Through an open call launched in October, Helsinki City Housing Company HEKA, the largest lessor in Finland received 37 applications from across Europe for their new Innovation Program targeted towards innovative low carbon housing solutions.

Now, Helsinki City Housing Company will review the applications and select a batch of companies to partake in the Innovation Program starting in late January 2022 followed by a living lab phase and piloting during March-May. The selections will be made based on the companies’ ability to address HEKA’s needs, low carbon potential, potential for pilot execution, innovativeness, and matchmaking potential with other solutions.

The aim of the HEKA Innovation Program was to find new products or services or combinations thereof that are innovative, pilot-ready and scalable, and most importantly, provide the potential to reduce emissions from housing and building management.

Some of the main focus areas for the search were themes like energy efficiency, local renewable energy, building integrated energy production, low carbon construction methods, and circular economy. Another perspective was to find solutions that help HEKA engage residents in their climate initiatives as well as collaborate and co-create more sustainable living concepts.

Low carbon housing innovations from across the EU 

In order to recruit future-thinking companies, HEKA partnered with Gaia Consulting and KIRAHub, a non-profit organization boosting sustainable digitalisation of the built environment and working closely with similar innovation hubs around the world.

The call was promoted through wide communication, events, social media campaigning, and scanning various European hubs and clusters as well as databases. The Innovation Program team succeeded in enlisting close to 100 solutions that matched the targeted profile, were technologically ready (EU TRL5) for implementation and validated in a working environment, and could potentially be scaled or tested in Finland’s climate conditions and in a public housing context.

The Innovation Program received 37 applications from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. HEKA will announce the selected companies after 10 January 2022.

The Program then starts on 25 January with planning of the pilots. Participating teams will be able to work with Finland’s largest property owner and public-sector housing company, matchmake with like-minded companies, receive mentoring, and collect data and feedback from a living lab phase. The pilots are scheduled to be carried out between March and May 2022.

During the Program, HEKA will assess the solutions and opportunities to utilize these in order to scale the benefits across the building portfolio including 55,000 apartments.

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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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