China–Finland Challenge: Global Digital Solutions for Sustainable Cities

© Jules Hatfield & Christine Williams © © Jules Hatfield & Christine Williams

China–Finland Challenge: Global Digital Solutions for Sustainable Cities

Download the presentations from the awards webinar here!

The Winners

Challenge 1: Digital solutions to redesign an old industrial area into a sustainable landmark and community


Challenge 2: Digital solutions to develop an online-merge-offline education platform on sustainable development

No winners selected.

Challenge 3: Digital solutions to ease the everyday lives of senior citizens and help them live at home longer

Honorary mention:

Challenge 4: How to reduce energy consumption on single family houses by using affordable digital solution or services?

No winners selected.

Challenge overview

Creating cities that are built and maintained in an energy-efficient and carbon-neutral manner with smart digital urban technology is a global endeavour. To find new and innovative digital solutions for sustainable city development, Chinese, Finnish and Nordic partner organisations Helsinki Partners and SNPA (Sino-Nordic Promotion Association for Green Sustainable Development) announce a call of challenges that connects the two countries and across the Nordic region, open for wide participation from Nordics to the whole globe. We invite all global digital solution providers to offer their solutions to the challenges.

The solutions shall address topics from senior citizen solutions to designing and visualising the built environment, industrial parks renovation and digital tools for education on sustainable development, as well as opportunities under China’s Carbon Neutral Piloting Projects (named ‘SNPARK initiative’).

Click here to download a presentation containing more information about the challenges and organisers.


The organisers are actors working in smart and sustainable city development and trade promotion. They will help not only the winners but also other applicants find opportunities in China and Finland. If no suitable applications are received, the organisers shall select the winner in a manner they deem fitting.



Helsinki Partners


Center for International Economic and Technological Cooperation, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT-CIETC)

China-EU Carbon Neutrality Cooperation Office (CECCO)

Special Partners

Finnish Association of Civil Engineers RIL

Omakotiliitto (Finnish Home Owners’ Association)

The Challenges

Application period: 2–22 December 2021

The series contains four challenges in total: two from China and two from Finland. Read the detailed descriptions and criteria for each challenge below. Click here to download a presentation containing more information about the challenges and organisers.

Challenge 1: Digital solutions to redesign an old industrial area into a sustainable landmark and community

An old industrial area in China’s megacity (such as Beijing) needs to be redesigned to visualize low-carbon production and sustainable living style through digital solutions. After renovation, it will set an example and be promoted for other urban renewal projects, under China’s carbon neutral pilot projects (named SNPARK Initiative).

What are your digital solutions that could help transform such a traditional industrial area – with factory buildings and open space – into a new landmark and community for sustainable urban development?

Please provide a Word document within 2000 words to explain how the solution addresses the challenge in the application form attachments.

For questions about the technical details, contact Chan WANG

Download the application scenario introduction and FAQ

Challenge 2: Digital solutions to develop an online-merge-offline education platform on sustainable development

Education bases like zoos and science museums in China’s megacities (such as cities in the Greater Bay Area) look for digital solutions to build an online-merge-offline (OMO) education platform to provide young people with knowledge and skills education on sustainable development. The platform will set an example for youth learning platform development in the cities under China’s carbon neutral pilot projects.

What are your digital solutions that could help transform traditional education bases (e.g. zoos or science museums) into an OMO education platform for sustainable development?

Please provide a Word document within 2000 words to explain how the solution addresses the challenge in the application form attachments.

For questions about the technical details, contact Chan WANG

Download the application scenario introduction and FAQ

Challenge 3: Digital solutions to ease the everyday lives of senior citizens and help them live at home longer

Aging is a global challenge. Most seniors want to live at their beloved family homes as long as possible, but with a declining ability to function, daily chores become difficult. Digital tools can be the solution to senior citizens, more and more of whom are using smart phones and an internet connection daily. What is your digital solution that could ease the everyday lives of senior citizens and help them live home longer?

For questions about the technical details, contact Janne Tähtikunnas

Challenge 4: How to reduce energy consumption on single family houses by using affordable digital solution or services?

There are a lot of different energy consumption-related systems, equipment and data available in single family houses. The challenge is that the equipment and data are not connected to each other. Introduce a digital solution, which could help to reduce energy consumption e.g. by connecting the available data and equipment?

