Located in the Tohloppi district of the City of Tampere, Mediapolis is a growing and developing centre and network of about 30 media companies and organisations, with contacts with parties involved in the sector both in Finland and around the world. As many as 1,000–1,100 people work and study at the campus every day.
The single largest group at Mediapolis comprises about a dozen production companies. Another key group consists of complementary services relating to the operations of the production companies. The largest individual organisations include the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), as well as two educational institutions providing media programmes, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) and Tampere Vocational College (Tredu). The campus is also home to the Centre for Practise as Research in Theatre of the University of Tampere School of Communication, Media and Theatre.
Mediapolis was created in its current form in 2013. However, the idea of Mediapolis had already stirred a couple of years earlier, when the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), which had operated in the premises for decades, revised its strategy. Yle wanted to increase co-operation with its partners, while it also wanted to get involved in promoting the vitality of creative industries as a whole. Furthermore, Yle announced that it would give up its ownership of the Tohloppi premises (32,000m2).
The premises were taken over by Technopolis Plc, a listed company specialising in real estate, facilities rental and services. Its promise of ‘more than square metres’ appealed to parties operating in the media sector, and when the City of Tampere also included Mediapolis as part of its own strategy, the undertaking found its bearings.
Technopolis carried out a complete overhaul of the 1970’s-built property, with a view to creating a content production and ICT campus complete with modern and comfortable ‘smart facilities’ that would be functional in terms of prospective tenants’ operations.
As a result of the first phase of the renovation project, a new Juvenes restaurant, rental conference facilities, a cinema-grade auditorium and a completely refurbished lobby, with its café and lounge, were completed in the autumn of 2013. The inauguration of the new facilities was celebrated with hundreds of guests on a slowly dimming August night, as the Aidankaatajaiset (‘Fence-Toppling’) Festival, headlined by singer-songwriter Anssi Kela, spread out into the Mediapolis studios and grounds.
The next significant step towards diversifying the community was taken in 2014, when the first companies opened their offices at Mediapolis. At the same time, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) and Tampere Vocational College (Tredu) also moved their units to Mediapolis. Once the educational institutions had moved in, the campus became a daily haunt for 400–500 media students: daily activities multiplied and became even more international.
The future of Mediapolis rests, first and foremost, on its strong organisations and the powerful network that they create. Collaboration and a strong shared ethos form a path that enables and generates collaborative projects and productions, strengthens existing contacts and creates new partnerships, promotes knowledge and competence sharing, brings about new visions and innovations introduced into production, and lays the groundwork for and creates new and growing business operations. Storytelling and digital industries form a fervently developing sector, where Mediapolis plays an active role.
Mediapolis is an enabler!