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Case 04.01.2023

Nokia's Competitive Edge project responds to one of the hottest trends in tech: edge computing

The Competitive Edge project led by Nokia promotes research and development cooperation related to edge computing among Finnish companies. The aim of the ambitious joint project is to strengthen Finnish companies' expertise in edge computing technology and improve their international competitiveness.
Competitive Edge project
  • Competitive Edge project, led by Nokia, started in 2022
  • A leading company project partly funded by the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF)
  • Edge computing can be used to optimize data transfer and the amount of energy required by it – both are needed on the journey towards carbon neutrality
  • Co-Innovation projects already started under Nokia's leading company project and funded by Business Finland include XR Space, SmartE3, and QLeap. Overall, Competitive Edge will consist of from 10 to 15 joint projects
  • The partner ecosystem aims to generate a turnover of EUR 1 billion by 2030

Read more about the funding for leading companies and ecosystems

At the moment, edge computing is one of the hottest trends in technology, as the adoption of smart technology is increasing the amount of data processed at an exponential rate both in the manufacturing industry and among consumers.

Digitalization plays a key role in the search for sustainable solutions and in combatting climate change. With digital solutions, it is possible to use energy and resources more efficiently, reduce emissions, and optimize processes and logistics chains. At the same time, the ever-increasing need for computing power and data transfer increases the requirements for energy efficiency.

Edge computing is one promising solution, as it improves the efficiency of data use, optimizes the energy consumption of digital infrastructure, and improves data security.

For example, in manufacturing or health care, the amount of data is increasing, as more and more devices are connected to the web. As a result, traditional cloud services may no longer be able to meet the requirements of manufacturing and remote robot-assisted surgery, for example. This is where edge computing enters the picture.

Edge computing is one of the key solutions for accelerating the green transition

Edge computing will revolutionize the use of data

"The amount of data is estimated to increase tenfold in the next seven to eight years. Edge computing, combined with advanced 5G technology, is one key solution for processing and utilizing such large amounts of data in a cost-effective and energy-efficient manner", says Jarkko Pellikka, Nokia's Program Director, who is also responsible for Nokia's leading company projects.

"In the future, we will all be driving four-wheeled computers and our factories will be largely automated. This means that we are going to have to process and transfer huge amounts of data. The benefits of edge computing in solving this problem have already been identified, and new application areas are constantly being developed", describes Business Finland's Ecosystem Lead Sixten Sandström.

According to Jarkko Pellikka, edge computing is related to two key objectives: improving productivity and enhancing sustainability. Edge computing, which distributes processes to the edges of the network, not only improves energy efficiency but also enables the improvement of productivity and operations in, for example, manufacturing. In addition, with edge computing it is possible to respond to the tightening data security requirements.

With the growth of the Internet of Things, the benefits of edge computing and 5G are especially evident in industrial use, but consumers also benefit from the speed and reliability of data transfer made possible by edge computing.

"Above all, edge computing can optimize data transfer and the amount of energy required by it, which is needed to achieve carbon neutrality. Edge computing is one of the key ways to simultaneously accelerate both the digitalization and the green transition of manufacturing", Pellikka says.

Competitive Edge is a flagship project in edge computing

Nokia's Competitive Edge is one of the three large leading company projects selected by Business Finland and launched during 2022. The leading company projects are partly funded by the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). In addition to business impacts, the application criteria for leading company projects emphasize positive environmental impacts.

Nokia's role as the leader of the edge computing project is natural, as the company provides fixed and mobile networks as well as related services, and develops software for the needs of teleoperators, the manufacturing sector and societies.

"In addition, Business Finland will fund Co-Innovation joint projects arising under the leading company project and the companies joining them with a total of EUR 50 million. Leading company projects have a far-reaching and long-lasting impact, enabling new innovative solutions and opportunities to emerge. The partner ecosystem aims to generate a turnover of EUR 1 billion by 2030 and create more than 200 new jobs in Finland", says Sandström.

"Thanks to the RRF funding granted to Competitive Edge, we can recruit more top researchers and experts. Finland needs extensive cooperation between various actors, and we hope that this project will help as many partner companies as possible gain a stronger foothold in the international markets", Pellikka emphasizes.

In addition, one significant goal of leading company projects is to commit all parties to invest in research and product development in order to achieve the target set by the Finnish government to increase RDI investments to four percent of GDP by 2030.

With the RRF funding Nokia can recruit more top researchers and experts

The applications of edge computing are everywhere

The Competitive Edge leading company project has seven main themes, which will serve as the basis of one or more Co-Innovation and EU projects.

The selected main themes relate to the utilization of artificial intelligence in decentralized edge computing and its various applications, the use of multimedia sensors in various operating environments, weather-related innovations based on edge computing, climate and environmental observation, and the utilization of edge computing in, for example, future cities, health care and logistics.

In addition, the project explores data market models based on edge computing, the development of energy efficiency in data centers, and the possibilities of edge computing in the development of autonomous systems.

Three funded partner projects have already been launched, and further projects are expected to start before the end of the year. The project portfolio of the program will consist of between 10 to 15 projects.

XR Space develops multi-channel analytics and risk management of vehicles used in professional operating environments, such as in road, machinery, aviation, and maritime traffic. The partners of the project are: Nokia, Creanex, Finnair, Groke Technologies, Metropolia, Pohjola Insurance, SAAB Finland, Softability Xreach, Taipale Telematics, the University of Tampere, Varjo, and Viaccess-Orca Finland.

SmartE3 aims to develop technology related to controlling the energy consumption of buildings through edge computing. The partners of the project are: Nokia, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT), LSK Group Oy, and Rossum Oy.

QLeap explores how container technology can accelerate software development and deployment. The partners of the ecosystem project are: Nokia, Bittium, M-Files, Solita, Vaadin, and the University of Jyväskylä.

How to participate in leading company projects?

Is your company interested in joining Nokia's Competitive Edge leading company project to explore the possibilities of edge computing or develop new application areas? Read more about the partnership model funding call for companies and research organizations.