Equipment and data available regarding energy consumption:

  • Heating specification
  • HVAC specification
  • Energy price
  • Hourly measured consumption

For questions about the technical details, contact Janne Tähtikunnas

Benefits to the challenge winners include

  • an opportunity to pitch their solution at a Winner Announcement webinar (January 2022).
  • a piloting opportunity in participating China’s carbon neutral pilot projects (SNPARK initiative), to demonstrate solution application in Chinese green market, with visibility to a global audience;
  • an invitation to showcase smart solutions to Chinese green markets at networking and promotion events hosted by SNPA and its partners, incl. MIIT-CIETC and CECCO.
  • access to follow-up business facilitation services provided by SNPA and Helsinki Partners, for more efficient connection to local green markets.
  • a piloting opportunity in Helsinki, Finland and visibility to a global audience.

An optimal digital solution is

  • scalable to respond to global use.
  • a full or partial solution to the challenge.
  • tested for functionality and shows references.

Important dates:

  • Application period: 2–22 December 2021
  • Informing winners of the decision: 14 January 2022
  • Official announcement webinar of the winners: 20 January 2022 at 9.00 EET and 15.00 CST


Applications open 2 December at 9.00 EET / 15 CST.

Applications close 22 December at 22 EET (23 December at 4 CST).

Launch events

Thank you for participating in the launch events!

Onsite at Helsinki Partners Lounge

Thursday 2 December, 9:00–10:00 EET, 15:00–16:00 CST, 7:00–8:00 GMT

Thank you for joining the event at the Helsinki Partners Lounge in Messukeskus during Slush!

Webinar via Zoom

Friday 3 December, 9:00–10:00 EET, 15:00–16:00 CST, 7:00–8:00 GMT

Thank you for joining the webinar!

Awards event

Thank you for participating in the awards event on 20 January, 2022!

Get in touch

Irma Ylikangas

For general inquiries, contact Irma Ylikangas.

Irma Ylikangas

Senior Business Advisor, Helsinki Partners

+358 40 749 7132

For inquiries on the Chinese challenges, contact Chan WANG.


Co-Secretary-General, SNPA

Janne Tähtikunnas

For inquiries on the Finnish challenges, contact Janne Tähtikunnas.

Janne Tähtikunnas

CEO, Finnish Civil Engineers Association RIL

Speakers of Designing Better Life – Helsinki Meets Japan

スピーカー Speakers

Designing Better Life – ヘルシンキと日本を結んで
Helsinki Meets Japan

プログラム Program

『ヘルスケアの向上を実現する革新』 Innovating for Better Healthcare

Kei Noritsugu

乗次 啓 Kei Noritsugu

Fujitsu Japan Limited



Kei Noritsugu is manager at Digital Healthcare Solutions Division, Healthcare Solutions Development Units. He has been working for Fujitsu since 2001. Noritsugu has several experience of promoting global business in various industries such as Retail, Finance and Healthcare. He has also been on an overseas assignment in New York and London. Kei Noritsugu has bachelor degree from Industrial Chemistry, Shibaura Institute of Technology.

Sanna Venetvaara

Sanna Venetvaara


ゼネラルマネージャー General Manager

Sanna Venetvaara works as a General Manager at Takeda Finland. She has almost 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. During her 10 years at Takeda, she has worked in several director roles across countries from leading commercial and cross functional teams to leading Nordic Innovation Hub having global networks. She has a Master’s degree both in biochemistry and in economics.

Aarno Palotie

Aarno Palotie


教授、研究部長 Professor, Research Director

Dr. Aarno Palotie is Research Director of the Human Genomics program at Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki and also a faculty member at the Center for Human Genome Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He is Scientific Director of the large FinnGen project that combines the genome and national health record data from 500 000 Finnish participants.

Kari Kohtamäki

Kari Kohtamäki


キーアカウントマネージャー Key Account Manager

Kari Kohtamäki leads commercial operations in health technologies at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. This role involves assessing future trends and bridging the gap between scientific research and business needs, as well as creating international partnership networks for VTT.

Minna Elomaa-Krapu

Dr. Minna Elomaa-Krapu

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

イノベーション部長 Innovation Director

Minna Elomaa-Krapu has a master’s degree in health sciences and a doctorate from the University of Tampere, majoring in nursing science. Elomaa-Krapu is the director of innovation in the Customer-Oriented Wellbeing and Health Services innovation hub. She is responsible for RDI projects and multidisciplinary learning and development environments such as wellbeing village (multiprofessional services for citizens and communities) and Metropolia Proof Health (preclinical research and test environment).

