Fortum and Metsä Group launched ExpandFibre, a 4-year R&D collaboration, in summer 2020. It is a major effort towards developing high-volume bioproducts that have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to currently available fossil-based products. To succeed in the ambitious mission, the founding companies have joined forces with a large and continuously growing group of innovation partners – the ExpandFibre Ecosystem. Spinverse has supported the ecosystem in setting up the ExpandFibre activities and is working with Fortum and Metsä Group to accelerate impactful collaboration.
The revamped European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator is the flagship funding instrument under Horizon Europe for start-ups and SMEs with radically new ideas for rolling out marketable innovation solutions and breakthrough projects. Winning companies with ambitions to grow and scale up can receive up to 15 M€ in equity investments and 2.5 M€ in grants. Here are our tips to get ready for your application process in the application portal!
The European Defence Fund (EDF) was officially launched in 2017 by the European Commission. Its objective is to strengthen the EU’s strategic autonomy and boost Europe’s defence capabilities. From 2021 onwards the EDF, worth more than 7.9 B€, will foster an innovative and competitive defence industrial base, offering growth opportunities for companies operating in the sector.
When funding calls open and the consortium gears kick into action, there is a lot of excitement mixed with uncertainty and risk. Consortiums do not come fully formed, and risk is not just isolated to new technologies or organisational challenges. It is a combination of both and also includes other factors, such as regulation, ability of organisations to collaborate, global phenomenon, ships getting stuck in major trade arteries and so on. Spinverse's Patrick Halford, VP, Digital Industries discusses on how to manage consortium risk and how Spinverse can help.
Innpaper project is developing sustainable and innovative alternatives to electronic waste with three use cases for real industry needs in food, security, and medical sectors. The four-year joint research project has now progressed to its final year. In line with the project’s target, the 15 consortium partners have now developed an electronics platform using paper as a base material to offer a recyclable replacement to e-waste. Innpaper recently completed the evaluation for the open call for new ideas and have now shortlisted Amphilab and Tapp Online as final candidates. Spinverse experts are working with the consortium to boost the development towards commercial applications.
Sometimes companies who have first succeeded in securing public funding for their own R&D&I project may find themselves being further funded as a part of a large European consortium tackling global challenges. This is where Spinverse’s customer SSH Communications Security succeeded. We talked to Jussi Mononen of this Finnish cybersecurity company on the differences and benefits of applying funding as an individual company to being part of a large consortium.
We are very excited to announce our headquarter's move to Keilaniemi, Espoo, where our innovative funding experts will get an inspiring and bespoke working space. The new address is valid from 1st March, 2021 onwards. We also updated our website to correspond to our new visual look.
The extensive funding expertise of Spinverse came to good use when Technology Industries of Finland, Chemical Industry Federation of Finland and Finnish Energy requested Spinverse to help them create an easy-to-read website about EU funding. Aptly named as EU Funding Playbook, the approachable and visual website aims to help companies get a good overview and practical tips to the exciting and somewhat complex world of public funding.
In an interview with Finnish newspaper Kauppalehti, Pekka and Laura Koponen talk about the present and future of Spinverse. All large companies in Finland know the consulting company founded by Pekka Koponen, even though Spinverse may not ring a bell to the general public. The company is a very well-known collaboration partner to various large and also small and mid-sized companies, as it has helped them gain over 500 M€ in EU-funded money for R&D&I.
Last year was one of the busiest and most successful years to date for Spinverse. We welcomed many new colleagues, new customers and worked on exciting new projects. We are proud of our skilled colleagues who have worked so hard to help our customers and are delighted to share the latest news about promotions. What is more, warm welcome to our new colleagues in the Spinverse family.
Spinverse founder and Chairman of the board Pekka Koponen and Managing Director Laura Koponen share their thoughts about the year 2021, when two major EU funding programs will be launched. The first funding program is the seven-year Horizon Europe of more than 95 B€ and the second is the European Recovery Package, which will release 750 B€ within just a few years. There are also opportunities for Finnish companies, although the competition will be fierce. Should your company join? Read here Pekka's and Laura's expert advice to companies and their executives.
This year, the jury consisting of leading Finnish technology influencers selected EVP and CTO Jyrki Ovaska of UPM and CTO Duleepa Wijayawardhana of Supermetrics as the winners in the CTOs of the Year 2021 Awards. As a new recognition, the Innovation Professor of the Year 2021 was also awarded, and it was given to Professor Mikko Möttönen of Aalto University and VTT.
The CTO of the Year Awards are given by Technology Industries of Finland, Business Finland and innovation consulting company Spinverse to highlight the importance of Chief Technology Officers’ work on the future competitiveness of Finnish industry. This year, also the work of Innovation Professors collaborating with companies was recognised. The awards were published and given on the 16th of February 2021 at the CTO Forum, an event which this year was themed around digitalisation and sustainability.
Demands posed by digitalisation and environmental issues drive companies to invest more in R&D&I, reveals the latest CTO Survey conducted by Spinverse, Technology Industries of Finland and Business Finland. The survey sent to 400 respondents indicates a two-fold trend in R&D investments.
In close collaboration with several LuxTurrim5G partners, the Aalto Design Factory (ADF) team has developed four comprehensive collections of Smart Urban Furniture that not only fit into various cities’ requirements but also provide different infrastructures designed to equip the smart cities of the future. Based on a human-centric approach, the team developed a product-service ecosystem, where technology is used to enhance citizens’ wellbeing. The results of the extensive work of the design team were presented in a showcase in mid-December 2020.
