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Press Releases, 11/15/2016

Internationalisation Awards of the President of the Republic to BlueFors Cryogenics, OptoFidelity, and the City of Rovaniemi and Visit Rovaniemi

The President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö has granted the 2016 Internationalisation Awards to BlueFors Cryogenics, a company specialising in ultra-low temperature measurement systems; OptoFidelity, a company developing testing systems for smart devices; and the City of Rovaniemi and Visit Rovaniemi, who promote Rovaniemi and Lapland globally.

- The prize-winners have successfully created new, internationally competitive business based on expertise developed in Finland. This has called for persistent work in product development and courage to enter the international market, says Jorma Korhonen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Team Finland at the Prime Minister's Office.

- Tourism is also of growing economic importance to Finland. A prime example of this is the long-term efforts of the City of Rovaniemi and Visit Rovaniemi that have successfully profiled Finland across the world in a way that not only benefits the tourist industry but also supports the export efforts of other Finnish companies, Korhonen continues.

The Internationalisation Award of the President of the Republic is a prize granted to Finnish companies and organisations that have achieved international success. The President grants the award annually on the recommendation of the Board of Directors of Team Finland.

High-quality refrigerator technology from Finland

BlueFors Cryogenics originated from research work done at the then Helsinki University of Technology (currently Aalto University). Over a period of ten years, the company has become the world’s leading manufacturer of ‘dry’ ultra-low temperature refrigerators. Already more than every second of these ‘dry’ ultra-low temperature refrigerators now sold is made by BlueFors, the company estimates. Since its founding, BlueFors has invested significantly in product development.

- We haven’t chosen the easy path because we wanted to develop more reliable, easy-to-use and high-quality finished products than our competitors, Rob Blaauwgeers tells.

BlueFors’ refrigeration technology has achieved a good reputation and the commercial success achieved has exceeded the company’s expectations. The company’s technology has promising growth prospects in the supply chain of quantum computers.

Smart device tester becomes trusted partner for technology giants

OptoFidelity, a company that develops testing technology for smart devices, has taken bold steps to expand beyond Finland’s borders. Technology understanding machine vision and robotics can be used, for example, in simulating human behaviour to test the functioning of the touch screens of phone and tablets and new pen control methods.

With its innovative products, this enterprise from Tampere has impressed some of the world’s leading technology companies. Its customers include, among others, the technology giants Google, Intel and Atmel as well as the world’s biggest mobile operator, China Mobile. Today, exports account for over 90 per cent of OptoFidelity’s turnover.

- Success in this line of business is not achieved overnight. You need to believe in your product and update your skills and competence in response to changing needs, says CEO Pertti Aimonen.

Long-term efforts to attract tourists

Finland’s pristine nature with its Northern Lights and reindeer, as well as Santa Claus, attract to Rovaniemi nearly half a million overnight stays per year in registered accommodation facilities. The rapid increase in tourist flows stems largely from the efforts of Visit Rovaniemi, which has worked persistently to increase the region’s attractiveness and recognisability.

- The number of Asian tourists, in particular, has grown rapidly over the past three years, says Sanna Kärkkäinen, Managing Director of Visit Rovaniemi.

Rovaniemi’s tourist industry is driven by a tight-knit community formed by the city and a cluster of local companies that work together smoothly to develop the region and attract visitors. The City of Rovaniemi owns 51 per cent of Visit Rovaniemi, and 170 partner companies own the remaining 49 per cent.

- Companies may do well internationally up to a point, but official relations and cooperation are indispensable when the sights are set on larger markets, says Mayor of Rovaniemi Esko Lotvonen.

It appears that the flow of tourists is only set to increase in the near future. The latest major success is the cooperation announced in late October with Alitrip, one of China’s largest travel service providers. Alitrip envisages sending as many as 50,000 Chinese tourists annually to Rovaniemi by 2020.

Inquiries: Senior Specialist Peter Westerstråhle, tel. 0295 160193, e-mail: firstname.lastname(at), and Communications Specialist Irina Haltsonen, tel. 040 512 1375, e-mail: firstname.lastname(at), Prime Minister’s Office.

More information on the Internationalisation Award of the President of the Republic:

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Updated 11/15/2016

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