Article
2017-03-06

What a tremendous month for GigaVaasa

Since our formal kickoff at the end of January, Team GigaVaasa has invested important time towards internal alignment and communication within Finland. Our vision is to be able to harness the complete Finnish offering relevant to inbound investment. Being joined up is essential to our global credibility.

This is producing results. 

Finnish government has expressed alignment with Vaasa

After extensive background research conducted by Finpro, the Ministry of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä announced that Finland has agreed to focus on Vaasa as it prepares a bid for Tesla’s Gigafactory.

"We work with Team Finland, where Vaasa is a major player. Vaasa's undeniable advantage is its strong concentration of energy sector expertise and ecosystems," Lintilä told YLE news.

Follow-up developmental work is ongoing with Finpro.

Prime Minister Sipilä contacted Elon Musk

The Prime Minister of Finland, Juha Sipilä, has contacted Elon Musk about the Gigafactory initiative. “I’ve sent an official letter to Mr. Musk”, Sipilä confirmed when visiting Vaasa.

While the contents of the letter are private, it is understood that Mr Sipilä sought to demonstrate Finland’s that outlook about the decarbonization of energy and transportation is progressive. He also pointed to a shared view of work ethic. Mr Sipilä is a Tesla driver, and that is also a point of connection.

Representatives of Tesla (which has dropped “Motors” in its branding) were in Finland to discuss the future of high wattage charging stations.

Productive visit to Brussels demonstrates alignment

Team GigaVaasa visited Brussels in mid-February. During the visit we met European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, MEPs Heidi Hautala and Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, and directors of Eurobat, the association for the European manufacturers of automotive, industrial and energy storage batteries.

Vice-President Katainen expressed his full support for Vaasa’s Gigafactory initiative. Mr Katainen also said that factory might qualify for funding from EFSI, European Fund for Strategic Investments. EFSI is part of the Investment Plan for Europe, which is aimed at increasing investment levels, speeding up economic growth and boosting employment.

We also had a positive meeting with Energy councillor Ville Niemi from the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU.

Team GigaVaasa is attempting to align and agree all potential incentives of this type to expedite our effectiveness in the tendering process.

Building the coalition

Team GigaVaasa has met dozens of decision makers and opinion leaders from businesses, politics, governmental organizations and NGOs - inside Finland and internationally. We’ve gained significant support from all around Finland and formed key strategic partnerships. A broad network is supporting the project as it moves forward to next phase.