Ben Hasselblatt

Ben Hasselblatt


グローバルセールス部長 Head of Global Sales

Ben Hasselblatt joined VideoVisit September 1st 2021 as head of global sales. Prior to joining VideoVisit Ben has held several sales leadership positions in various Finnish tech and software companies focusing primarily on international sales.

Joel Noutere

Joel Noutere


カスタマーサービスマネージャー Customer Success Manager

Joel has a background in physics and molecular biology and before joining Finnadvance he was a startup founder and CEO of a software startup specialized in life science laboratory software tools. Now Joel is part of the Finnadvance team as the Customer Success Manager.

Eetu Koski

Eetu Koski



Evondos CEO Eetu Koski has ~25 years HealthTech experience in general and commercial management positions. 15 years full P&L responsibility. International experience in hospital tender business in 35 markets, including Asian markets. Vast therapy area exposure including medical robotics.

『AIを利用した教育の再考』 Rethinking Education with AI

Aya Watanabe

渡邊あや Aya Watanabe

津田塾大学学芸学部国際関係学科・准教授 Associate Professor

Tsuda University, College of Liberal Arts, Department of International and Cultural Studies


Aya WATANABE specializes in comparative and international education. She focuses her research and professional interest on a comparative study of education system and policy between Finland and Japan. She had studied in the University of Tampere as a visiting researcher (2001-2002 and 2012-2013).

Johanna Hemminki

Johanna Hemminki

Curious Technologies

創業者、Founder, CEO

Ms. Johanna Hemminki is a leading specialist in robot-based language learning in Europe. Her passion is to develop new ways to learn languages and help people to communicate better
with the help of robots and AI. She is a CEO and founder of Elias Robot, an award-winning
company specialized in robotic solutions for education. Prior to founding Elias Robot, Ms. Hemminki has spent over 15 years developing educational institutions, training teachers in education technology and teaching Finnish language. She has a Master’s degree from University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

Anu Passi-Rauste

Anu Passi-Rauste


グロース部門長 Head of Growth

Anu Passi-Rauste has 20 years’ experience in edtech business with current focus on building an intelligent and sustainable future ecosystem for skills and work.

Mariam Shodeinde

Mariam Shodeinde


CGO(チーフ・グロース・オフィサー)Chief Growth Officer

Mariam Shodeinde works for making the vast potential of online learning a reality – Ensuring that Claned partners and customers have the tools, knowledge and online learning platform that delivers a highly engaging and highly effective learning experience.

At Claned she supports the team to deliver data-driven performance improvements in Sales, Marketing and Customer Success. In addition she contributes to developing multi-stakeholder programs and projects to transform education systems. The programs have included implementing technology to scale up access and quality in teacher in-service education in Kenya, vocational skills development for youths in Nigeria and distance learning in Zambia and Uganda.

Sirkku Tahvanainen

Sirkku Tahvanainen

Code School of Finland

教育部長、AI教育専門家 Head of Education and AI Education Specialist

Sirkku is an AI education specialist and author. She develops teaching materials and teacher training, and also teaches kids in coding clubs because that is what she enjoys the most. Her background in philosophy has led her to love all that is clear and distinct, such as code and algorithms.

ヘルシンキ市 City of Helsinki

Juhana Vartiainen

Juhana Vartiainen

ヘルシンキ市長 Mayor of Helsinki

Juhana Vartiainen (born in 1958) is the current Mayor of Helsinki and a Finnish politician. He was a member of the Finnish Parliament in 2015-2021. After winning the local election in Helsinki, Mr. Vartiainen became the Mayor of the capital on 2 August 2021. With a PhD in economics, Mr. Vartiainen has worked in several economic research institutes in Finland and Sweden both as a director and a researcher up to his election to the parliament in 2015. In addition to his hometown Helsinki, he has lived in Paris, London and Stockholm. Mr. Vartiainen represents the National Coalition Party.

Marja-Leena Rinkineva

Marja-Leena Rinkineva

City of Helsinki

ヘルシンキ市経済開発部長 Director of Economic Development

Marja-Leena Rinkineva, Director of Economic Development and the Member of the Executive Board of the City of Helsinki, is responsible economic and innovation policy, entrepreneurship, immigration and employment affairs for the City.

As a Master of Laws and an MBA graduate, Mrs Rinkineva has extensive experience economic development, industry and commerce. Mrs Rinkineva has worked in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and in the Ministry of Justice.

