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Three new leading company ecosystems launched to strengthen  Finnish R&D&I activities

Nov 30, 2020 9:45:00 AM

Business Finland has granted a total of 60 M€ for three new ecosystem projects led by the leading "Veturi" companies. In return for Business Finland's funding, the leading companies have committed to increase their research, development and innovation (R&D&I) activities in Finland by a total of hundreds of millions of euros, at the same time creating hundreds of new R&D&I jobs by 2024. These new ecosystem projects are led by ABB, KONE and Sandvik.

Business Finland launched a competition in early 2020 for leading companies with international operations to challenge them to solve significant future problems and increase their R&D&I investments in Finland. Large companies eagerly accepted the challenge and 25 project proposals from various sectors were submitted to the competition. In the tough race, many excellent proposals had to be left unfunded when Business Finland awarded a total of  60 M€ to three projects of four companies in the summer of 2020. Four leading companies, Neste, Fortum, Metsä Group and Nokia with three projects were announced as the first winners in June. The first "Veturi" projects have got off to a good start and have brought together other ecosystem actors to work with them. 

The government was also convinced of the potential of the competition concept to accelerate business ecosystems, and Business Finland received a financial authorization of another 60 M€ in the supplementary budget to continue the competition. This additional mandate was able to fund three new locomotive projects selected from the best of previous competition proposals.

“We have set the bar very high, significant changes can only be achieved with significant investments. Our task is to help Finnish companies continuously improve their competitiveness,” says Teija Lahti-Nuuttila, Director at Business Finland.

The three winning companies and projects of the "Veturi" challenge competition for leading companies are as follows:

  • ABB - Green Electrification 2035
    The goal of ABB's Green Electrification 2035 program is to develop new integrated technology platforms for optimal power generation and use. The end result of the project, in cooperation with ecosystem partners, will be controlled and safe total solutions that optimize system-level energy efficiency and overall reliability.
  • Kone - Sustainable solutions for urban environments
    The goal of KONE's new research and development project is to create sustainable solutions for urban environments that support the smooth and safe movement of people. Through the project, KONE, together with its ecosystem network, will increase research and development and innovation activities in Finland. Investing in innovations supports the competitiveness of Finnish research institutes and the entire research sector, and it offers opportunities for new start-ups.
  • Sandvik - Electronic and digital solutions for heavy work machines
    Sandvik's "Veturi" project aims for globally competitive electronic and digital solutions for heavy work machines. One of the key enablers for system-level optimization are future connectivity solutions that Sandvik is developing with an extensive ecosystem as part of the "Veturi" project. Sandvik is a global provider of solutions for the mining and contracting industry. To ensure future competitiveness, they will invest heavily in new technologies and technology solutions. 

"Extensive overall effects are achieved by combining three elements: the R&D&I projects of the leading companies co-financed by Business Finland with EUR 60 million, the companies' commitments to additional R&D&I investments, and the activation of R&D&I activities in  the ecosystem gathered around the "Veturi" projects," continues Lahti-Nuuttila.

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)

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