Kalevi Ekman, Professor of Product Development from Aalto University, opened the virtual event emphasizing the human and user-centric approach and thanking the super-productive Aalto Design Factory project team for their hard work and collaboration in this project. The project has without a doubt been very intense and culminated in the team working day and night to set up the exciting showcases at the Aalto Design Factory.
Principal Consultant Markku Heino from Spinverse continued by presenting the LuxTurrim5G, which is a Nokia-driven innovation ecosystem, creating a digital backbone for a smart city. LuxTurrim5G solution is based on smart pole networks that combine fast 5G connectivity, multiple sensors and a secure data platform, providing new data-driven services. The joint R&D&I activities include tens of partners, Aalto University being one of the key research partners.
“Embedding technology in city infrastructure in a way that it is unobtrusive but functional and responds to the needs of users is an important and not an easy task. The great work of the ADF team on scenarios, concepting and practical prototyping has given important background for the development of the smart pole family and related services and a lot of food for thoughts in smart city planning,” LuxTurrim5G ecosystem coordinator Markku Heino from Spinverse said.
Urban environments need to be designed with citizens’ wellbeing in mind
In the main keynote of the event, Aalto Design Factory’s project manager Sara Figueiredo explained the audience about urban environments and how we should make our cities smart to best serve the safety and wellbeing of the citizens. The team has urbanized the technologies and designs to create a smart city where the technology is transparent, and which ensures that the citizens have a good quality of life.
Designing with peoples’ needs in mind requires an understanding on the complexity and numerous layers of the urban environment. The design team has collaborated with the city of Espoo to gain more understanding of the services needed in city environment.
Walk-through of the Smart Urban Furniture project
The ADF team work focused on four themes to identify the needed services, namely Citizen engagement, City management, Safety and emergency and Transport and mobility. The services translate into a collection of products and infrastructure.
The design team identified that each city is a unique, living organism based on their culture and heritage so they had to think of ways how to fit their designs into different cities. Four collections were born: Flow, Edge. Loop and Ambit. They reflect different cities and their requirements: some are very plain and timeless, some classic and innovative etc. For example, Flow is organic and fluid in its design language, combining fluid shapes with aspects from the nature.
The four collections comprise 57 product concepts to meet the requirements of different urban areas, and some of them were on display at the Aalto Design Factory. Examples of the different products are Smart pole, Smart bench and Smart trash can.
The ADF team showcased how the products are linked and interconnected to each other. A bus stop can, for example, have interconnected services to taxis, and criminal activities will launch an alert to the public authorities. The ADF team introduced some of the functions for security in smart poles and smart benches, where you can call for help by pressing a button on the smart pole, or you can charge your phone wirelessly on a smart bench. The applications are almost limitless from surveillance, monitoring and entertainment point of view.
The design team developed all these products and started to wonder how to visualize all the products. For that, the team created a model of an imaginary city with four different districts representing the different collections. This can be viewed in virtual reality environment.
When asked which of the concepts presented would be ready to be productized, Sara Figueiredo answered that all products are unique, but she sees high potential in the Smart hubs. Their implementation could be started by connecting areas in the cities with hubs. The hubs are mobile and modular, and their size roughly equals to shipping containers and can be installed in a matter of days. Markku Heino reminds that these collections are still design concepts, not products, but of course also serving the product development of LuxTurrim5G.
At the end, the whole Design team (Manuel Rosales, Sushant Passi and Petteri Heinonen) were on stage, where they shared their experiences on the project overall, and the last hectic and somewhat crazy days in setting up the exhibition. We are looking forward to hearing more about these exciting designs!
The newly launched National Battery Strategy strengthens Finland’s role as a competitive, competent and sustainable player in the international battery industry. Spinverse collaborated with Gaia Consulting to provide their collective expertise on the battery strategy work for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
Spinverse supported FuturoLEAF to secure 2.9 M€ of funding for a sustainable photosynthetic cell factory concept
The FuturoLEAF research project was kicked off in autumn 2020 after receiving funding from the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) EU call. The aim of the FuturoLEAF project is to design a solid-state cell factory (SSCF) that efficiently captures CO2 and light by using photosynthetic microbial cells and nanocellulosic building blocks, thus enabling more efficient and sustainable chemical production. Spinverse supported the project consortium in the project proposal phase, securing a winning proposal in this competitive call.
Horizon Europe is the next framework program to fund state-of-the art innovative projects. The EIC Accelerator is the flagship funding instrument under Horizon Europe for start-ups and SMEs with radically new ideas for rolling out marketable innovation solutions and breakthrough projects. Winning companies with ambitions to grow and scale up may get an opportunity to receive up to 15 M€ in equity investments and 2.5 M€ in grants.
The annual CTO Forum co-organised by Business Finland, Technology Industries of Finland and Spinverse is approaching on the 16th February, 2021. The spring event boasts interesting keynotes about sustainability and green digitalisation from ABB and SSAB, and award ceremonies for CTOs of the Year 2021 and Innovation Professor of the Year 2021. This spring, the event is virtual and we want to welcome everyone to join in!
Spinverse is one of the nine partners in the STARDUST project, launched in 2017, to create a miniaturised neurosurgical implant leading to a proof-of-concept for a new treatment approach for Parkinson’s disease. The four-year project has now progressed to its final year, coming a few steps closer to introduce novel ways to treat a wide variety of diseases.
Have you worked with an exceptional CTO in Finland? Would you also like to highlight an innovative professor whose work in the academia has successfully made a difference in the industry sector? We are now looking for nominations to find the CTO of the Year 2021 but are also in the search of the Innovation Professor of the Year 2021. Nominate your candidates today!