Team Finland UK's Newsletter 2/20
Welcome to our final 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: [email protected]
New Team Finland members
Terhi Bunders joined the Embassy of Finland in London as Team Finland-coordinator in August. Terhi coordinates Finland’s foreign trade promotion work in the UK, alongside acting as the Embassy’s counsellor in economic and climate affairs.
Prior to Terhi’s assignment in London, Terhi has extensive experience as a diplomat in Brussels, Hanoi and Vienna and has worked with Team Finland in Vietnam and in Austria. She started her career at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in 2004, and holds a Master’s degree in Economics. Terhi is also a certified mindfulness trainer, and enjoys sport, reading and meditation in her free time. You can read more on Terhi’s thoughts on the coming year below.
Maija Yrjä started as a Special Advisor in Public Diplomacy and Political Affairs in August. Maija is working as Minttu Taajamo's maternity leave substitute until the end of May 2021. Maija has gained Team Finland experience in Germany, where she worked as Press officer and Team Finland coordinator in 2018-2020. Maija holds a Master's Degree in Political History.
Greetings from the Team Finland coordinator: Towards the New Year 2021
Year 2020 has been exceptional in many ways for people and economies. Since March, our Team Finland UK network has been working more or less from home and meeting mostly virtually. When writing this, the second wave is ongoing . But there is also light at the end of the tunnel: on 8th December, vaccinations started in the UK. This will mean that in 2021, our lives and economies will change into more, hopefully greener new normal.
But at the same time, it is clear that global Covid-19 pandemic keeps affecting economies and changing economic structures. This may also mean new possibilities - for example in the areas of health, digitalisation and online services.
In the year 2021 economies will need to concentrate on recovery actions, also focusing on green recovery and climate. The UK has published its own Green Revolution Ten Point Plan, which offers opportunities also for Finnish actors (please see Country Outlook). With the pandemic forcing culture venues to shut their doors, the importance of the culture industry, performing arts and wellbeing are highlighted.
Another big change will take place on 1.1.2021, when the UK’s Brexit transition period will end. UK leaving the EU single market will end free movement of goods, services, persons and capital between the UK and the EU. The trade deal announced on 24th December on the future EU-UK-relationship brings more predictability for Finnish companies. However, there will be changes to trade and we all need to be prepared for that. A lot of information is available, e.g. on the following Brexit-pages: https://vnk.fi/en/effects-of-brexit-on-businesses and https://www.gov.uk/eubusiness. For Brexit related enquiries from Finnish companies, the Team Finland network in the UK has also created a new email address: teamfinlanduk(at)formin.fi.
The importance and potential of the UK markets remain very big, even during exceptional times. We also want to deepen our cooperation with Team Finland Ireland, because many firms are interested in both markets – and because cooperation is a key for us and for many Finnish firms and actors.
We are also happy to hear from your ideas how to enhance our network’s work and visibility – feel free to be in touch!
Terhi Bunders, Team Finland Coordinator in the UK: [email protected]
Design Embassies: highlighting Finnish design know-how at the Ambassador's residence
As the dusk settled in Kensington Gardens on 15th September, atmospheric lights switched on and guests started arriving. This was an event like no other – normally the residence would host 100+ guests in similar circumstances but this September all regulations had to be adhered to and only 30 guests were allowed, with careful Covid-19 precautions. What lacked in numbers was made up in enthusiasm, as most guests had not attended any real-life events since March. There was also a 3D presentation for those not being able to attend in person.
Design Embassies -event was part of London Design Festival displaying Finnish know-how with Fiskars’ kitchen and garden utensils and SAAS Instrument’s light installations. Fiskars had their local sales manager, Mark Follet, present to explain the history and ethos behind the products, which were on display around the residence both indoors and outdoors. During the event guests were able to sample Finnish dishes straight from the BBQ, cooked with Fiskars utensils and lit by Saas Instruments products. Guests were also able to chat with Petteri Masalin of Fiskars and Håkan Langstedt of SAAS Instruments via a video link from a charming outdoor “studio” in Fiskars village.
Design Embassies was curated by Päivi Balomenos (Design Museum, Finland) and Ilkka Suppanen (designer, architect).
The Finnish Institute: Teemu Määttänen's Noste lights up Southbank Centre
The Southbank Centre’s outdoor exhibition, Winter Light, brings Finnish media artist Teemu Määttänen’s work Noste (2008) to light up the iconic arts complex. Määttänen’s installation is commissioned with the support of the Finnish Institute and the Embassy of Finland London. Watch the video 'Making of Noste' and read Teemu Määttänen's interview.
