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Living: Innovation action plan

 1. CRFS vision 2030 and challenge statements
Region: The Food Province of Finland (South Ostrobothnia), and its capital Seinäjoki, is a home to a nationally significant concentration of the food sector and food industry. 

Vision: The City of Seinäjoki region’s CRFS future vision 2030 is to be the Food City of the Nordic Countries. The City of Seinäjoki is Finland’s strongest cluster of primary production and food industry. Diverse know-how, education, food logistic, governing skills improvement and national as well as international co-operation networks support the cluster’s success and food system development in general. The City of Seinäjoki strengthens the city’s food culture. Raising the amount of food export is a great possibility to the city and for the whole Food Province of Finland. The City of Seinäjoki does the work with the determined value of responsibility, which includes responsibility of its inhabitants and enterprises, security, equality and sustainable development. (City of Seinäjoki, strategy 2018-2025) 

The Cities2030 project will focus on the further development of a resilient and sustainable Seinäjoki City Region. More focus will be drawn into the themes of resiliency and sustainability of the food system. The co-operation and the exchange of information about sustainability will be developed among the actors. The city region’s innovation potential and decision-making system will be harnessed to lead the ecological transition (low carbon, biodiversity) in the food sector and bioeconomy. The project’s aim is also to improve consumer knowledge and increase consumer orientation in the product development of the food sector, especially within the themes of children and youth, nutrition and inclusion. 


  • The greatest challenge is to change the working culture to take in consideration the resilience and sustainability in all issues in the Seinäjoki city region food system. 
  • The Cities2030 project especially focuses on understanding the multifaceted role of nutrition in the overall health and well-being of residents, especially children and youth. At the moment, there are many actors that do not see their responsible role in children and youth’s nutrition or do not see the possibilities to improve their work with it. 
  • There is a challenge to create food-related acts, that take in consideration the children and youth’s opinions and, even further, change their roles from objects to actors in the city region food system (inclusion). 

2. Collaboration with stakeholders

Seinäjoki pilot coordinates and implements four different Living Labs. Stakeholders engaged for those at the country level are the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, the City of Tampere and Tampere University of Applied Sciences. At the Regional level, the stakeholders are The City of Seinäjoki and the Healthy Kids of Seinäjoki steering group. Stakeholders in the Living Labs are chosen to enhance the multi-actor and participatory role of actors. The chosen stakeholders for each Living Labs separately are: 

The healthy snacks kiosk “Mahti-kiska” 

  • Seinäjoki soccer club SJK juniors 
  • Seinäjoki Finnish baseball club Maila-Jussit 
  • Grocery shop chain Eepee 

The Food Business Club 

  • Junior high school “Seinäjoen lyseo” 
  • 4H youth entrepreneurship, local association 
  • The City of Seinäjoki 
  • Municipality’s health inspector 

Kids’ Culture Festival “Pikkuprovinssi” into Culture and Food Festival 

  • The Pikkuprovinssi organising team from the City of Seinäjoki’s culture department 
  • Local farmers and food-related entrepreneurs 
  • The Garden Club of the Province of South Ostrobothnia 
  • The Association of the Community Garden Area of Seinäjoki 

The School Canteens into Restaurants 

  • School restaurant environment development group 
  • The student boards of the pilot schools 

3. Living Lab resources

The pilot actions follow the idea of the quadruple Helix approach: there are stakeholders from the public sector, research, citizens, and companies. The Seinäjoki Team of Cities2030 (Including P12 Into and P13Agria) works tightly together: one of the Team Seinäjoki members leads each lab, but all work in the background. Personnel to conduct actions are Elina Koivisto from INTO Seinäjoki (P12), Asta Asunmaa and Terhi Välisalo from ProAgria Etelä-Pohjanmaa / MKN (P13). There are allocated Living Lab resources in both of partners’ budgets for consumables, external expertise, study visits and for other material.