Mrs Rinkineva also has a strong knowledge in Corporate Governance working in various boards of companies. Currently, she is the Chairman / Member of the Board in several organizations related to economic development in the Helsinki region.

Mrs Rinkineva’s motivators are sustainability, shared innovation, openness and trust. She is happiest at the seashore with the family.

Sonja Malin

Sonja Malin

Helsinki Partners

シニア・ビジネスアドバイザー Senior Business Advisor

Miikka Neuvonen

Miikka Neuvonen

NewCo Helsinki

ビジネスアドバイザー Business Advisor

Maria Lavonen

Maria Lavonen

Helsinki Partners

シニア・ビジネスアドバイザー Senior Business Advisor

Maria Lavonen is Senior Business Advisor in Helsinki Partners and she helps health tech and life science companies and investors to successfully start new projects and investments in Helsinki Metropolitan.

Maria Lavonen has +25 years’ experience on strategy and business development in international high technology companies in medical technology, ICT and energy sector. Maria Lavonen holds an MSc degree in Engineering Physics and Business Strategy and International Marketing from Helsinki University of Technology, predecessor of Aalto University.

フィンランド大使館、東京 Embassy of Finland, Tokyo

His Excellency Mr. Pekka Orpana, Ambassador of Finland to Japan

His Excellency Mr. Pekka Orpana, Ambassador of Finland to Japan

駐日フィンランド大使 ペッカ・オルパナ閣下


We’re here to help you!

First ’90 Day Finn’ program ends – participants have founded two new companies, more than half are planning to stay in Finland

YunExpress on a mission to disrupt the e-commerce logistics industry in the Nordics

Designing Better Life – Helsinki Meets Japan

Designing Better Life – Helsinki Meets Japan

7 December, 2021
Virtual events + Tokyo, Metsä Pavilion

Watch recordings


Helsinki and Japan continue Designing Better Life together! 

Quality healthcare and education lie at the heart of a happy life. The effects of these fields on a person are immediate – potentially life-changing – so they deserve to be designed with care. 

Health and learning are things greatly appreciated by both Japan and Finland. The two countries also excel at ICT and R&D, two skills needed for finding modern solutions. For these reasons, the City of Helsinki invites Japanese companies and investors to join the city’s flourishing ecosystems and begin the exploration of new life-improving solutions together. 

Through these events, the City is presenting Finnish ecosystems, innovative solutions perfect for Japanese markets, and valuable business opportunities in Helsinki to Japanese companies. Join to learn the latest information, the benefits of doing business in Finland, and inspiring stories from various companies. Many Japanese companies and investors have already found trusted partners and valuable business in Helsinki – will you be joining them soon?

Health Education

These events are fully bilingual, accessible in both English and Japanese.

The events are part of the Helsinki Designing Better Life series of events organised by the City of Helsinki and Helsinki Partners in 2021. The previously held webinars, organized with our partner Fukuoka Directive Council, focusing on Smart City and Smart Energy respectively, were successes and opened several valuable relationships between Helsinki and Fukuoka.

Innovating for Better Healthcare

7 December, 2021
Online: 15.00–16.30 (Japanese time), 8.00-9.30 EET
Metsä Pavilion: 14:00–16.00 (Japanese time)

The Helsinki Metropolitan area is an excellent location for developing new, innovative health tech solutions. Out of about 400 health-related startups in Finland – one of the largest startup ecosystems in the world –, one hundred are located in Helsinki Metropolitan.

A key feature of the local ecosystem is collaboration: universities, research institutions and companies consistently work together in pursuit of exciting new innovation. Moreover, the City of Helsinki offers opportunities for companies to test their health and well-being innovations in real-life environments, together with end-users and city employees.

The Finnish economy is knowledge-based: it lives and breathes research and innovation. Finland is an exceptional research goldmine thanks to the unique Finnish genetic heritage and the electronic health data records. Moreover, Finland has a wealth of experienced talent for creating new health tech solutions, and a variety of advisors, subcontractors and manufacturers to build complete systems and get regulatory approval.


