Business Finland has allocated a total of EUR 60 million to three new projects headed by a leading company. In return for funding, the leading companies commit to increasing their research, development, and innovation (RDI) activities in Finland by a total of over EUR 350 million. At the same time, hundreds of new RDI jobs will be created over the next few years.
The leading company projects are Business Finland's largest single funding decisions. If successful, the projects will lead to outgrowths on a business level that will be worth several billion euros, industrial investments, significant impact on employment, growth in export earnings and tax revenue, and positive effects on the environment. Business Finland will not fund a leading company if these RDI increases do not actualize. In addition, Business Finland plans to fund the partners of each leading company with EUR 50 million.
In addition to the leading companies selected now, three more will be announced early next year. All the projects of the leading companies aim at expanding the recipients' RDI activities and overcoming significant future challenges. The funding of the leading companies comes primarily from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) granted through Business Finland.
Nokia, Wärtsilä, and TietoEVRY are ready to invest in Finland by developing sustainability solutions for the future. This means zero-emission maritime transport, energy-efficient IT networks, and significant strategic changes in software development. Hundreds, if not thousands, of new jobs will be created at the same time.
– It is important to do things on a large scale in Finland now. Big projects would not materialize without big investments. Nokia was just awarded leading company funding for a second time, based on completely different subject matter. Nokia's RDI investments are 10 times larger than those of the next largest Finnish company, and they are on the rise again, shares Karin Wikman, who is responsible for the funding for leading companies and ecosystems in Business Finland.
Wärtsilä: Ecosystem towards Zero Emission Marine
Wärtsilä is creating a new ecosystem called Zero Emission Marine with the mission to enable sustainable technology solutions and to expand them also to the land based energy sector. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gases by 60% in the marine industry by 2030. After 2050, all the Wärtsilä driven ecosystem products will be carbon-neutral or carbon-negative.
The roadmap for achieving this goal comprises of four intertwining streams:
– Wärtsilä has as a leading international company a strong leverage in creating innovations, and it can foster the business of innovative SMEs. The ecosystem creates a platform for small businesses to find vital partners in large companies where open innovation can be implemented. The impact of the Wärtsilä driven ecosystem also guides the scientific world and research institutes, as Wärtsilä cooperates actively with a Finnish research institute VTT and top universities in Finland, says Hannu Mäntymaa, CEO of Wärtsilä Finland.
Nokia: New competitive edge from edge intelligence
According to IDC (2021), the global data creation and replication will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% over the 2020-2025 forecast period. At the same, it is expected that the estimated growth of data increases energy consumption on data management and transport that equals to annual production of 50 nuclear power plants.
Edge computing and edge intelligence are considered an essential element in 5G networks. They both represent a key enabling factor for future sustainable digital infrastructure and networks. For example, optimization of workloads can significantly reduce energy consumption related to data transport.
Nokia's leading company project is built on:
– Together with the large number of ecosystem partners, we will create a significant impact on R&D investments in Finland during the coming years. It will strongly support the governmental target to reach the increase R&D expenses to four percent of GDP. Finland has strong expertise in many fields of ICT, sustainability, energy efficiency and digital solutions and Nokia has a strong ambition to create a strong ecosystem in Finland on edge capabilities enabling strong global growth for companies and increasing investments in Finland. This program will strengthen the position of Finnish edge ecosystem in global markets and create sustainable competitive edge for Finnish ecosystem and platform to develop new innovative solutions and we look forward to collaborate with a large number of ecosystem partners and with Business Finland in our new leading company project, says Nokia's Program Director Jarkko Pellikka.
TietoEVRY: An ecosystem initiative to advance a trust-based digital society and to create significant growth in the technology sector
A five-year ecosystem-based project led by TietoEVRY will focus on building trust-based digital services. The aim of the project is to expand research collaboration, accelerate the development of new technologies, develop Finland's technological know-how and through ecosystem cooperation enable Finnish IT companies to embark on globalization journey, which increases Finland's technology exports. The project will among other things explore new business opportunities for data platforms and development of the data-driven society, as well as accelerate the transition to cloud services.
The project is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the technology sector. The goal of Business Finland's initiatives is to create ecosystems of significant size, up to one billion euros in revenue.
In the initiative, TietoEVRY will focus on the following industries: Social, health and welfare sector, Finance sector and Energy sector.
– We are excited about the opportunity to lead this project. We are developing products and services that reflect our Nordic values: quality, reliability, privacy and security. This project will allow Finland to stand out internationally as an example in providing safe, easy-to-use and reliable digital services for the citizens, says Kimmo Alkio, President and CEO, TietoEVRY.