4. Living Lab experiments

1. The healthy snack kiosk “Mahti-kiska”

Description of the actions: SJK junior’s kiosk and local Finnish baseball association’s pop-up-kiosks development:

  • Objective is to improve healthy snacks and aim for better nutrition and empowerment of kids
  • LL experiment contributes to “Secure healthy and sustainable food” key objective
  • Thematic working groups: consumption and inclusion
  • Aim is to develop and enforce principles of engagement children, but also public actors and the private sector actors that produce food and beverages, to identify the incentives and disincentives that encourage actors across
  • To monitor how they make their food choices, in addition to documenting better practices and lessons learned promoted by children themselves
  • Timeframe: ideate (8-12/21), build (1-12/22), monitor (1-12/23), learn (1-6/24)

2. The Food Business Club

Description of actions: New business hobby club for youngsters in Seinäjoki lyseo junior high school

  • Objective is to teach pupils to understand the importance of the circular economy and the utilisation of waste raw materials, importance of entrepreneurship education and highlight the cooperation 
  • To monitor students’ interest in utilising waste and earn their own money with it. Check whether the cooperation will be successful. 
  • Timeframe: Service design (10-12/22), selling the idea to students and assembling the group. Education and training (1-3/23). Practice preparation (4-5, 8-12/23). Formation of a next group (8-12/23) 

3. Kids’ Culture Festival “Pikkuprovinssi” into Culture and Food Festival

Description of the actions: Existing children's culture and art happening “Pikkuprovinssi” will include the third theme – “food education” – in its program

  • Objective is to 1) create a new platform, children’s festival, to do food education, 2) have the first festival in Finland, where the children are a special target group of the food theme, 3) strengthen the role of “The Food Province of Finland” by being the leader of the kids’ food festivals
  • Theme of the action: includes food education related experiments, experiences and information about farming and domestic food growing for kids
  • Timeframe: Pikkuprovinssi 15-20.5.2023

4. The School Canteens into Restaurants

Description of actions: Will to improve student´s comfort and enjoyment of the food. Participate in a well-being working group and consult an interior designer. Involving the students speaking about for their ideas for a more comfortable dining area

  • One old school cantina tuned up
  • One newly built school’s restaurant planning process
  • To monitor: can comfort influence the willingness to eat properly
  • Timeframe: 10/23, 2023-2024

5. Other Living Lab's measures 

In order to have the work continued when the Cities2030 project is over, work needs to be done to have new excited actors to keep on working with the themes, create proper business plans and calculations or solve financing models of the acts prepared in the project. These actors and models should be found not only from the City of Seinäjoki Area, but from the entire European Union. To achieve this goal, there is a need for a vast amount of co-operation, negotiations (e.g. Policy lab actions) and information sharing. 

6. SMART Goals

Monitoring the food choices of children and parents, by collecting comprehensive information. 

Healthy snacks kiosk: Four pilot kiosks done in different environments. Ensure that snacks provided to children by sports clubs are good nutritional quality and sustainable. 

The Food Business Club: Encourage young people to become sustainable entrepreneurs and promote food industry and network with food companies. 

Kids’ culture festival “Pikkuprovinssi” into Culture and Food Festival: Create a sustainable food education content into the festival. 

The School Canteens into Restaurants: Develop and innovate with children to create food canteen premises to be more attractive and more restaurant-style in order to support healthy eating. 

Communication goals: 4 Youtube videos, 5 workshops, 8 blog posts, 8 press releases, 1 study visit. 

7. Communication, dissemination and exploitation

Regular communication on activities to the Healthy Kids of Seinäjoki Steering Committee. Internal communication of Into and ProAgria/MKN on a daily basis. Disseminate the results to the public, stakeholders and decision makers in Seinäjoki but also in the EU area. Result-oriented analysis and real time interventions to ensure dissemination and communication actions are advancing and conducting the planned actions. 

Goals for 2022-2024

  • 4 Youtube –videos 
  • 2 workshops
  • 4 blog posts 
  • 2 press releases 

8. Continuity- and scale-up measures

The healthy snack kiosk “Mahti-kiska” 

Producing multiple short videos of the Healthy Snacks, Nutrition of kids, and instructions to establish a healthy food kiosks to events 

The Food Business Club 

One hobby club for youngsters in Seinäjoki lyseo junior high school 

Kids’ Culture Festival “Pikkuprovinssi” into Culture and Food Festival 

Cooperation with the labs with the theme city farming 

The School Canteens into Restaurants 

Improving the atmosphere of the school restaurants, increasing comfort, calming the dining situation 

9. Risk assessment

All the Living Labs contain plenty of new ideas and new sights. There is a lot of new culture to launch in actors’ work. It is a challenge for the labs to ensure actors change their ways. 

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