Team Finland UK Newsletter 2/21

Team Finland UK Newsletter 2/21

Welcome to our second Team Finland newsletter of the year! This newsletter covers some highlights of our past and future Team Finland projects. We publish the newsletter online, but if you'd like to be added to the direct emailing list, please contact us.


Photo: Tomas Anton Escobar on Unsplash

Greetings from our Team Finland coordinator

Terhi Bunders, Team Finland Coordinator in the UK

Team Finland UK has continued working with digitalization, health and green recovery. In addition, we look forward to see more business travel between the UK and Finland. However, for travelling and working in the UK, please remember changes in the post-Brexit and Covid-19 era. We have also taken possibilities to work and promote trade virtually – which will be the new hybrid mix. For Finnish readers, please see our general article on Covid19 and virtual trade promotion here(Link to another website.).(Link to another website.) 

In May, we organized a Nordic Climate webinar with Chatham House(Link to another website.). We were happy to see many Finnish companies attending too. We'll continue to work with green recovery in the autumn – and hopefully forever.

From the UK’s 10 point(Link to another website.) plan I would like to highlight some areas where Finnish businesses have a lot to offer: Point 4 (traffic, electric vehicles), incl. battery cluster and recycling, mobility as a service, smart mobility; Point 6 (jet zero and Green Ships), incl. offshore solutions and port technology, and Point 7 (Green Buildings), incl. district heating and smart grids. In addition we look forward to reading more of UK’s soon published hydrogen strategy as well as Levelling Up white paper(Link to another website.)

In addition, UK health sector is providing a lot of opportunities. Finnish exports to the UK more than doubled last year 2020 according the Health Tech Finland statistics. The UK markets are the second biggest market for Finnish companies right after the US. And new opportunities are there, since there are a lot of new investments made in the hospital sector at the moment. We are planning to showcase Finnish knowhow in the UK later this year.

On post-Brexit, with new regulation and new processes, we still see a lot of work ahead of us. To help companies to adapt to changing environment and to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, Finnish Foreign Ministry organized series of webinars in the spring. Although mostly in Finnish, please see the recordings from (Link to another website.)here(Link to another website.). Please also note that in the UK borders, full customs checks are not yet in place, but will be in October 2021, January 2022 and March 2022. Our Team Finland Brexit Task Force will continue working with Brexit related questions. At the same time, we are already planning year 2022.

Earlier this summer we also saw a lot of media attention on Tove Jansson and Moomins, Helsinki Biennale and Enni-Kukka Tuomala’s fascinating Empathy Chamber. I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe summer!


Jukka Siukosaari appointed as Finland’s new Ambassador 

Jukka Siukosaari will start as Finland's new Ambassador in the UK on 1 September 2021. Finland's current Ambassador in the UK, Markku Keinänen, moves to Brussels to serve as Head of Mission at the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU.

"It has been a privilege to work together with such an active Team Finland network in the UK. I am confident, that Jukka will hugely benefit from the knowledge and enthusiasm of our team, as I did. Thank you for such great, close co-operation!" says Keinänen.

Siukosaari will move to London from the Office of the President of the Republic, where he has worked as Secretary General since 2018. In 2016–2018, he served as Finland’s Ambassador in Tokyo and in 2012–2016, as Finland's Ambassador in Buenos Aires. His career at the Foreign Ministry also includes postings to London, Pretoria, Rome and Dublin. More information here(Link to another website.).

Photos: Orlan Ohtonen, Liina Luhats-Ullman

Neicia Marsh and Karoliina Korpilahti appointed new Programme Directors of the Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland

Neicia Marsh has been appointed Programme Director, Society, and Karoliina Korpilahti Programme Director, Arts, for the next three year term starting in August.

Marsh has worked in the cultural field in the UK and Finland for ten years, holding managerial positions within curating, production, and public relations. Korpilahti is an arts manager and contemporary art expert with multifaceted experience. More information here(Link to another website.).

Tove Jansson exhibition and Moomin trail

The Woman Who Fell In Love With An Island will draw on the parallels between the island of Klovharun in the Finnish archipelago, where Tove Jansson spent her summers, and the scenery at Walthamstow Wetlands which is Europe’s largest urban wetlands and has eight islands of its own.

Visitors to the Wetlands will be able to enjoy an exhibition about Tove Jansson’s island home, family Moomin trail and a unique audio companion piece. More information here(Link to another website.).

Also, Tove film has been released in the UK on 9th July 2021. Read more about the film here(Link to another website.).


Photo: Embassy of Finland in the UK

Nordic Climate webinar with the Chatham house 

Nordic countries and the UK organised a climate webinar ‘Addressing the climate emergency while staying competitive: Nordic and British approaches and innovations’ in May. The webinar was organised in partnership with Chatham House, and with the support of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto opened the webinar, as a part of Finnish Nordic Presidency.

During the webinar day wide range of themes were covered, including political engagement ahead of UN Climate Conference COP26, concrete business cases contributing to a global green recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19 and the role of green finance.

A successful webinar meant a lot of work and coordination for the organisers. However, by doing together the climate action message is heard much better. Webinar fatigue was not really observed: over 530 registrants, from policymakers to business leaders, and experts to innovators, tuned in.

