Helsinki Region forms an area of 1.3 million inhabitants. Helsinki Region includes the capital, City of Helsinki (560 000 inhabitants), and the neighbouring cities of Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen with eight other surrounding municipalities within wider Uusimaa Region. Helsinki Region is regarded as a functional urban region denoting a commuting area covering 3 000 sq. km.
Nine universities and nine polytechnics / universities of applied sciences are located in the Helsinki Region with 100 000 students and 9 000 academic staff. Most of the 20 national public research institutes in Finland are located in Helsinki Region with nearly 10 000 staff.
Helsinki Region's population is one fourth of the population of Finland. Share of the jobs is 29 percent and the share of gross value added (GVA) 34 percent. GVA in the regions is 44 percent higher than the per capita national average. Helsinki Region belongs to the wealthiest metropolitan areas in Europe.
Helsinki Region accounts for almost half of the public and private R&D funding and over half of the research funding for higher educational institutions. Out of 21 universities in Finland nine are located in the Helsinki Region. The share of the region's working age population with tertiary education is about 40 percent.
Local, regional and national authorities, universities and business community have actively developed the innovation environment and science and technology based business in the Helsinki Region through various initiatives, strategies and programmes. At local and regional level these include the Centre of Expertise Programme and the Innovation Strategy for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Technology Programmes of Tekes - the National Technology Agency have great significance in the region as well.
There are four science and technology parks in the Helsinki Region. Out of the fifteen incubators in wider Uusimaa Region ten are operating in the Helsinki Region, many within the science and technology parks. Most of the incubators and parks are part-financed and some directly owned by the cities.
Helsinki Region is widely recognised for creating a world-class cluster in information and communication technology. Service sector is the most dominant in the region, 80 percent out of the about 700 000 jobs in the region are within the service sector. More than 80 percent of the headquarters of large Finnish companies and two thirds of foreign companies operating in Finland are located in Helsinki Region.