Development projects and plans

International networks create impressiveness May 1, 2016 – April 31, 2018

The preparedness of small and medium-sized businesses, SMEs, in Southern Karelia to apply for international project funding is being improved. The financier for the project is the European Regional Development Fund.

There’s an attempt to find new ways for the SMEs in Southern Karelia to grow, globalize and utilize the international networks of higher education institutions and business development companies. The aim of the “International networks create impressiveness” project is to help the businesses in the region to participate in research and innovation projects within EU funding programs.

During the project, mutual research and development themes among the businesses are looked for, around which local as well as international networks can be formed. Networks are strong operators in applying for funding for their research and development projects from international funding programs in the future.

Several events, especially for SMEs, are arranged during the project.

The project is run by Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), Imatran Seudun Kehitysyhtiö Oy and Wirma Lappeenranta. The aim of the parties is not only to help interested businesses in being prepared for international projects or making shared project applications but also to strengthen their reciprocal cooperation and clarify their role in the support of internationalization of SMEs in Southern Karelia.

Contact persons 

Project manager Heidi Myyryläinen, Saimaan ammattikorkeakoulu
Project manager Maija Kuiri, Lappeenrannan teknillinen yliopisto
Project manager Katja Vehviläinen, Imatran Seudun Kehitysyhtiö Oy
Acting CEO Johanna Väyrynen, Wirma Lappeenranta 


The VETY project – networks, well-being at work, and productivity into Southern Karelia June 1, 2016 –March 31, 2018

Entrepreneur, do you want to advance the development of productivity and well-being at work of your business? Do you want to operate in a network? Are you eager to improve productivity e.g. with the help of service design and social media marketing?

The Vety project comprises, e.g., of compiling leadership and/or work community profiles and giving coaching for businesses; conducting company-specific competence need mapping; organizing information events and training regarding the developing of, e.g., service design, online shopping and social media marketing; organizing networking events; and organizing guided coaching on networking and well-being at work for solo and small entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneur, make good use of the benefits of the EU project and come in on the Vety project! The network of leadership and well-being at work will give you support.

Contact person: Antti Oravuo, Imatran Seudun Kehitysyhtiö Oy

The digital and networked nature tourism project in the Saimaa region June 1, 2015 – December 31, 2017

Sponsored by the Regional Council of South Karelia. The aim of the project is to put into practice the region’s ambition about what the South Karelian tourism could be in 2020. The measures taken in the project emphasize the key measures brought up in the initial questionnaire in the work done for a tourism strategy, with the help of which South Karelia will be made into a more dynamic tourist region:

- Developing the cooperation between operators and fields of operation within the region and with other fields of operation benefitting from tourism.

- Improving the recognition and accessibility of South Karelia.

- Supporting the operational preconditions, developing the trade, and internationalizing of businesses offering nature, geology, well-being and exercise services.

- Development of the cooperation between the tourism services in rural areas and the tourism operators as well as product development that at the same time strengthens the vitality of the countryside.

Contact person: Juha Sorjonen, Imatran Seudun Kehitysyhtiö Oy

Relocation project of South Karelia August 3, 2015 – December 31, 2017

Sponsored by the Regional Council of South Karelia. The project is implemented in cooperation with the Lappeenranta region development company Wirma Oy.

The central idea of the project is to systemize and enhance the functioning of relocation marketing and services. The work to be done is focused upon sales work, clarifying the marketing messages of the region, and building new tools supporting relocation services.

The results and tools of the project are utilized after the project’s end especially in sales work as a part of the normal service of the region’s development companies. The cooperation with the network including “Invest in Finland” and “Team Finland” will also be deepened.

Contact person: Jarkko Koho, Imatran Seudun Kehitysyhtiö Oy


Saimaa for a geotourism attraction January 10, 2014 – November 30, 2016

Sponsored by the Regional Council of South Karelia and the Regional Council of South Savo and the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK). The aim of the project ”Saimaa for a geotourism attraction” is to produce new content for the development of nature tourism with geological investments, to create  a regional operations model of geotourism for the Saimaa region tourism services, to recognize geotourism-related business opportunities new to the region, and to develop  nature, activity and adventure tourism related to geotourism. An application to join the international Geopark network is made in the project.

Contact person: Minna Kähtävä-Marttinen, Imatran Seudun Kehitysyhtiö Oy


Well-being partnership project September 1, 2015 – December 31, 2017

The two-year well-being partnership project, run by Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, was launched on September 1, 2015. Kehy, Wirma and Eksote are also involved in implementing the project. The main goal of the project is to build a partnership model between the private and public sectors and to develop the cooperation between businesses in the field of well-being. 18 pilot businesses in the field of well-being have enrolled in the first phase of the project.

Contact person: Anni Peltola, Imatran Seudun Kehitysyhtiö Oy




The “Start Up Mill” project

The Start Up Mill activation phase II

The activation project “Start Up Mill” has continued the active work for recognizing new business ideas. Kehy has kept the services on the front burner during e.g. visits to educational institutions and rounds to businesses and in its own events, and has discussed privately with the owners of the idea.

The Willi Idea (Wild Idea) competition of 2015 surpassed the previous year’s popularity. From amongst over a hundred entries, two ideas from the Imatra region made it to the group of six finalists. The product idea by Innometri Oy won the whole competition. Those submitting the entries also received group mentoring, and there were several potential spin-off businesses amongst the ideas being sparred.

Yhteyshenkilö: Laura Peuhkuri, Imatran Seudun Kehitysyhtiö Oy


Antti Oravuo
tel +358 40 721 1310



Business expert
Jari Tamski
tel 044 721 3037


Consultation services for start-up and functioning businesses