Opening remarks

Juhana Vartiainen, Mayor of Helsinki

Ambassador’s Remarks

His Excellency Mr. Pekka Orpana, Ambassador of Finland to Japan (Special programme at Metsä Pavilion)

Helsinki Health Innovation Ecosystem

Helsinki Partners – Maria Lavonen, Senior Business Advisor

Fujitsu activities, collaboration and opportunities in the Helsinki Health Ecosystem

Fujitsu Japan Limited – Kei Noritsugu, Manager, Healthcare Solutions Development Unit

Helsinki Health Ecosystem Opportunities, Vision of Takeda

Takeda – Sanna Venetvaara, General Manager

FinnGen research project on genomic data and how to participate in practice

FinnGen – Dr. Aarno Palotie, Professor, Research Director

VTT as an innovation partner in Smart Health

VTT – Kari Kohtamäki, Key Account Manager

Metropolia Proof Health – preclinical research and test infrastructure for companies

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences – Dr. Minna Elomaa-Krapu, Innovation Director

Virtual Home Care

VideoVisit – Ben Hasselblatt, Head of Global Sales

Better tools for pharmaceutical development

FinnAdvance – Joel Noutere, CCO

Independent life at home with medicine dispensing robots – Nordic experience

Evondos – Eetu Koski, CEO

Closing words

Marja-Leena Rinkineva, Director of Economic Development, City of Helsinki

Rethinking Education with AI

7 December, 2021
Online: 17.00–18.30 (Japanese time), 10.00-11.30 EET
Metsä Pavilion: 17.00–19.00 (Japanese time)

Finland has built a reputation as an education powerhouse and has a proven track-record as the home of world-class education. Our educational system is based on high-quality comprehensive education that is inclusive and universal.

To improve education and learning worldwide, we are keen to share our know-how. In this inspiring event, we will present some of our leading, research-based education technology companies utilizing AI in their solutions.

Our philosophy is simple: the nature of a child is to want to know new things, to be inquisitive, curious about the world around them, and to experiment with what they learn. Highly competent, dedicated and motivated teachers nurture natural curiosity and place it at the heart of education planning and curricula. The teachers are experts both in their subject areas and pedagogy, the art of teaching.

Finland is also adapting innovative new technologies in teaching and learning. Personalization of education and the changing roles of teachers and learners require smart and research-based solutions to be used in schools.

We believe this leads to an inspiring, yet efficient and productive, learning environment where students have real independence, an active role in what and how they learn, and genuinely hold a key to unlocking their own potential.


Opening remarks

Juhana Vartiainen, Mayor of Helsinki

Ambassador’s Remarks

His Excellency Mr. Pekka Orpana, Ambassador of Finland to Japan (Special programme at Metsä Pavilion)

Education in Finland as seen from Japan

Aya Watanabe, Associate Professor, Tsuda University, College of Liberal Arts, Department of International and Cultural Studies

Empowering language learning with robots

Curious Technologies – Johanna Hemminki, Founder and CEO

Future-proofing Education with Sustainable AI: Case Universities of Applied Sciences

HeadAI – Anu Passi-Rauste, Head of Growth

Where digital learning goes wrong and how to change it

Claned – Mariam Shodeinde, Chief Growth Officer

Making future AI makers

Code School Finland – Sirkku Tahvanainen, Head of Education and AI Education Specialist

Helsinki EdTech Ecosystem

Sonja Malin, Senior Business Advisor, Helsinki Partners & Miikka Neuvonen, Business Advisor, NewCo Helsinki

Closing words

Marja-Leena Rinkineva, Director of Economic Development, City of Helsinki








We’re here to help you!

Designing Better Life – ヘルシンキと日本を結んで

Designing Better Life – ヘルシンキと日本を結んで

バーチャルイベント + 東京のメッツァ・パビリオン

ハイブリッドイベント 『Designing Better Life – ヘルシンキと日本を結んで』にご参加いただき、ありがとうございました。


ヘルシンキと日本を結ぶ『Designing Better Life 』は続きます!




ヘルス 教育


このイベントはヘルシンキ市とHelsinki Partners(ヘルシンキ・パートナーズ)が2021年に開催するHelsinki Designing Better Lifeシリーズの一環です。スマートシティスマートエネルギー に焦点を当てパートナーの福岡地域戦略協議会とともに開催した過去のウェビナーは成果を収め、ヘルシンキ市と福岡市の間にいくつかの貴重な関係を築き上げました。


バーチャルイベント 15:00~16:30 (日本時間)、8:00~9:30 EET
メッツァ・パビリオン 14:00~16:00 (日本時間)






ヘルシンキ市長 Juhana Vartiainen


駐日フィンランド大使 ペッカ・オルパナ閣下(メッツァ・パビリオンでのスペシャルプログラム)