The recordings(Link to another website.) from the event will be available on the conference platform until the end of August. Kindly note that it is possible to register retroactively,(Link to another website.) should you wish to view the recordings. More information here(Link to another website.).

The Empathy Echo Chamber at London Design Biennale 2021

Enni-Kukka Tuomala represented Finland at the London Design Biennale in June with her installation The Empathy Echo Chamber.

Tuomala’s Empathy Echo Chamber challenges contemporary ideas of echo chambers as emblematic of polarisation and isolation in the information age. Inside the Empathy Echo Chamber, an inflatable installation, visitors are encouraged to reflect on their experiences and perspectives together and respond to each other through empathy. More information here(Link to another website.).(Link to another website.)

​Helsinki Biennial on Vallisaari island

Embassy of Finland in the UK organised a press event to mark the opening of the Helsinki Biennial. The hybrid event provided a live experience of Helsinki Biennial, including a video tour and insights from the director, curators and artists.

Helsinki Biennial is an international art event bringing outstanding contemporary art to maritime Helsinki. The first Helsinki Biennial will be held in the unique surroundings of Vallisaari Island 12.6.–26.9.2021. It presents 41 international artists or groups of artists from Finland and around the world. More information here(Link to another website.).(Link to another website.)

Annual Honorary consuls' meeting in May

Finnish Embassies in London and Dublin organised a hybrid meeting for the Honorary Consuls in the UK and Ireland in May. Honorary consuls, private individuals who take care of their tasks on a part-time basis without remuneration, are an important asset for Team Finland work. At this year's meeting Finnish healthcare and wellbeing knowhow was showcased, in addition to the regular themes. 

FBCC opening live events with a patrons' lunch

As the restrictions slowly ease in the UK, Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce was able to organise their first live event at the end of May: Patrons’ Lunch, in the Garden of the Residence of the Ambassador of Finland in London. FBCC also organised two Summer Receptions outdoors at the Residence Garden.

FBCC will be on summer holidays for July, after which they will organise the first Nordic Drinks networking event(Link to another website.) at the end of August and a Crayfish Party in September, and settle in their new offices at Old Queen Street.

Perry Le Dain and Meria Heikelä awarded Finnish decorations 

Perry Le Dain and Meria Heikelä have been awarded Knights of the Order of the White Rose of Finland for their services for Finland. Le Dain received his decoration in 2019 and Heikelä in 2020, but due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the official presentation of the decorations had been delayed. More information here.

Congratulations Perry and Meria!

New and returning staff of the Team Finland UK

Roosa Korkala started as an Advisor in Business Finland. Roosa is working as Sannamari Stern’s maternity leave substitute until mid-June 2022. Her role is to help Finnish companies expand into the UK and currently has a special focus on the consumer business, digitalization and ICT and food. Roosa has gained Team Finland experience earlier working as a trainee at Business Finland in London. In her latest position, she worked in a consulting firm as an analyst focusing on sustainable solutions in Nordic countries.

Minttu Taajamo returned to the Embassy from her parental leave at the end of May. She continues as a Special Advisor, Political Affairs and Public Diplomacy, sharing her time between the political and press teams. 

Future NHS marketplace – time after Covid-19 and Brexit webinar

Business Finland’s Smart Life Finland programme organised a “Future NHS marketplace – time after Covid-19 and Brexit” webinar in June. This was part of BF's popular “How to Access NHS” series. The webinar focused on the three most important initiatives affecting the NHS: digital transformation, integration of health and care, and the NHS New Hospital Programme.

The UK partner for the webinar was SEHTA (South East Health Technologies Alliance Limited). Participants also had an opportunity to one-to-one discussions in with SEHTA, and this concept proved successful. Feedback from the webinar was very positive.

Please find more information on registering your medical device product in the UK market here(Link to another website.). If you have any UK health market queries, please contact Business Finland London ([email protected] and [email protected]).

Opportunities for Finnish companies in a large hospital-building programme in the UK

There is a huge, New Hospital Programme in the UK. In total, 48 hospitals will be built by 2030, with £3.7 billion committed so far. The programme will implement cutting-edge digital technologies across the NHS, and will support an integrated approach to building new healthcare infrastructure using modern methods of construction. More information here(Link to another website.).(Link to another website.) 

New rules to live and work in the UK as of 2021

Free movement between the UK and the European Union has ended. The UK implemented a new points-based immigration system on 1 January 2021. EU citizens who were not resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 and do not have rights under the withdrawal agreement, need to meet certain requirements in order to work or study in the UK. Most visa routes, such as the Student visa, Skilled Worker visa and Graduate visa, are now open for applications.

EU citizens can continue to visit the UK for up to 6 months visa-free and may participate in a wide range of activities, including tourism, attending job interviews and other business-related activities, such as events and conferences. Always check the current rules from GOV.UK website prior travel. More information here(Link to another website.) and in Finnish on the Embassy website.



Team Finland UK wishes everyone a relaxing summer!

If you'd like to be added to the direct emailing list of this newsletter, please contact us via email ([email protected] or [email protected]). Thank you!