Place to Experiment is a platform for working together and funding of experiments

Government Communications Department
3.5.2017 11.14
Press release 203/2017

Minister of Local Government and Public Reforms Anu Vehviläinen launched today the Place to Experiment, a digital platform developed together by the Finnish Prime Minister’s Office and a community of Finnish experimenters. - The Place to Experiment promotes the Government’s target, defined in the mid-term policy review session, of making Finland world leader in innovation and experiments by 2025. We need concrete actions to meet this target, and here we have one: a digital platform that helps different kinds of people to work together. It brings together people who have ideas, people who want to try out new things or spar others or provide funding and people who are end-users, Minister Vehviläinen says.

The Place to Experiment (in Finnish) helps people to transform their ideas into concrete experiments. It opens up new channels of funding especially for smaller experiments and creates opportunities to combine different kinds of funding, such as crowdfunding and more traditional forms of research and development funding.

- The first crowdfunding campaigns focus on circular economy, new work and artificial intelligence, as was outlined in the Government’s mid-term policy review session. There will also be campaigns for new kinds of local services and new ways of using public facilities. These themes are already attracting lively experimenting at the grass-roots level, Minister Anu Vehviläinen explains.

The Place to Experiment facilitates co-creation across municipal and sector boundaries and makes experiments and funding more communal and transparent. It also brings together scattered information and finds a wider audience for good solutions.

- We in Finland have a long tradition of working together. Linux and Slush are brilliant examples of what a community of volunteers can achieve. The Place to Experiment is a great opportunity for Finland, and for other countries as well, to develop new, better ways to make life easier for all of us, says Peter Vesterbacka from Space Nation. He was a jury member at the platform hackathon last autumn and has since then been one of the Goodwill Ambassadors for the Place to Experiment.

- Although until now the Place to Experiment has been available only in beta version, a recent OECD report mentions the platform as one of the most interesting innovations in the Finnish public sector,” says Johanna Kotipelto, Senior Specialist from the Prime Minister’s Office, who was responsible for the project.

- Seen from a wider perspective, the Place to Experiment is not only a place for social innovation, it is also a tool for democracy. It creates opportunities for grass-roots initiatives to change social structures, Minister Vehviläinen summarises.

The Place to Experiment platform was created with funding from the Government’s key project ‘Public services will be digitalised”. Tomorrow on 4 May 2017 the Place to Experiment will be presented in the Parliament of the Future in Porvoo.

Inquiries: Johanna Kotipelto, Senior Specialist, johanna.kotipelto(at)vnk.fi , tel. +358 295 160206; Ira Alanko, Project Manager, ira.alanko(at)vnk.fi , tel. +358 295 160028; Tuomas Vanhanen, Special Adviser to Minister Vehviläinen, tuomas.vanhanen(at)vm.fi , tel. +358 46 9233 634.

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