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FinEst Piloting

Finest Centre will combine academic research and build synergies with innovation activities. The piloting programme is the seed for these innovation activities.

The FinEst Piloting Programme consists of three types of pilots. FinEst Large Pilots and FinEst Mid-Size Pilots are funded by European Regional Development Fund through the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. FinEst Mini-Pilots are funded by Horizon 2020.


These different pilots complement each other and aim to ignite a culture of exploration, experimentation and co-creation among FinEst Centre’s community and to create top quality research projects. 

FinEst Piloting Programme by FinEst Centre for Smart Cities Head of Innovation, Külle Tärnov

For more information about the Piloting Programmes, contact the following people:

FinEst Large & Mid-Size Pilots

Külle Tärnov

FinEst Mini-pilots

Anne-Mari Sandell

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FinEst Large Pilots

FinEst Centre for Smart Cities will invest up to 15 million euros to implement 10 FinEst Large Pilots to face urban challenges in the fields of mobility, energy, built environment, data and governance. This idea competition is based on the challenges mapped with local governments in Estonia. Each idea has to address at least one of the challenges via research and innovation activities and direct involvement of cities.  


During the broad and well-promoted open call for pilot ideas, we received 71 ideas for the 2020 smart city challenge. From these, four ideas were chosen - Real-Time Building Performance Audit; A Conceptual Ecosystem Solution to Transport System Management; Reducing Energy Supply Requirements Using Microgrids and Energy Storage and Tallinn-Helsinki Dynamic Green Information Model. 


FinEst Centre for Smart Cities is implementing these four projects in close cooperation with about 50 researchers from several institutes from Tallinn University of Technology and Aalto University. Külle Tärnov is leading this programme and is contributing that these pilot projects to create practical results for the cities and build a good ground for the sustainability of FinEst Centre. 


​At this point, four FinEst Large Pilots are ongoing, you can find information about these here: 

FinEst Mid-Size Pilots

As the 2020 smart city challenge call for ideas has well competed, this left 67 potential ideas that met the pre-mapped urban challenges of 35 local governments and could have a piloting potential. Therefore, to find ideas for FinEst Mid-Size Pilots, FinEst Centre re-evaluated the 67 ideas we had already received to choose two more ideas that will be supported for the next 18 months. 

Representatives of the FinEst Centre for Smart Cities and Estonian ministries selected 15 ideas from the last year's competition. During the summer, we did a reality check with the idea authors, and 10 idea proceeded. Estonian and Finnish cities evaluated these ideas and 5 ideas were chosen to the finals. The cities were then able to apply to become a pilot partner. The plans for the pilot projects in the finals were prepared in cooperation between the FinEst Center, the authors of the idea and the partner cities. The plans of the pilot project were evaluated by an approved evaluation committee, and based on these evaluations, the Steering Committee of the FinEst Centre decided to select the following two pilots for implementation: Renovation Strategy Support and Urban Planning Welfare Score to create a better living environment. The pilots will carry out the period from January 2022 to June 2023.

You can find introductions of these two pilots here:

FinEst Mini-Pilots

FinEst Mini-Pilots is one of the piloting programmes within the EU-funded FinEst Twins project. The aim of the programme is to catalyse innovations, especially those based on academic research, to create successful commercial and international products. During the summer and autumn of 2022, four interesting pilots will be launched in Helsinki in cooperation with Helsinki’s Home Care Services and Laakso Hospital, among others.

The FinEst Twins project, aims to deepen cooperation between the cities of Helsinki and Tallinn and find synergies in different thematic areas of urban development. The Mini-Pilots programme supports this objective by identifying, in cooperation with the cities, concrete areas for co-creation based on academic research.

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