TAMPERE IS THE SILICON VALLEY FOR MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
Once again the International Subcontracting Trade Fair will bring industrial subcontracting specialists to Tampere from 16 to 18 September 2014. This year the theme of Finland’s leading industrial trade fair is mechanical engineering which is one of the pillars of the Finnish economy. Finland is one of the pioneers in mechanical engineering and the country’s “Silicon Valley” is located in Tampere as the field’s expertise is strongly concentrated there. Mechanical engineering is also relevant to the majority of the one thousand exhibitors at the Subcontracting Trade Fair. The trade fair will once again be sold out as subcontracting companies believe that the event offers important marketing and networking opportunities.
The Subcontracting Trade Fair will fill all five halls of the Tampere Exhibition and Sports Centre and feature approximately 1000 exhibitors from 20 countries. Every year some 17,000 industrial specialists visit the event to explore the latest products, services and innovations. For the companies the event offers a unique opportunity to build networks and maintain customer relationships. The subcontracting event is seen to represent the three most important days of the year.
“Hall E, which was constructed last year, increased the exhibition space by ten percent. Some 30 exhibition spaces open up every year and we have over 100 companies on the waiting list, so there will not be room for everyone. Our main priority is to preserve the nature of the trade fair as a meeting place for the subcontracting industry and therefore the Finnish and international companies included in the main product groups come first when selecting new exhibitors. All Finnish mechanical engineering subcontractors will be represented at the trade fair so the theme will be of interest to many. We are also trying to make the trade fair more international through the program and networking opportunities,” says Product Group Manager Jani Maja of Tampere Trade Fairs Ltd.
Harri Kulmala, CEO of FIMECC: “The situation with regard to venture capital, expertise and entrepreneurship is good in the Finnish Silicon Valley”
Mechanical engineering is one of the pillars of the Finnish economy because it provides us the export earnings needed to finance our massive public sector. The mechanical engineering industry covers a variety of fields and technologies and we can export anything including software expertise as the end products. This year’s theme has been developed together with FIMECC Ltd (Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster) which is one of the strategic centers for science, technology and innovation (SHOK) promoting the mechanical engineering and metal industry. Harri Kulmala, CEO of FIMECC, says that Finland is a pioneer in mechanical engineering and the expertise is concentrated in Tampere. It is like the Silicon Valley of mechanical engineering.
“Finland has become a leading mechanical engineering country with challenging special products because of our harsh conditions and meager resources. We are able to build simple and functional solutions for complex applications. We also know how to bring organizations together thanks to the nation’s built-in trust and flexibility. The majority of the leading Finnish mechanical engineering companies, in particularly their research and development units are concentrated in Tampere. If you are interested in mechanical engineering and you are in Tampere, you are very likely to meet others who have ideas or solutions to your problems. This kind of concentration constantly leads to new innovations and that is what has happened in Tampere. There are three things that are in good shape in the Finnish “Silicon Valley” and they are venture capital, expertise and entrepreneurship. In Tampere, they have always been available with an emphasis on mechanical engineering,” says FIMECC’s CEO Harri Kulmala.
“The number one technology event, the Subcontracting Trade Fair, is held in Tampere and it’s an excellent venue to showcase mechanical engineering. The business relationships built by the international exhibitors and visitors support the success of Finnish mechanical engineering and thus increase the importance of our industry. In many other countries, including the UK, Germany and the United States, they have implemented extensive systemic programs to improve the conditions of the manufacturing industry. The Finnish government should also recognize the fact that the success of the manufacturing industry offers an excellent way to ensure an even distribution of income through employment. I am looking forward to interesting discussions and the government’s measures to turn the threat of job losses as a result of the digital economy into an opportunity to export the products and services of the manufacturing industry due to an increased strategic understanding,” Kulmala says.
FIMECC will hold its annual seminar on 17 September as part of the trade fair where it will introduce the results of their program activities. The main themes include the industrial internet and digitalization.
Federation of Finnish Technology Industries: “Subcontractors have faith in economic recovery and increased demand”
The Subcontracting Trade Fair includes such a wide sample of the Finnish industrial sector that it becomes possible to assess the overall situation of the companies within the industry. The trade fair’s most interesting topics include methods to improve competitiveness, the challenges and opportunities of internationalization as well as the measures needed to improve economic recovery.
Despite the fluctuating economic situation, the trade fair has managed to maintain a positive atmosphere year after year. The exhibitors place emphasis on the trade fair because the event is seen as an important place for marketing and networking, even during the slower times. The latest reviews by the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries also inspire confidence in the recovery of the industry.
“According to the review published last week, the number of requests for tenders is on the increase. This is hopefully a sign that we have passed the economic low point and the demand for Finnish products is improving. There has been an increase in the proportion of contractors that believe their subcontracting orders will go up over the next six months. Subcontractors share this view in terms of their order books. However, the growth is still very tentative. When the requests for tenders turn into actual orders, the companies will need competent suppliers and efficient supplier networks,” says Adviser Matti Spolander of the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries.
The first Tampere Subcontracting Trade Fair was held in 1988. The event showcases the metal, electronics, plastic and rubber industries, industrial ICT solutions as well as design and consulting services for these industries. Tampere Trade Fairs Ltd arranges the annual Subcontracting Trade Fair together with its main partners: the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries, the Rubber Manufacturers' Association of Finland, the Finnish Plastics Industries Federation and the Finnish Association of Purchasing and Logistics (LOGY).
FURTHER INFORMATION: www.alihankinta.fi, @Alihankinta
Tampere Trade Fairs Ltd, www.tampereenmessut.fi
Jani Maja, Product Group Manager, tel. +358 (0)207 701 255, +358 (0)50 356 1325,
Tanja Järvensivu, Communications Manager, tel. +358 (0)50 536 8133,
Aino Paavola, Communications Assistant, tel. +358 (0)400 914 877,
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