ヘルシンキ ヘルスイノベーション エコシステム

Helsinki Partners

シニア・ビジネスアドバイザー Maria Lavonen




マネージャー 乗次 啓

ヘルシンキ  ヘルス エコシステム


ゼネラルマネージャー Sanna Venetvaara

FinnGen ゲノムデータ研究プロジェクトとプロジェクトへの参加方法について


教授、研究部長 Aarno Palotie



キーアカウントマネージャー  Kari Kohtamäki

Metropolia Proof Health(メトロポリア・プルーフ・ヘルス) –  前臨床研究と企業向け試験基盤

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

イノベーション部長 Minna Elomaa-Krapu



グローバルセールス部長 Ben Hasselblatt



CCO Joel Noutere

投薬ロボットを利用し自宅で自立した生活を – 北欧の事例


CEO Eetu Koski


ヘルシンキ市 経済開発部長 Marja-Leena Rinkineva 


バーチャルイベント 17:00~18:30 (日本時間)、10:00~11:30 EET
メッツァ・パビリオン 17:00~19:00 (日本時間)








ヘルシンキ市長 Juhana Vartiainen


駐日フィンランド大使 ペッカ・オルパナ閣下(メッツァ・パビリオンでのスペシャルプログラム)


津田塾大学 学芸学部国際関係学科

准教授 渡邊 あや 


Curious Technologies

創業者、CEO  Johanna Hemminki



グロース部門長 Anu Passi-Rauste



CGO(チーフ・グロース・オフィサー)Mariam Shodeinde


Code School Finland

教育部長、AI教育専門家 Sirkku Tahvanainen

ヘルシンキ エドテック エコシステム 

Helsinki Partners シニア・ビジネスアドバイザー Sonja Malin 氏

NewCo Helsinki ビジネスアドバイザー Miikka Neuvonen 氏


ヘルシンキ市 経済開発部長 Marja-Leena Rinkineva 氏






Artificial intelligence business opportunities in Helsinki

© Shutterstock / Blue Planet Studio

Tap into the world-leading artificial intelligence ecosystem

Helsinki is the artificial intelligence powerhouse showing the way in human-centric and ethical AI.

Why look at AI offering in Helsinki?


  • High-quality startup deal flow
  • Global expansion of portfolio companies


  • Best possible R&D partners and ecosystems
  • University & research center collaboration
  • Product development opportunities
  • Unique piloting platforms
  • Funding

High-growth startups:

  • Right kind of talent
  • Pilot customers
  • Product development opportunities
  • Global expansion
  • Funding

Finland offers world-class capabilities in human-centric and ethical AI:

  • Top-level education and research
  • Open data
  • Skilled talent pool
  • Tech-savvy society
  • Dynamic AI startups
  • Real-world applications of AI by companies
  • National AI program

All of these together create an exceptionally vibrant and attractive innovation environment to develop new solutions for the global market leveraging the AI expertise from Finland. Helsinki has what it takes to meet your needs in the AI space – and we’re here to help you find what you are looking for!

Looking for particular opportunities, contacts or information?

Please leave your contact info and we’ll be in touch with you. Our services are free of charge.

Within artificial intelligence, we’re especially focused on

  • Ethical AI

  • Augmented AI

  • Data efficiency

  • Speech recognition

  • Facial recognition

  • Computer vision

“Helsinki area is strong in basic and applied research, not to mention the commercialization of industrial-scale AI in enterprise companies. Helsinki is particularly well geared towards building ethical and human-centric AI products and solutions to improve productivity.”

– Tero Ojanperä, Chairman and Co-Founder, Silo AI

Finland is a superpower in leveraging the possibilities provided by artificial intelligence

Finland’s high level of education and decades of research in machine learning and signal processing have formed a solid basis for the Finnish AI know-how and development.

  • Finland initiated a national AI strategy among the first countries in the world.
  • Finland created an action plan to boost education and research in the field of AI.
  • We are actively exploring how AI can create new economic growth and thereby promote wellbeing.
  • Finland has accelerated AI development and utilization by
    • providing access to more efficient and inexpensive computing capacity
    • increasing growth of the volume of data available to artificial intelligence
    • emphasizing the development of algorithms.

