The Innovation Program, organised by Helsinki City Housing Company HEKA in collaboration with Gaia Consulting and KIRAHub, received 37 applications through an EU-wide open call for low-carbon housing solutions that closed in December.

The open call orchestrated by KIRAHub, a non-profit innovation ecosystem boosting sustainable digitalisation of the built environment, helped Helsinki City Housing Company to enlist close to 100 solutions that matched the targeted profile. Eventually 37 solutions from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland applied to the Program by the December deadline.

The majority of the applications were related to energy management, helping monitoring and controlling energy use of buildings by optimizing heating, ventilation and indoor air quality. In addition, applications offered novel concepts for local renewable energy production in housing and innovative systems for waste heat recovery. Some of the solutions were independent and exclusive, some were well-fitting add-ons and hence complementary to others.

Gaia Consulting reviewed all applications to identify the ones that would be most suitable for the Program. In the assessment, Gaia analysed the solutions’ match to meet HEKA’s specific needs, potential carbon savings, ability to engage residents in climate activities and the overall innovativeness of the approach. Furthermore, Gaia evaluated the involved teams and determined how the Program could help the company in developing and growing their business.

To make the final selection, the results of the review were then presented to the expert jury led by HEKA’s project manager Jenni Venäläinen and property director Vesa Jurmu. The jury also included Antti Ruuska, Chief Sustainability Offices at the sustainability-minded asset management company YLVA, Teemu Kettunen, expert at sustainable development company Motiva and Johan Hellberg, head of unit, renovation at Helsingin asuntotuotantotoimisto ATT.

9 companies selected to start the Innovation Program

The companies selected to the Innovation Program are Auris Energiaratkaisut, Ecopal, Energio, EnerKey, Finninvent,, Lumoview, SIMAP OptiControl and Teknocalor. For further details about these solutions, please see the list below.

We were thoroughly impressed by the number, quality and diversity of the applications. I am also excited to learn more about the companies and hear how they would combine their products and services with others.”, says project manager Jenni Venäläinen who is leading the Innovation Program.

The Innovation Program is organised to support HEKA’s HELENA project, aiming to achieve up to 40% savings in energy consumption of its deep renovation projects. The HELENA project is mainly implemented with ELENA funding, a support scheme managed by the European Investment Bank and funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program.

The Program begins on 25 January and the aim is now to identify how the solutions can be deployed in HEKA’s building portfolio, decide next steps needed for the upcoming living lab, as well as preparing the actual pilots. Another goal is to understand how HEKA could better support similar companies in the future, advise the ones attending the Program, and to recognise collaboration opportunities among the products and services offered by them.

“Once we get there, I am convinced that the Innovation Program will help us conceptualise and deliver impactful pilots with the products and services offered by these companies”, continues Vesa Jurmu, property director at Helsinki City Housing Company.

After the kick-off, companies are offered individual sparring sessions with HEKA’s experts and other mentors. The pilots are scheduled to be carried out between March and May 2022.

List of selected companies


Auris Energiaratkaisut offers a patented connection solution for integrating hybrid energy systems (e.g air-to-water heat pump) to a property’s existing district heat (DH) connection. 

Ecopal’s Ecowec is a maintenance-free and cost–efficient hybrid heat exchanger for recovering heat from wastewater, other waste heats and renewables. In addition, Ecowec can be connected to all heating and cooling systems.

EG EnerKey´s built-in intelligence feature, Ines, automatically finds energy and emissions saving potentials from property consumption data.

Energio focuses on selling, planning and installing solar energy solutions and innovatively combines technologies from solar electricity, solar heat, structurally integrated energy solutions to seasonal storage of thermal energy.

Finninvent offers tools and expertise to conduct and to speed up energy diagnosis of buildings, giving data for planning of thermal retrofitting and quality control. provides a load balancing service to reduce energy costs in buildings with smart heat pump control.

Lumoview provides super-fast building analyses through an easy-to-use system to empower owners and managers to digitize their building, for example as a 3D model or floor plan and to optimize the energy efficiency via temperature anomaly screening.

SIMAP OptiControl™ is the only central heating control system on the market that extends to individual rooms in a property. The solution enables centralized, cost-effective and accurate heat control as well as maintenance, monitoring and reporting of large property masses. SiMAP’s open and easy-to-use interfaces enable data utilization in current and future real estate data utilization systems.

Teknocalor’s solution uses pressure-independent valves (PIVs) to optimize building-level energy generation, distribution, and consumption.


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Contact for additional information:


  • Suvi Häkämies (, +358503311495) 
  • Sami Lankiniemi ( 


The HEKA Innovation Program is organised to support Helsinki City Housing Company’s HELENA project aiming to achieve up to 40% savings in energy consumption of its deep renovation projects. The HELENA project is mainly implemented with ELENA funding, a support scheme managed by the European Investment Bank and funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program. 

The sole responsibility for the content of this webpage lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Investment Bank nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

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