Business Finland launched a competition in early 2020 for leading companies (so called Veturi companies) with international operations to challenge them to solve significant future problems and increase their research, development and innovation investments in Finland. Four leading companies with three projects were announced as the winners of the competition. Nokia, one of the four winning companies will launch a project called “Unlocking Industrial 5G” which allows the company to innovate new products, services and solutions in Finland and develop and commercialise them together with the companies in the local ecosystem.
The winning companies are committed to increase the number of R&D&I jobs by hundreds in total and use hundreds of millions of euros in all on R&D&I investments. When successful, these programmes will lead to additional investments in Finland, worth billions of euros. Business Finland has committed to fund the winning projects of the challenge competition by a total of 60 million euros. The prerequisite for competition proposals was to show significant impact on the target set in the Government Program to increase R&D expenses to 4% and the employment impact of 75%. The leading companies were also required to increase their R&D&I collaboration with research organisations and SMEs.
Out of the three winning Veturi project entities, Spinverse provided support to two of them at the application phase. ”Planning projects of this scale requires active facilitation and intensive collaboration within the organisation. The Veturi funding will not only support the winning project but it also enables the development of a large-scale industrial ecosystem around the project. The project will have a considerable impact through R&D collaboration on Finnish competitiveness and export,” says Laura Koponen, managing director of Spinverse.
NOKIA to make Finland the forerunner in industrial 5G networks
The widespread use of 5G technologies plays a key role in improving industrial efficiency. In the Veturi project for leading companies, Nokia has three main tasks to significantly contribute to improving the productivity of Finnish industry and increasing R&D investments in Finland: 1) accelerating the development and utilisation of industrial 5G solutions, 2) ensuring the usability and scalability of the applications and 3) building of ecosystems as well as testing and validating the solutions with industrial partners.
Led by Nokia, Finland will be able to steer the global change in industrial 5G technologies and accelerate the growth of R&D investments. The efficient industrial and research ecosystems offer an excellent breeding ground for achieving these goals.
The ever-increasing importance of R&D&I activities as source of sustainable growth
“We launched this challenge competition because Finland is severely lagging behind with investments on the future. Compared to other global companies, the R&D&I investments of the Finnish companies leading cooperation networks have significantly decreased recently. It was delightful to see how this competition boosted the enthusiasm for renewal and for the creation of new business to solve global challenges – also through collaboration between many large companies. After the corona crisis, efforts for new innovations has become even more important for companies to survive in the post-crisis world,” says Nina Kopola, Director General of Business Finland.
A total of 25 proposals were submitted by the leading companies in the two-stage competition. Three project entities from four leading companies were selected as the winners.
The other two winning companies and projects of the Veturi challenge competition for leading companies are as follows:
- FORTUM & METSÄ GROUP – New fibre-based products with lower carbon footprint to consumer markets (for more information on the ExpandFibre project, read here)
- NESTE – Sustainable and globally scalable solutions for R&D of raw materials that reduce the use of crude oil
The three project entities are currently being launched and will last for 3 – 5 years. The maximum share of funding from Business Finland is 40%. If the planned additional R&D&I investments and other goals are not realized, funding may be suspended.
For more information:
Business Finland press release (in Finnish)
Nokia - Unlocking the Industrial 5G