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Internationalization awards of the President of the Republic of Finland go to Icare, M-Files and Kasvu Open


The President of the Republic has presented the Internationalization Awards for 2018. This year’s Growth Company award went to M-Files Oy, a provider of data management solutions. Icare Finland Oy, which makes tonometers for measuring intraocular pressure, was named the Best Newcomer. Kasvu Open, which provides SMEs with sparring to promote their growth and internationalization, won the Community Award.

This year, the President of the Republic presented internationalization awards to a non-profit and two companies.

"The Finnish economy is growing on the basis of new ideas and innovations. Results are generated by perseverance and a strong vision of the business goals an enterprise is striving for. The award-winning companies Icare Finland, M-Files and Kasvu Open are prime examples of the Finnish desire for growth. They have the ability to build fruitful collaboration and inspire domestic and international experts to get involved,” says a delighted Pekka Soini, Director General,CEO, Business Finland.

The Internationalization Awards of the President of the Republic of Finland are awarded annually, in recognition of Finnish companies that succeed internationally and the communities that stand behind them. Actors in the Team Finland network, Finnvera included, present the President with proposals for the companies and communities to be awarded.

Icare aims to improve quality of life with its tonometers

This year’s Newcomer, Icare Finland, which is based in Vantaa, manufactures tonometers for professional and home use. These instruments promote the screening and monitoring of intraocular pressure. The company was founded in 2003 and set its sights on the export markets from the very beginning. More than 95% of its sales are currently made beyond Finland's borders. The largest single export destination is the United States, which accounts for more than 40% of turnover. Icare exports its products to a total of around 100 countries.

"Our global success is heavily based on our patented intraocular pressure technology, the product’s precision, and its patient-friendly measurement technique. The award is a fantastic tribute paid to our company and staff. The fact that we have been engaged in international business since our establishment and have made steady progress according to plan makes the award even more precious for us, says Timo Hildén, CEO of Icare Finland.

Icare had a turnover of EUR 26.8 million last year. The company aims to grow further through means such as expanding its product portfolio and identifying new markets. Icare plans to strengthen its foothold in the Asian markets in particular.

M-Files increases companies’ productivity intelligently

This year’s Growth Company, M-Files, provides intelligent information management solutions. The Tampere-based company aims to improve enterprises’ productivity and employee satisfaction through more-efficient information management. A number of independent research institutes, such as Gartner, have named M-Files a pioneer in information management. M-Files received praise from Gartner for its system-independent solutions and international growth.

It is already a strong player on the international market and around 60% of its turnover comes from abroad. As well as Finland, M-Files has offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. M-Files’ solutions are used in more than 100 countries. M-Files has achieved annual growth of around 40 percent over the last five years. The company recorded around EUR 52.8 million in turnover last year.

"The award is a great honor and confirms that our internationalization has begun to gather momentum. It inspires us to grow even further and power ahead with our conquest of the global markets. We aim to be a global pioneer and market leader in intelligent information management. I believe that M-Files’ current success is just a foretaste of what we can achieve,” says Miika Mäkitalo, CEO of M-Files.

Kasvu Open spars with companies to help them enter international markets

In terms of annual participation by companies, Kasvu Open, which won the Community Category, is Finland’s largest program for spurring the growth and internationalization of SMEs. Kasvu Open began operating in Jyväskylä in 2011, having been established by the Central Finland Chamber of Commerce. It has been operating as a limited, non-profit company working for the public good since 2015.

More than 400 companies aiming at international growth benefit from Kasvu Open's free-of-charge sparring each year. Around 1,500 voluntary business experts act as sparring partners, providing companies with new perspectives, contacts and networks. Kasvu Open wants to provide companies with a window to the world and give them the courage to take the next leap ahead in terms of growth.

The organization’s vision is to turn Finland into the world’s best growth-company nation. Uljas Valkeinen, the CEO of Kasvu Open, believes that Finland’s greatest opportunity lies in the growth of SMEs. He states that all Finnish companies yearning for growth, from Helsinki to Lapland, should be able to do so.

“The Internationalization Award provides key recognition of the work we have done to accelerate the growth and internationalization of SMEs. Our thanks are owed to the entire Kasvu Open network, our national partners and, in particular, the experts who put their skills and contacts at the disposal of SMEs,” states Valkeinen.

President of the Republic, Sauli Niinistö, presented the Internationalization Awards on 14 November at the Presidential Palace.

For further information, please contact:

Kasvu Open, Uljas Valkeinen, CEO,, +358 (0)50 568 8555

M-Files, Miika Mäkitalo, CEO,, +358 (0)45 2053 253

Icare, Timo Hilden, CEO,, +358 (0)40 580 4774

The Team Finland network promotes the success of Finland and Finnish companies abroad. The network uses publicly-funded services to support the internationalization of companies, attract investment to Finland and build Finland’s image worldwide. Read about Team Finland and its services:  


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