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Investing in partnerships and partnership building has been a strategic choice in Southwest Finland for almost a decade. For us, partnership means more than project cooperation, allocation of resources, or short-term campaigns. It means continuous collaboration and joint learning, shared objectives, trust, and a structure for cooperation and experiments.

Together with experts from municipalities, universities, regional development agencies, officials, NGOs and companies, the Regional Council of Southwest Finland acts as the support organisation and facilitator for the cooperation within a Partnership Forum, which is a joint forum for over 20 regional networks working on regional objectives.

The partnership was again reaffirmed in the Regional Strategy of Southwest Finland 2040+, approved in December 2022.

Regional Strategy of Southwest Finland 2040+

The mission of Southwest Finland’s Regional Strategy 2040+ is building a region of sustainable partnerships. Through this mission, our aim is to speed up the region’s green and fair transition, strengthen the joint commitment to our industries’ growth targets, open new routes for skilled workers to our region, and build wellbeing and collaboration within all sectors and demographic groups.

We envision that in 2040 our region is a region of:

We see our region as being a balanced combination of urban city culture, traditional country and village milieus, unique archipelago areas and treasured nature.

Our values in all collaborations are sustainability, accessibility, reliability, and curiosity.

The Regional Strategy of Southwest Finland was adopted on the 1st of January 2022 after being approved by the Regional Council in December 2021. The Strategy was formulated in a one year-long participatory process of approximately 300 regional experts and 20 workshops. It includes the region’s mission, vision and 18 objectives until year 2040, an implementation plan for 2022–⁠2025 and a plan for developing innovation cooperation for 2021–⁠2027.

Implementation takes place in roughly 20 networks that focus on a certain theme such as culture, tourism, education, open data, and traffic. The networks have each formulated their own implementation plans. Implementation may mean joint campaigns, communications, peer learning, or interest promotion. In some cases, it can also mean joint projects funded by regional authorities, national sources, or the European Union programmes. The Regional Council coordinates and facilitates the networks’ operations and evaluates the progress.