First of all ITMO’s representatives visited Lappeenranta University of Technology and its business accelerator StartupMill. According to Uolevi Nikula, LUT’sassociate professor, today IT specialists are in high demand in Finland. There are many large IT companies like Maestro, Visma solutions, CGI, Octo3, Nasta Technologies ja Mediakolmio and others that offer about 50 positions. It is obvious that they are predominantly offered to Finnish residents but Russian IT specialists will get an opportunity to receive a job offer from Finland when ITMO University and LUT establish exchange projects. Furthermore Finnish government supports local companies working in this field. The residents can also use consulting and legal services as well as assistance in bookkeeping and marketing analyses.

Apart from IT, Lappeenranta University of Technology focuses on developing renewable energy sources and "green" technologies. According to Terkhi Yantunen, business development expert at Wirma Lappeenranta Oy, waste recycling is well organized, and can bring in money. Despite the fact that sorting and recycling technologies have been developed for about 20 years, today it is an important part of Finland’s national strategy. The population of the country is 5 million people and over 400 companies work in the cleantech field. Furthermore the number of startups increases constantly.

Russian experts also visited the Nordic Business Forum, which gathers together about 6, 000 participants every year. Those who couldn’t visit the event had an opportunity to join the forum remotely — many Finnish business centers, science centers and universities provided a live broadcast.

"I believe that the Forum can be interesting for both managers of large corporations and young entrepreneurs," mentioned Sergei Vasilyev, Valio’s Vice President in Russia. The participants came to Finland to exchange their experience, meet with partners and give lectures on marketing and international business affairs.

ITMO University specialists met with Finnish partners, made new business contacts and found unexpected applications for existing technologies. According to Andrey Berezhkov, representative of ITMO’s InNavi Company (Indoor Navigation System), having visited a lecture delivered by a speaker from the Joensuu Science Park Ltd we found out that we can apply our product, previously used for indoor navigation in malls, to forest management.

"Thanks to business contacts with Finland we can look for partners in other European counties. It is easier for Russian companies that have legal bodies in Finland to participate in support programs and sell their products abroad. Furthermore Finland has one of the highest grades of the credit rating in the world," noted Olesya Baraniuc, deputy head of the Technopark of ITMO University.