Finland is a powerhouse for machine learning and computer vision:

  • Finland has a long tradition of research in this field.
  • Strong capabilities to apply the latest machine learning solutions and algorithms to products and services, as well as combine them with other technologies.
  • Machine learning has for example been combined with software robotics and hyperspectral imaging.
  • The industry uses computer vision solutions widely, and several technology companies are applying AI to their computer vision and video- or image-related products.

In addition, the national AI Business program aims to make Finland the best place to research and develop artificial intelligence and platform economy. Since 2017, over 300 AI companies have received about EUR 200 million in additional funding in total.

“Helsinki’s strength in AI is fundamental research and innovations. Great ideas, talent pool and technology come from Finland. Sufficient open data is a key enabler for AI, and Helsinki and Finland offer open data and environment to promote innovation. Finland’s national level AI center (FCAI) sets it apart.”

– Mikko Terho, Vice President of Technology Planning and Site Manager Finland R&D, Huawei

“Finland has a rich history in computer science and AI. The backpropagation algorithm was first published by a University of Helsinki student Seppo Linnainmaa in 1970, and Finland is also the home country of Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux. Finland was among the first countries to launch a national AI program and it offers excellent higher education and research opportunities. The Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence (FCAI), an academy of Finland flagship program, brings together world-class researchers across a range of disciplines to tackle real-world problems. NVIDIA accelerates research, education and adoption of artificial intelligence in Finland via NVIDIA AI Technology Center (NVAITC), a joint research center between FCAI, NVIDIA, and the Finnish IT Centre for Science CSC. The NVIDIA office in Helsinki consists of accelerated-computing experts, including a world-leading research team in generative image modelling.”

– Dr. Niki Loppi, AI & HPC Solutions Architect at NVAITC, NVIDIA

A free online course “Elements of AI” has already trained more than 2% of the entire Finnish population on the basics of artificial intelligence. It is now followed by “Ethics of AI” course, also available for everyone.

Benefits of working with our ecosystem

Finland has always been a pioneer in new technologies. The Finns form a tech-savvy society that is not afraid of new technologies and innovations. We have a culture of trying out new technologies in the early phase and learn from experimentation. Our industry has a way of working together and learning together as an ecosystem. We have an exceptionally strong innovation ecosystem in AI.

Faster time to market

We have the leading European R&D infrastructure which you can utilize to speed up your AI R&D and to support commercialization. When you want to ensure good product-market fit, Finnish companies are early adopters of new technology and can serve as valuable pilot customers and testbeds for new AI solutions.

Complete ICT value chain

We have a complete value chain for AI from R&D to software development, algorithms, hardware design and manufacturing, testing, procurement, and commercialization. In addition, the Finnish CSC offers free supercomputing capacity for research organizations.

Open data for AI

In Finland, the availability of data and its quality are excellent. Finland provides access to data for AI research and development, e.g., biobanks, open data, SITRA IHAN etc. We have a strong and active data sharing culture also in the early adopter B2B industries, e.g. DIMECC One Sea.

Reduced fear of AI

Finland has reduced fear in AI through AI literacy across citizens and employees which speeds up AI deployment in business and in society. We also focus on using AI for ethical and human purposes to augment human performance.

Technically skilled workforce

We can provide highly talented English-speaking workforce with remarkable technical skills in especially optics, machine learning, graphics, coding, mobile technologies and UX design.

Cost effective resources

Finland has the second largest number of AI experts per capita in Europe, and here you can hire top talent in AI R&D at globally competitively price and a fraction of the cost of the Silicon Valley.

Stable society

The Finnish society works, and we have a very reliable business environment here. We are also the happiest country in the world: a safe and nice place to live with clean nature and air. Helsinki is one of the smartest cities in the world.

Less risks

Your IPR is globally secure here. We are the least corrupt country in the world, and we have exceptionally strong cyber security capabilities. The Finnish society has also effectively dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.

EU data compliance

Finland has the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance and CE certification for “made in EU” AI solutions that can be sold to the EU trade zone customer base.

Helsinki has the most globally connected local ecosystem.

Helsinki is famous for bringing together the whole ecosystem in the AI development projects: private and public sector, academia, applied R&D organisations, and citizens. It’s a great place to pilot and test new AI innovations that lead to globally scalable business solutions.

Helsinki is supercharged with AI startups and a vital R&D ecosystem

Startups have a major role in the Finnish AI landscape. There are over 400 AI startups in Finland and the top 30 companies ranked by the Finland’s Artificial Intelligence Accelerator (FAIA) are doubling their growth each year.

