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Jyväskylän kaupunki » International » News » Jyväskylä to invest a billion euro in future well-being

Jyväskylä to invest a billion euro in future well-being

Jyväskylä will be home to one of Northern Europe’s key expertise clusters and the most versatile indoor sports centre in the Nordic area

Hippos Conceptual Drawing bu Leo NuutinenA billion euro is to be channelled into construction of a wellness cluster with strong international appeal in Jyväskylä. It will offer a range of services in physical activity, sport, health promotion, research and education.
- We’re making an investment in future well-being. Expertise which is unique to Jyväskylä will be made just as available to fitness enthusiasts as top-flight athletes, enthuses Timo Koivisto, Mayor of Jyväskylä.

A 300 million euro investment in sport and physical activity will be made in the Hippos area of the city. Simultaneously a second major Jyväskylä project, Kukkula, will be pushed forward. Kukkula involves the construction of a completely new central hospital for Central Finland as well as the creation in the new hospital’s surroundings of services and new business activity dedicated to wellness and health promotion. Total investment in Kukkula will amount to 700 million euro.

In order to facilitate concrete implementation of these plans 16 key players signed a letter of intent regarding establishment of the Central Finland Wellness Expertise Cluster on 3.10.2016.

Expertise destined for increasingly broader use

Jyväskylä’s strong research expertise in the sports and wellness sectors creates an exceptionally firm foundation for the proposed undertaking. The sports-oriented Hippos area of the city can already boast extensive expertise in sports research and performance measurement which enjoys international recognition. Jyväskylä is home to Finland’s only university faculty of sport and health sciences, in addition to which KIHU (Research Institute for Olympic Sports) and LIKES (Research Center for Sport and Health Sciences) are based in the city.

Expertise in sports research and performance measurement of international repute has already attracted Formula 1 drivers and Olympic-standard athletes to Hippos. At the Hippos of the future this top-flight expertise will be made available not only to professional athletes but also to sports and fitness enthusiasts across the board. First-class expertise in the area has also spawned successful international companies such as Firstbeat Technologies Oy.

- Firstbeat has its origins in KIHU and we’ve conducted close cooperation for over twenty years now. Research in the branch is particularly important for our business, enabling us to stay abreast of the international competition. It’s fantastic that investment in sport research and facilities dedicated to people’s well-being will be forthcoming. Hippos is the perfect location for this kind of hub and at the same time is certain to enhance the appeal of the Jyväskylä Region, explains Firstbeat’s Vice President, Wellness Technologies, Juho Tuppurainen.

The aim is for Hippos to become the most versatile indoor sports centre in the Nordic area through construction of purpose-built, adaptable premises that can accommodate a wide range of disciplines. Facilities for sports and physical activity will cover almost 100 000 floor square metres. In addition, Hippos will feature a sports laboratory, business and office spaces, as well as commercial premises. Construction of the new Hippos will commence in 2017 and the area should be up and running by 2020.

The number of people using Hippos each year will rise from the current figure of 1.6 million to some 3–5 million. The threefold increase in built space will permit an extensive variety of sports disciplines and events from parkour to premier international competitions.

New wellness expertise cluster for Central Finland

New Hospital Conceptual Drawing by KPMM Arkkitehdit OyThe Central Finland Wellness Expertise Cluster, launched on 3.10.2016 with the support of 16 key organisations in the field, will significantly extend expertise in sport, physical activity and wellness into health promotion, rehabilitation and social services. The expertise cluster will make use of the ecosystems generated by Jyväskylä’s urban development platforms Hippos and Kukkula and, in a resource-wise manner, of development environments in Central Finland as a whole.

Kukkula will acquire not only a new central hospital but also a complete health and wellness campus complemented by homes and services. Kukkula will serve Central Finland and in turn the whole country. The new hospital is scheduled for completion in 2020 will be approximately 100 000 floor square metres in size. Enterprises setting up in the area can choose from 50 000 floor square metres of premises. The premises available constitute excellent options for enterprises of various different profiles from health technology through to care services.

The synergy advantages of the Hippos and Kukkula projects are a guarantee that the cluster can compete in future by virtue of its uniqueness with other expertise clusters of international significance. Hippos and Kukkula are also situated very close to each other physically.

The focuses of the expertise cluster will be health promotion and rehabilitation in particular. By means of research, development work, innovation processes and education the well-being of the population can be promoted in a comprehensive manner. At the same time development work will aim at the creation of a healthcare and wellness branch business village which draws on the area’s strengths. Where the generation of innovations is concerned Jyväskylä’s strong expertise in ICT and cyber security will also play an important role. There is firm belief that this expertise will propel enterprises towards new smart technological solutions in the wellness field. The global demand for such solutions is growing apace.

One central element of the expertise cluster is development of technological and cultural solutions for the promotion of well-being. The construction and activities of the expertise cluster give substance to the government programme of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and Finland’s Strategy for Health Sector Research and Innovation Activity.

The parties to the letter of intent concerning the Central Finland Wellness Expertise Cluster are LIKES (Research Center for Sport and Health Sciences), KIHU (Research Institute for Olympic Sports), Keski-Suomen yrittäjät (Federation of Finnish Enterprises Central Finland), Keski-Suomen yhteisöjen tuki ry, Jyväskylän Urheiluakatemia, Keski-Suomen sosiaalialan osaamiskeskus, Keski-Suomen sairaanhoitopiiri (Central Finland Health Care District), Keski-Suomen liitto (Regional Council of Central Finland), Keski-Suomen Liikunta ry., Keski-Suomen Kauppakamari (Central Finland Chamber of Commerce), University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylän koulutuskuntayhtymä (Jyväskylä Educational Consortium), City of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylän Hippoksen Kehitys Oy, JAMK University of Applied Sciences and University of Eastern Finland.

Further information:
Timo Koivisto, Mayor, City of Jyväskylä , (+ 358) 14 2661 501, (+ 358) 50 3362 819, timo.koivisto[at]
Kari Halinen, Project Manager, City of Jyväskylä, (+ 353) 50 5737 034, kari.halinen[at]
Jari Ritsälä PhD (Econ), Special Advisor, Adjunct Professor, (+ 358) 50 443 2371, jari.ritsila[at]
Juho Tuppurainen, Vice President, Wellness Technologies, Firstbeat Technologies Oy, (+ 358) 40 5205 986, juho.tuppurainen[at]

Information and photos:

6.10.2016Mikael Ratschinskij

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