Known as the birthplace of Nokia, Finland is a recognized tech hub and centre for innovation and major technological progress. Finland is the home of Linux, SSH protocol, the SMS, Angry Birds, Supercell and so much more. Indian ICT firms must investigate Finland as the location for them to become the next global and innovative Indian ‘Apple’. This article features 5 major tech scenes in Finland where major ICT innovations are taking place.
Indian firms in the ICT arena have the potential to create innovative and disruptive solutions that can become complete game changers in the industry. IoT, AR/VR, AI and Robotics developments are set to change the state of technology in sectors like health, finance, biotech, gaming, maritime and more.
Indian firms have the faculties and drive to compete and develop their own innovative products and solutions, but also struggle with a number of problems that are typical for SMEs: such as a lack of access to the latest technology, skills and abilities, research funds, talented and skilled employees, and a supportive business ecosystem.
An effective and lesser know path to innovation for Indian firms is to explore Finland as an EU base offering multiple advantages in terms of location, availability of skilled tech and research talent, a mature and advanced tech and business ecosystem and one of the easiest places in the world to do business in. It is also a top location for R&D collaborations, testing and piloting platforms.
This research intensive and highly technological environment means that Finland has developed several important areas concentrated on specific ICT tech development and applications. We take a look at 5 interesting arenas and their features that can become important reasons for Indian ICT firms to consider expanding to Finland.
5G network in Helsinki
5G network is slowly rolling out in India with test network trials being conducted by Airtel and Huawei, this is a new and important technological change about to appear in the world and Indian companies should be on the forefront of this.
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, has an advanced 5G network set-up providing a powerful development ground for 5G related solutions and innovations. Indian SMEs can make use of the new 5G network in the Helsinki region in Finland as a testing ground for 5G-enabled solutions and business concepts.
This 5G network in Finland is the most advanced set up in the world and global connectivity businesses and operators are already working in Finland developing and testing their solutions with the 5G network. Indian companies developing 5G solutions can benefit from the key technical infrastructure already set up and the ecosystems already operating.
There is also the opportunity to collaborate with the Aalto University at Helsinki, and take advantage of the testing network built by Aalto in collaboration with Nokia and Ericsson.
Helsinki has a strong maritime region as it borders the Baltic Sea, in fact, the Baltic Sea forms 70% of the Helsinki Area. This is an exciting area for ICT firms specialising in the maritime industry as this region is highly focused on smart ships and automation in the maritime industry. Helsinki possesses a highly developed platform and infrastructure for the development of smart technology in the Maritime arena.
Finland is a world shipbuilding leader. Cruise-ship companies, ice-breaking ships and maritime research bodies are located in Helsinki. The country has a highly collaborative culture and companies work with the region’s best talent in the spheres of big data and cloud tech bringing together the industries of maritime, shipping and ICT and providing new and interesting opportunities to firms. The ‘One Sea’ initiative and ecosystem is focused towards developing autonomous ships using big data and analytics and blockchain technology.
Many engineering and industrial companies are located in this area and working towards the digitalization of the maritime industry. Some of them are Aker Arctic, ABB Marine and Wärtsilä. University and business collaboration with Aalto University Marine Technology and VTT is another attractive feature of this region. A major attraction of this place is also the incentives for R&D from these institutions available in Finland for companies established there.
Finland is a strong contender in the gaming industry, the home to Angry Birds and Supercell, with Supercell being the first gaming company to be valued at over 10 billion USD. Indian gaming companies will be at home in the Helsinki region as the region is a home to innumerable companies and startups all working on developing mobile and desktop games, along with educational and health-related games and softwares.
There is a vibrant gaming ecosystem thanks to the presence of the Hilla Gaming Ecosystem, the Aalto University, Games Factory and supportive governmental bodies such as Business Finland, Tekes and VTT. AR and VR are also highly developed and there are several associations for networking and enabling small gaming start-ups to developing their products.
One of the recent set ups in Finland making it the forerunner in internet connectivity is the completion of a submarine cable between Helsinki and Rostock in Germany. The exceedingly high speed and and secure submarine cable connection has created a digital highway between Finland and Central-Eastern Europe.
Finnish company Cinia has also built a Digital Silk Road between European data-hubs and network service operators in China and other eastern nations making Finland quite the digital Gateway between the east and the west.
This high speed and security of such connectivity is highly advantageous to tech companies. They can also benefit from the low cost of operation and the highly futuristic technology that makes Finland a prime location for data centres. Finland has the second most advanced digital economy in Europe and the 2nd best digital infrastructure in the world and thus is the most suitable home for Indian SMEs seeking innovation in the ICT and digital realms.
Finland provides a unique platform for research and studies in the health arena. Indian companies with a focus on genomic research and other health-related fields can find Finland to be a goldmine to conduct R&D, clinical trials and develop precision medicine.
The Helsinki Biobank has collected tissue samples for over 50 years in a continuous and consistent manner, this biobank data and meticulous health records offers the best combination for research in the health and medical field.
Many global firms such as Pfizer, Biogen and Eisai have set up operations in Finland and have partnered up with the Helsinki Biobank. Indian healthtech SMEs also can also collaborate with research institutions and the Biobank in Helsinki for research and product development.
Finland also has a rich pool of incredibly talented people to hire, with over 29,000 skilled workers with education and experience in life sciences. Finland is the world’s most advanced and updated testbed for health research and an ideal location for health-tech development.
The Landscape of ICT Opportunities in Finland
Over 20 Indian SMEs have gone to Finland over the last 3 years to take advantage of the multiple advantages offered there for technology R&D, EU market entry and product development. The areas of opportunity mentioned in this article form merely a part of the entire ICT-landscape in Finland; Finland offers a great deal more towards funding, test-beds, business and university collaborations and tech development.
Indian firms focused on developing world-class products and taking their businesses to the next level will find their best option lies in exploring Finland as a centre for R&D, EU and US market entry, pilot-testing, branding, networking and much more.