To promote and grow the ICT field, a new collaboration network, Allied ICT Finland (AIF), has been established in Finland. It involves VTT Technical Centre of Finland as well as universities and polytechnics in five cities: Oulu, Jyväskylä, Tampere, Turku, and Helsinki. The main purpose of AIF is to significantly enhance Finnish companies’ competitiveness while aiming to permanently raise the level of R&D investments in ICT in Finland.

AIF also promotes economic growth in Jyväskylä. With its new ways of working, AIF creates opportunities to flexibly combine and make use of the latest technology and AIF’s expertise for different fields of business as well as for cooperation between companies and the public sector.

AIF combines the network members’ strengths, putting deep expertise into effective use

Digitalisation brings great opportunities for growth, but success calls for new kinds of agility, investments and partnership models. Finland must be an agile pioneer in the utilisation of new technologies and business opportunities.

AIF partners contribute to a unique working model where research organisations, cities and companies make use of a new Internet-based model for the platform economy and growth networks. AIF combines the platform economy model with top multidisciplinary research, researcher resources and shared R&D environments, with the central goal of establishing an agile research-to-business model. The main working principles in promoting growth include extensive shared utilisation of investments, business, partnerships, and R&D resources.

Cooperation to raise Finnish use of the latest technology to new level

AIF seeks to generate several billion euros of new business

“The objective of a billion-euro leap are based on the great observed potential for new technological solutions,” says project leader Jaakko Sauvola. He explains that it has been clear from the outset that Finnish companies have plenty to offer the global market. By combining research capacity and the top professionals from the private sector we create a training platform that is expected to yield permanent results in the billion-euro class.

The main spearheads of AIF include wireless networks and devices, the industrial Internet, artificial intelligence and machine learning, drone technology, extended and virtual reality technology, game technology, systems and platforms, printable electronics, new materials and sensors, information security and vertical technology.

“As for funding, we will draw on various domestic and European financing instruments, the participants’ own capital as well as international partnerships,” says Arto Maaninen, the chairman of the AIF management team.

AIF partnership produces solutions called for in the international market

AIF creates new solutions that combine the currently separate fields of special expertise, R&D platforms and resources, in addition to which AIF produces goods and services with international demand. Companies and research organisations contribute to the projects with their own expertise, tools and R&D environments.

AIF is open to all Finnish tech companies as well as to other actors and research organisations in this field. “International companies and partners are encouraged to find Finnish partners through ecosystems,” says the vice-chair of the AIF management team, Pasi Tyrväinen from the Faculty of Information Technology, University of Jyväskylä.

“The standard of Finnish companies and research expertise is world class, but developing successful solutions for the market calls for novel partnerships, tailoring and the integration of different technologies. Our task is to find the best players, visions and ideas, and develop these into products and services demanded by the market,” Sauvola describes.

Jyväskylä’s core competences in a central role

The strengths of companies in Central Finland and the region’s deep expertise in welfare, ICT, cyber security and bio-ICT are well suited to contribute to the network’s efforts to build agile enterprise groups for the international market.

“For concept developers, the Hippos facilities, the new hospital, the Kangas area, the JAMK cyber laboratory and the University’s laboratories provide a good basis for rapid testing before entering the market,” Tyrväinen points out.

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