Business and industry

ELY Centres play a significant role in the promotion of regional business policy.  A successful regional business policy is a result of co-operation with other regional actors. The aim of the ELY Centres is to ensure a balanced regional structure provide a sound basis for competence, entrepreneurship and growth and promote employment opportunities.  

Advisory, financing and development services for enterprises

ELY Centres support the establishment, growth and development of small and medium-sized enterprises by providing advisory, training and expert services and by granting funding for investment and development projects.

The services offered by ELY Centres cover internationalisation of business operations, improvement of business efficiency and management skills, development of technology and innovation, updating of staff skills and training of new employees. ELY Centres may also contribute to the funding of development projects.  Funding support is discretionary and depends on the nature of the project.

Developing the business and innovation environment

Technology experts at ELY Centres know everything about funding and experts services available at Tekes. The experts assist regional companies and research organisations in launching national and international research and product development projects. At Uusimaa, the services are available at Tekes office in Helsinki. 

The innovation experts at ELY Centres assist companies and private individuals in matters concerning inventions and intellectual property rights. They know how to assess the novelty of the invention and its technical and commercial potential and how to protect it. 

Developing agricultural and rural industries

ELY Centres are responsible for developing rural industries and ensuring the vitality of the Finnish countryside.  The aim is to improve the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sector and promote the fisheries sector and other rural industries. ELY Centres support investments and development activities of agricultural farms, reindeer farms, SMEs engaged in first processing of agricultural products and rural microenterprises.  Support may also be granted to development projects that promote business opportunities and encourage people to set up businesses and existing entrepreneurs to develop their activities.  There are differences between the level of support and forms of funding available at individual ELY Centres.  

ELY Centres monitor the use of agricultural subsidies and carry out supervisory duties in the area of plant inspection and food production. They are also responsible for a number of tasks in the steering of food production.

The Lapland ELY Centre is responsible for promoting the living conditions and livelihood of the Skolt community in accordance with the Skolt Act.

Promoting the fisheries sector

A total of 11 ELY Centres deal with matters concerning the fisheries sector and their services cover all parts of Finland (excluding Åland). ELY Centres serve as regional authorities responsible for fisheries matters and in this capacity they operate under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. On Åland, the fisheries sector is the responsibility of the Provincial Government of Åland.

Tasks of the ELY Centres in the area of fisheries sector 

  • general monitoring of the interest of the fisheries sector in water and environmental permit processes
  • duties concerning obligations in the fisheries sector
  • steering and supervision of activities in fishing regions
  • decisions on permits and bans under the Fishing Act
  • restoration of waterways so that the meet the requirements of the fisheries sector
  • development of recreational fishing and fishing tourism
  • providing funding for fisheries industry
  • promoting professional fishing and monitoring of catch in sea areas
  • supervisory duties laid down in the Fishing Act and the Common Fisheries Policy of the EU

For further information on recreational fishing, visit the website of the Finnish Federation for Recreational Fishing.