sectors form the basis, but we also want to highlight Arctic expertise and new potential for growth. The key principle of Lapland’s smart specialisation is to integrate interregional and EU-level networking as a natural part of all our development activities. We see that for the economy to grow, the regional business have to be part of the European industrial value chains. Therefore, the foundation for each ounce of success consists of strong networking and cooperation between enterprises as well as developers. To support this, we have updated our S3 – Lapland an Arctic and international highflier – to be International Smart Specialisation Strategy.

Sustainable development is the foundation of growth in Lapland. The refining of natural resources and conditions is the backbone of Lapland’s economy. Therefore maintaining the balance of sustainable development is at the core of regional development. This has been the case already in Lapland’s first S3 that was published in 2013. In addition to the efficient and smart use of resources, regional cooperation models are the basis for sustainable development.

In Lapland, Arctic Smartness concept is the leading initiative for implementing Smart Specialisation. The implementation of Arctic Smartness is based on regional cooperation, and it works like an ecosystem, where the actors share common goals to develop Lapland. The six Arctic Smartness Clusters act as engines for regional development. Through clusters, Lapland is looking beyond the boundaries of traditional ways of doing things to get the best use of regional expertise and strategic partnerships over the borders. All of the six clusters are implementing new local and European initiatives and projects creating a breeding ground for sustainable growth in the regional economy.

More information about Arctic Smartness

Legal form of the cluster organisation
Languages spoken
English Finnish

Management team

Johannes Vallivaara
Johannes Vallivaara
Cluster Manager

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral industries
Agriculture, forestry and fishing:A01 Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities - Manufacturing:C10 Manufacture of food products - Manufacturing:C11 Manufacture of beverages
Sectoral Industries (NACE 4 digit)
Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities:A0113 Growing of vegetables and melons, roots and tubers - Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities:A0128 Growing of spices, aromatic, drug and pharmaceutical crops - Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities:A0141 Raising of dairy cattle - Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities:A0150 Mixed farming - Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities:A0161 Support activities for crop production - Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities:A0162 Support activities for animal production - Fishing and aquaculture:A0312 Freshwater fishing - Manufacture of food products:C1013 Production of meat and poultry meat products - Manufacture of food products:C1061 Manufacture of grain mill products
Cross-sectoral industries
Industrial Alliances and Ecosystems
Technology fields
A\: Human necessities:Agriculture; forestry; animal husbandry; hunting; trapping; fishing
S3 EU priority areas
Sustainable innovation:Sustainable agriculture


Support services provided

Access to the European Internal Market
Advisory Services
Facilitation of collaboration between members (within the cluster)
Facilitation of external collaboration (beyond cluster) such as matchmaking
Support of Research, Development and Innovation

Support services for upskilling and reskilling of companies workforce

Competence development - Hiring of specialists - Mentoring

Support programmes

EU Programmes

European Programmes

Name & description

Several regional European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and European Regional Development Fund projects

- for developing the Arctic food system, agriculture, and natural product industry.

- for developing self-sufficient renewable energy systems.

- for developing other industries in rural areas.

For example:

Arctic Smart Growth (ASG), ERDF project 9/2018–12/2021

The goal of the Arctic Smart Growth (ASG) project is to increase SMEs’ research, development and innovation activities and  improve companies’ opportunities to utilize EU funding and international networks more effectively. The project in closely linked to the regional business services as well as other business networks.

International projects have been implemented mainly by universities or research institutes and involving big companies. The purpose of this project is to reverse emphasis on SMEs. The project is mapping the most relevant networks and sources of funding, including international investment funding sources for supporting the growth and internationalization of the SMEs. In order to strengthen the enterprise interface the regional business service, The Enterprise Finland Network will be closely connected to the project. The collaboration enables the creation of service and finance chains which ensure the availability of appropriate service and funding for SMEs’ needs.

The result of the Arctic Smart Growth project is a cooperation model which connects enterprises, universities, regional actors, international networks and funding sources. The parties´ duties, roles and responsibilities will be agreed on. From the existing tools the enterprises will easily find the suitable support services and solutions for their needs. The project is closely linked to the Arctic Smartness RDI- Excellence (ASR) and Lappi – arktinen ja kansainvälinen menestyjä projects which ensures that the projects and the region aims and activities are in line each other.

The project is implemented by

  • Lapland University of Applied Sciences (Lead Partner)
  • Centre for Economic Development: Transport and the Environment/Business and industry, labour force and competence activities
  • Kemin Digipolis Oy
  • University of Lapland
  • ProAgria Lappi ry

Project name

Arctic Smart Growth (ASG)

Cooperation activities

International cooperation

Targeted countries

Russian Federation

Transnational cooperation

Targeted countries


Transnational support activites

Support to collaborative activities/etc.

International support activites

Support to collaborative activities/etc.

Membership in cluster networks, meta clusters and national associations of clusters

Profile name Location Network type
Arctic Smart Rural Community, ProAgria Lapland


Upcoming events

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Latest news and documents

Document Published: 08.12.2021
Arctic Smart Rural Community Cluster postcard
Document Published: 18.10.2016

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