The number of people working at AI startups in Finland increases by approximately 33% each year. Startup Genome has identified the Helsinki area as one of the most significant AI ecosystems in Europe, along with London and Berlin.

In Helsinki, AI startups are able to quickly test new technology in real-world environments – with strong support from the public sector and society in general.

  • Silo AI

    Silo AI is the largest private AI lab in the Nordics that helps companies to bring AI into their product development. It’s developing a new platform aimed to make AI competence available to every company. The company offers scalable solutions that leverage machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing.

    “Our team has doubled its size during the past year, resulting in 150+ AI experts working together with our clients all over Europe. The fast adoption of AI by enterprise companies as well as advanced B2B data sharing has become characteristic of Finland’s AI ecosystem. In addition, First AI Accelerator (FAIA, formerly Finland’s AI Accelerator) has successfully helped numerous companies to kick-off their journey in AI.”

    – Tero Ojanperä, Chairman and Co-Founder, Silo AI

  • Awake.AI

    Awake.AI is a collaborative and open data platform company that facilitates ecosystem creation for smart ports and evolving autonomous shipping. The underlying objective of the Awake.AI platform is to increase the operational efficiencies and create new digital services for all actors in the port ecosystem. Actors range from port service providers to infrastructure utilization to shipping customers and cargo owners.

    Awake.AI is developing predictive analytics and models for key processes in harbor operations. To facilitate the involvement of new digital service providers for smart ports, the Awake.AI platform is a multi-sided network for many participants to develop smart port cargo flows and a future marketplace for buying and selling smart port- and ship-related services.

    “Helsinki has the AI talent pool and R&D infrastructure for product development to commercialize AI-powered solutions to address challenges in the global smart maritime industry.”

     – Karno Tenovuo, CEO and Co-Founder, Awake.AI

  • DAIN Studios

    DAIN Studios is  a data and AI consultancy based in Helsinki,  Berlin and Munich. DAIN Studios specializes in data, analytics and AI, and have a full portfolio of data and analytics offerings – from business strategy to data science and analytics implementation.

    “As a Finnish-German data and AI consultancy, we appreciate the advanced level of digitalization and the vibrant data & AI ecosystem in Helsinki. We have brought our clients from the DACH region to meet with their colleagues in the respective Finnish companies for sharing insights and experiences. With its skilled data-science workforce and open-minded people, Helsinki serves as a good test bed for developing scalable AI solutions.”

     – Ulla Kruhse-Lehtonen, CEO & Co-Founder, DAIN Studios Finland

  • FAIA

    Finland’s Artificial Intelligence Accelerator FAIA helps established organisations deploy artificial intelligence. It pools together organisations, startups, service providers and academia to jointly work on real life use cases.

    The accelerator is initiated as a joint venture by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Technology Industries of Finland and Silo AI.

    “Finland’s Artificial Intelligence Accelerator (FAIA) helps established organizations deploy artificial intelligence (AI). The accelerator is initiated as a joint venture by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Technology Industries of Finland and Silo.AI. We have located FAIA in Helsinki due to the talent pool and ecosystem in AI in the area.”

    – Alexander Törnroth, Lead, Finland’s Artificial Intelligence Accelerator (FAIA)

  • FCAI

    Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence FCAI is a community of experts in artificial intelligence in Finland, initiated by Aalto University, University of Helsinki, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. FCAI is one of the six Academy of Finland Finnish flagships.

    Their mission is to bring real AI for real people in the real world. The goal in FCAI is to create a new type of AI, which is able to operate with humans in the complex world, and to renew the Finnish industry with that new AI. To create real AI, they have setup three grand scientific objectives: data efficiency, trust & ethics, and understandability.

    Research carried out at FCAI is focused on

    • Agile probabilistic AI
    • Simulator-based inference
    • Next-generation data-efficient deep learning
    • Privacy-preserving and secure AI
    • Interactive AI
    • Autonomous AI
    • AI in society

    “Finland has 60 years of history in AI, and FCAI is a flagship in this long tradition of research. In our core areas, our research has recently been ranked in top 20 globally and top 3 in Europe. We focus particularly on machine learning and AI that is ethical and works well with people. We aim at new methods for AI-assisted decision-making, design and modeling, combining for instance human-computer interaction expertise with AI.”

    – Samuel Kaski, Director of FCAI, Fundamental AI research, Academy professor, Aalto University

Helsinki is on top of global rankings

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