Aluetalouden tilastoseurannan kehittäminen (ATIK) (Developing the statistical follow-up of regional economy in Central Ostrobothnia)

atik-logot-valk-pohja-EN.pngThe aim of the project was to enhance the statistical follow-up of the Central Ostrobothnian regional economy by means of producing supplementary, multilevel and cluster-based statistical infomation about the structures of business activities in and around Central Ostrobothnia. The second aim was to develop the cooperation between organizations that take part in the statistical follow-up and anticipation activities in Central Ostrobothnia.

Summary of the results

The ATIK project produced an online service, called KP-YRTI, which introduces the entrepreneurial activities in Central Ostrobothnia and compares the industrial structures of Central Ostrobothnia, its neighbouring regions, Lapland, Eastern Finland and Southern Finland from the year 2013 to the year 2016 (see https://www.chydenius.fi/kp-yrti, only in Finnish!).

The information included in the KP-YRTI raises interesting questions and challenges to the Central Ostrobothnian regional development debate. For example, it is surprising in statistical data that, in the traditional, large fields of specialization of the region, the value added has fallen from 2014 to 2016, while growth can be observed in relatively less common large industries such as construction and real estate, wholesale and community maintenance, as well as in small industries such as travel services; health and social services; recreational, cultural and sporting services and other manufacturing industries, including printing and the manufacture of sports equipment.

Although some service industries experienced an increase in the value added in Central Ostrobothnia, cross-regional comparisons show that the service sector as a whole, both working life and consumer services, has developed in Central Ostrobothnia less than in the comparison regions. In the service industries, there are not many companies and industries in Central Ostrobothnia that would rise to be attractions of the region. Services are an extensive field of activity, which is difficult to profile into certain development priorities in regional development work. However, the high quality of services and their national and international reputation would improve the attractiveness of the region.

In recent years, regional development activities in Central Ostrobothnia have been directed heavily to promote bio-economy, chemistry and digitalisation. It would be desirable that the impact of these investments would be followed, in some period of time, by a growth of entrepreneurship in these fields. Statistics raises questions why this has not happened so far? Will the implications emerge in the future, whether too little attention has been paid to the growth of business activities in the development work, or, whether the development has increased the business activities of neighboring areas? It is paradoxical that the growth sectors in Central Ostrobothnia of 2014-2016 have been industries that are not heavily emphasized in the regional development documents.

In addition to the construction of the enterprise statistics service KP-YRTI, the ATIK project gave recommendations on the basis of workshop work to develop the information services of the renewing administrative organization of Central Ostrobothnia. The conclusion was that more resources would have to be found to develop the statistical monitoring and foresight activities in the region.

Time frame, funding and contact person of the project

The project was implemented during 2015–2018.

Funding: In all 258 833 €, of which European Regional Development Fund + The Finnish state/Regional Council of Central Ostrobothnia 80 %; KOSEK – Kokkolanseudun Kehitys Ltd, sub-region of Kaustinen, city of Kannus and municipality of Perho 15 %, and Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius (University of Jyväskylä) 5 %.

Further information: Olli Rosenqvist