Arctic Sport Network

  • Arctic Sport Network is based on cross-sectoral collaboration bringing together Lappish actors from the different fields of sport.

  • The aim is to promote healthy lifestyle, to strengthen the local knowledge base, and to support new innovations.

  • Regional collaboration creates the basis for international cooperation.

The sports sector has an enormous potential from the point of view of well-being, growth and vitality of regions. Global changes such as changes in how people work and live, advance in technology and new consumer habits create challenges, but also completely new opportunities for the sports industry. In addition to the familiar sports, interesting new hobby opportunities are constantly growing, where the possibilities for product development are almost endless. Sport is also naturally linked to other sectors such as health care, tourism, the gaming industry and transport. There are enormous unexploited potential in cross-sectoral cooperation. In Finland, the sports sector as a livelihood has grown throughout the 21st century, also at a time when many other sectors have suffered from recession. In the sports sector, there are many young growing companies compared to other sectors.1

In Lapland, there is a great deal of expertise and know-how in hundreds of active sports clubs and associations, municipalities and companies. The Lapland University of Applied Sciences is one of the few Finnish institutions offering university level education in sports, and sport professionals are also trained in other educational institutions around the region. In addition, Lapland’s conditions and infrastructure provide great possibilities especially for the development of winter sports and nature sports. Lapland’s sport centres act as living labs and test beds for a variety of actors.

In addition to conventional enterprises (gyms, sport services, retail etc.), sports in Lapland is strongly linked to tourism. The sports sector accounts for a large proportion of the region’s business, when we take into account sectors such as sports travel, contractors constructing and maintaining facilities, equipment manufacturers and other local expertise in the fields of design, IT and gaming. Cooperation between these different fields can result as new innovations and possibilities.

1Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland

What is Arctic Sport Network?

Arctic Sport Network combines Lappish sports actors from different sectors including private sector, civil society, government and education and research institutions. The network works as an innovation ecosystem, and it aims in developing business opportunities as well as well-being of the Lappish people.

With the cross-sectoral cooperation Arctic Sport Network aims at finding new solutions in fostering healthy lifestyle, supporting the use of sustainable and digital solutions and strengthening the funding base. A single actor doesn’t always have the resources to invest in developing new solutions but through the Arctic Sport Network one can find new partners and cooperation projects and share their expertise with others.

The aim is to increase the role of sports in regional development work. The network works towards common goals and supports the objectives of Lapland agreement and the Lapland Sports Strategy. Creating a better operating environment for sports professionals in Lapland, the network promotes well-being, business opportunities and vitality in the region.

The network is open for all sport actors in Lapland and it has been launched in cooperation with Lapland Sports Federation, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Santasport, University of Lapland and Regional Council of Lapland.

International cooperation

The field of sport is also being developed through international cooperation such as interregional projects and partnerships. Lapland is involved in international cooperation to raise the profile of its sports expertise and to promote new business and innovation.

Inno4Sports (Interreg Europe) project aims at improving the performance and efficiency of development programmes that are able to support sports clusterisation processes, and by doing so, promoting the innovative value chains of sports. The project brings together 5 European regions who work for their goals through interregional learning, knowledge exchange and inter-cluster cooperation processes.

Lapland is a one of the leading partners in the S3 Platform ClusSport partnership, where 10 regions develop investment opportunities in the field of sports. The partnership brings together stakeholders from the sport sector and related industries to join effort in order to enable investments and support innovations across Europe.

AMID (Athletic Migration: Dual Career and Qualification in Sports) -project promotes and supports good governance in sport and Dual Careers of athletes by building a network for exchange of best practices, by developing skills and competences in Dual Career, especially addressing migrating athletes. The project brings together 6 partners around Europe and the overall objective is to support good governance in sport and Dual Career by tackling the challenges of new economic and social conditions taking place in the EU.

Lapland material bank | Markus Kiili


Pirkko Sivonen
Project Manager, Inno4Sports

Heikki Hannola
Principal Lecturer, Sports and Leisure

Jussi Sirviö

Suvi Karusaari
Coordinator, Lapland Sports Federation