2013 Award Winners

The President of the Republic of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, has awarded the 2013 internalisation awards  to game company Supercell, heating valve producer Vexve and LED lighting optics specialist Ledil.

- The Internationalisation Award of the President of the Republic is granted as recognition of the accomplishments of Finnish companies and their personnel. The companies' success is based on top expertise, the ability to seize opportunity in the changing markets and a willingness to take risks. The welfare of Finland is increasingly based on SMEs' ability to achieve international growth and replicate their successes. This year's winners lead the way for dozens of other growth enterprises, says Finpro CEO Kari Häyrinen.

Finpro annually collects a long list of candidates for the award from its member and stakeholder network. Having assessed the proposals, the Finpro Board of Directors makes a proposal to the president together with the Association for Finnish Work. The President of the Republic decides to whom the award is granted. The awards, to be handed out today in Helsinki, are donated by the Finnish Fair Corporation. The award was granted for the 46th time.


Explosive growth for Supercell

The game company Supercell has grown exponentially after releasing hit games Clash of Clans and Hay Day in 2012. The free games for smartphones and tablets have attracted tens of millions of players from around the world. Many are prepared to pay for game success and such small rivulets transformed into a company turnover of over EUR 650 million last year. The company is growing at a record rate: in 2011, it produced a turnover of merely EUR 150,000.

- Players require new and improved game experiences on a daily basis. We have received extremely positive feedback on our new game Boom Beach, due to be launched in March. We beta tested the game in Canada and Australia, says Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen.

- Finland is an unbeatable operational environment for entrepreneurism. We have been lucky. We are happy to be able to share some of our success. Our goal is to create a company that will continue to make us proud a century from now, says Paananen.

In October 2013, Supercell boosted its objectives by selling 51% of its shares to Japanese companies SoftBank and GungHo for the price of EUR 1.1 billion. The trade was the largest corporate acquisition in the history of the Finnish game industry. The new partners add perpetuity and distribution channels to the company's development.


Vexve keeps millions of homes warm

Vexve is a family enterprise from Sastamala. The company produces thermal valves for district heating to keep hundreds of millions of homes warm and comfortable. China and Russia are the largest of the company's 30 export countries. Vexve's Recent openings include district refrigeration valves, sold in the Middle East, among other areas.

- In the former Soviet Union, we have spent two decades modernising obsolete district heating systems. The demand for district refrigeration in the Gulf of Persia has grown in recent years. Our staff growth histories have enabled our international success. This award is recognition of their excellent work, says Vexve CEO Lasse Mannola.

The company has decided to swim against the current of mainstream industry by centralising all production in Finland. The Sastamala and Liperi factories produce  approximately half a million valves each year. Approximately 90% of the products are exported. Vexve has steadily continued to grow over a period of 20 years by constantly expanding its product selection and conquering new markets. The company has expanded the scope of its operations to include water measurement solutions and other energy saving solutions in addition to valves.


Ledil lights up the world

Ledil specialises in high quality LED lighting components. Based in Salo, Ledil is one of the largest companies in its narrow field  worldwide. It derives its turnover almost completely from the international market. In recent years, Ledil has grown at an annual rate of nearly 60% as a result of the breakthrough of LED lighting systems.

- Our goals are to ride the wave of the LED lighting revolution, continue our vigorous growth and keep leading the industry. Energy saving LED lights are expected to grow more popular. According to some estimates, up to 70% of general lighting will be LED based by 2020,' says Ledil CEO Rami Huovinen.

Ledil produces optical components, i.e. lenses and reflectors, which serve to bunch up LED light so that it may be targeted in a controlled manner. Quality optics can help to save energy by directing light to a specific target and increasing the level of comfort and functionality in public spaces, for example. Optics designed and manufactured by Ledil is used in store facilities and street lighting around the world.

More information:

Company introductions

Photos of awarded companies and from the award ceremony on Flickr

Photos from the award ceremony on Facebook

Contact information for the award winning companies:

Laura Sallanmaa-Immonen, assistant, Ledil, laura.sallanmaa-immonen(a)ledil.com, +358 2-733 3804

Lasse Mannola, CEO, Vexve, lasse.mannola(a)vexve.com, +358 50 360 8850

Mariet Louhento, Corporate Brand & Communications, Supercell, mariet.louhento(a)supercell.net


Kari Häyrinen, CEO, kari.hayrinen(at)finpro.fi, +358 40 343 3464

Outi Torniainen, SVP, Communications and Marketing, outi.torniainen@finpro.fi, +358 40 512 1375

The Association for Finnish Work

Tero Lausala, CEO, The Association for Finnish Work, tero.lausala(a)avainlippu.fi, +358 50 407 2623

The Finnish Fair Corporation

Christer Haglund, CEO of the Finnish Fair Corporation, christer.haglund(at)messukeskus.com, +358 40 555 1007

Finpro is a national organisation boosting the internationalisation of Finnish companies and their exports and promoting international investment in Finland. Finpro supports its clients' international growth and success by enabling them to be in the right markets at the right time with competitive products, services and concepts. Finpro's networking activities benefit its clients and partners both locally and internationally. Our 350 professionals work in 69 offices in almost 50 countries. In addition to carrying out assignments for companies, Finpro manages several major international projects, such as Cleantech Finland and Future Learning Finland. exportfinland.fi

The Finnish Fair Corporation annually allocates EUR 400,000 worth of awards, scholarships and grants. The most renowned of the foundation's awards are the Internationalisation Award of the President of the Republic and the Kaj Franck design award. www.messukeskus.com

The Association for Finnish work is an expert organisation tasked with promoting the profile of Finnish work. The association manages the trademarks and online services designed to promote Finnish know-how and promotes innovation and entrepreneurialism. Founded in 1912, the association has more than 2,300 members. www.avainlippu.fi