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Using innovation to generate true customer potential

The better R&D is able to anticipate market expectations, the better new technology will benefit customers, the marketplace, and society as a whole. This is why customer focus and cooperation with other innovators receives so much attention at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland as part of the organisation’s efforts to improve the global competitiveness of its customers by creating and applying new technology.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Anticipating future market developments and directing its expertise to areas where its customers and other technology-driven companies can derive the maximum benefit from technology in their businesses are key priorities for VTT today. VTT wants to help its customers see beyond the businesses the have now to the businesses they could have in the future, and help them introduce new solutions to achieve their potential.

As the largest technological research and development organisation in the Nordic region – with a number of unique research facilities, covering everything from electronics to construction, and heavily involved in many EU projects and national innovation networks – VTT is exceptionally well-placed to do this.

VTT believes that partnerships are the best means for transferring and leveraging knowledge and technology, and that the best possible conditions for an innovative and productive partnership exist when a customer knows what VTT can do, and when VTT can identify a customer’s true business opportunities.

Tomorrow’s intelligent personal information networks will automatically identify and link up with other nearby networks to offer a wide range of user-relevant services.

Intelligent personal mobile networks

VTT is particularly heavily involved in the development of information and communications technology. The market for products such as mobile phones is already massive and still growing, and there is enormous market potential for related services and systems.

Ten years from now, for example, consumers will be able to access personal mobile networks that automatically identify and link up with other networks to offer a wide range of services.

VTT is responsible for developing the first test systems in the Ambient Networks project, aimed at creating just such a user-friendly information network that goes everywhere with users – working together with major European manufacturers, such as Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Siemens, and mobile operators, such as TeliaSonera, France Telecom, and Vodafone.

VTT’s work in the development of a unique mobile phone navigation system that understands ordinary speech and responds by means of a speech synthesiser is another example of VTT’s cutting-edge R&D in the ICT sector.

VTT is also involved in the development of physical browsing methods based on the use of identifiers such as RFID tags, read by mobile communicators, that have the potential to transform our physical environment into a virtual website, linking us up to electronic information and services.

Tomorrow’s intelligent personal information networks will automatically identify and link up with other nearby networks to offer a wide range of user-relevant services.

Multidisciplinary approach to cell research

VTT and others in Finland have high hopes of the biotech sector and its potential to generate new industrial capability.

VTT is using new cell biochip technology, for example, to analyse the workings of living cells. Up to a thousand times faster than conventional methods, this technology can test the efficiency or toxicity of drug candidates at a very early stage, saving both time and money.

Together with VIB, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology, VTT has developed a novel technology platform for producing plant-derived molecules more efficiently in transgenic cell cultures for the needs of the pharmaceutical industry. This new technology makes systematic use of plant genomics and metabolic engineering, and opens up the potential to produce totally new compounds not previously available.

Networking for competitive edge

Finland – and VTT – also continue to be strong in more traditional industries, such as forest products, engineering, and metal products.

VTT’s laser technology expertise, for example, played a key role recently in developing a unique new way for cutting packaging board. The new method, which makes it easy and economical to cut even individual cardboard blanks, is especially well-suited to producing short packaging runs, such as those needed for certain prescription drugs.

Working together with a group of specialist aluminium, plastic, sheet metal, and electrical component companies, VTT has developed a new networking model for providing customers with rapid and easy access to information on new materials and technical solutions. The network makes it possible for customers, suppliers, and manufacturers to study alternatives for producing new, competitive end-products and select the best and fastest ones that suit their needs.

A new method of cutting packaging board developed by VTT is ideal for producing small runs of packaging.
> Jouko Suokas
(Published in High Technology Finland )