Winter Light, 20.11.20–28.2.21 Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road; London, SE1, free entry, from dusk until 11.30 pm
The Finnish Institute: Finntopia: British Perspectives on the world's happiest country
During the autumn the Finnish Institute has been running a series of online discussions called Present. In October the Institute collaborated with the Embassy of Finland in London and invited professor Danny Dorling, journalist Annamari Sipilä and photo artists Paul Walsh and Rich Cutler to discuss Finland as the happiest country in the world. In their book Finntopia, Dorling and Annika Koljonen explore what the world might learn from Finnish success. The world’s happiest country was also the subject of a recent project by Brighton-based photography collective MAP6. Nine photographers visited Finland focusing on themes around happiness. The conversation was documented visually by business illustrator Virpi Oinonen.
Business Finland supports Finnish health companies in accessing the UK market
In September 2020, Business Finland’s London office and our Smart Life Finland programme organised a How to Access NHS - part 2 webinar in collaboration with SEHTA (South East Health Technologies Alliance). Part one took place in May. Companies joining the webinar were also able to request one-to-one discussions with SEHTA. It is planned that this popular concept will continue in 2021! Ideally, we will meet again at our Ambassador’s Residence.
Several Finnish health companies are already active in the UK market. Newcomers include VideoVisit, one of the winners in TechForce19 competition by NHSX seeking solutions to support vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic. Another newcomer is NE Device SW, the makers of Vitacam - software that measures vital signs from video. NE Device SW has been named as a supplier on Crown Commercial Service's Spark Dynamic Purchasing system, enabling them to participate in health/IoT procurement on this framework, including the NHSX Remote Monitoring tenders.
With Brexit imminent, a Round Table discussion Brexit's impact on health sector – A Finnish perspective was held on 1st December, with the keynote speaker Kristiina Kauppinen from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Business Finland coaching workshops: Doing Business under the New Normal
During November and December, Business Finland organised virtual coaching workshops and discussion forums for Finnish companies. During the virtual workshops, Business Finland advised the companies how to develop effective sales and marketing skills in the new normal of working. This included the communication challenges and development needs that Finnish companies may encounter during the current pandemic.
In total, Business Finland organised four workshops during which we discussed the following topics: Virtual Working – addressing the “New Normal”, sales engagement challenges, virtual communication skills, behaviour in the virtual space, virtual leadership and cross-cultural effectiveness.
These coaching workshops are part of a regular program of events organised by Business Finland in the UK that are designed to strengthen Finnish companies’ sales and marketing skills as they enter new international markets.
Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce: online events ranging from Brexit webinars to video projects
In 2020 the FBCC has organized a variety of online events. The topics were ranging from Brexit seminars with Goodwille, to the Nordic Chambers’ Business Forum on Cyber security, with FBCC Patron F-Secure, to virtual drink tastings. Most of the webinars have been organised together with FBCC Patron and Corporate members, and the other Nordic Chambers of Commerce. The restrictions on live events and social gatherings also pushed the team to think outside of the box and create new online projects, such as the FBCC Member Series on our website, and an upcoming video project, which they are very excited about! We hope to continue these projects in 2021, but of course, we cannot wait to get back to live events and to see all of our members and friends again!
New Year's Greetings from the Ambassador
The exceptional year 2020 is coming to an end. Despite all the hardship, the year received an ending on positive note: the coronavirus vaccinations are starting in Europe, and a trade agreement was announced on Christmas Eve on the future EU-UK relationship. This is a major step forward in view of establishing a close partnership between the EU and the UK. Despite Brexit, strong trade relations between Finland and the EU and the close co-operation of our likeminded countries will continue.
We believe that Finland’s expertise in many sectors that will continue to be needed in the UK , such as digitalisation, health technology, and sustainability. And let’s not forget the importance of well-being and traditional Finnish sauna! We have exciting plans to bring the Finnish sauna experience to the UK public in Summer 2021.
On behalf of Team Finland UK network, I wish everyone a happy New Year! As soon as the Covid-19 situation allows, we will hopefully go back to organizing live events. I look forward to seeing our friends and co-operation partners in 2021.
Best regards, Ambassador of Finland to the UK, Markku Keinänen
Team Finland UK wishes everyone a happy New Year 2021! If you'd like to be added to the direct emailing list of this newsletter, please contact us via email (pirjo.pellinen(at)formin.fi or sanomat.lon(at)formin.fi). Thank you!