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Leveraging business through technology

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
VTT spans the entire innovation chain – from technology foresight to the commercialisation of new solutions and business concepts – and is ideally positioned to ride the crest of the wave when it comes to two of today’s major global megatrends: sustainable development and digitalisation.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a front-runner in the world of technology and an integral part of Finland’s innovation system, spearheading research and innovation that enhance the international competitiveness of its customers and society as a whole. VTT works with customers and partners to identify emerging technologies and create new products, processes, services, and business opportunities based on new technological solutions and business concepts.

Making the leap from ideas to innovations

VTT’s operations cover the entire innovation chain, and the synergies that exist between its expertise in a range of different research fields represent a valuable competitive advantage for its customers, helping them manage future trends and challenges and create a solid basis for their strategies.

VTT is keen to maximise the benefits of its work by directing innovative research into key areas with clear commercial potential.

Strong strategic research is very important in underpinning the development of new business and skills and making the most of emerging technologies. VTT’s product and service development capabilities can play a decisive role in enabling customers to move from existing technology and business to new product and service concepts and new business models.

VTT’s IPR and licensing services offer rapid solutions for opening up new business opportunities. Extensive assessment, testing, inspection, and certification services ensure that new products, systems, and services comply with all relevant regulations and other requirements.

Putting research into practise

VTT’s research vision and the development of its technology and service portfolio are based on two of the modern world’s most significant global megatrends: sustainable development and digitalisation. A large proportion of today’s new technology solutions combine aspects of these two trends, while information and communications solutions serve as enablers in a growing number of cases on our way towards a more sustainable future.

VTT is working to make more of what it has to offer through its spearhead programmes and major innovation programmes, which comprise long-term government-funded projects, jointly funded consortium projects, and commercial research projects. Involving customers and research partners in the innovation process at an early stage ensures that they can really benefit from cutting-edge research results as they emerge. Reflecting this, VTT has implemented several new business-identification methods aimed at bringing research results rapidly into productive use.

In addition to its own facilities and expert staff, VTT also has extensive research and business partnerships worldwide.

Value from sustainability

Business based on sustainable solutions is expected to make a major contribution to solving some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social problems, and the companies most likely to succeed here will be those that see beyond these problems to the potential they offer. Innovations based on wide-ranging know-how and bold cross-discipline initiatives will be critical in helping find sustainable solutions to the challenges we face in areas such as energy, climate and the environment, water, the aging population, people’s well-being, and health care.

As a multi-technological organisation with extensive networking resources, VTT is in a good position to meet these challenges. Based on its existing strong track record in research on green technologies, VTT has selected advanced bioenergy, fuel cells, wind energy, nuclear energy, and clean coal as its key areas in the green energy field.

Promoting the efficient use of energy in transport, the man-made environment, and industry is also a VTT priority. Work on green energy projects also draws on VTT’s expertise in energy systems, modelling, economic assessments, and foresight research.

One particular area of VTT know-how lies in emission control technology and sustainable solutions for mitigating emissions from processes, vehicles, and machinery. VTT’s expertise here is widely used by industry and environmental administrations at national and international level for decision-making and improving process performance.

Clean water technology is another area where VTT has a strong offering, in areas such as improving water recycling, developing new resources for producing clean water, and increasing the integration of waste and water management into energy and material production chains, rather than treating them separately.

Together with Kemira, VTT has established the Center of Water Efficiency Excellence (SWEET) to develop new technologies for more efficient water usage and recycling and create more environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient solutions for water-intensive industries. Partnerships like this have the potential to benefit the entire sector, not just the partners themselves.

Making more of partnerships

In addition to its unique facilities and expert staff across a wide range of fields, VTT also has extensive research and business partnerships worldwide. VTT’s heavy involvement in numerous EU projects and international and national innovation networks further reinforces its potential for driving innovation and new initiatives and promoting technology transfer.

“Understanding the opportunities that lie in today’s problems will be what drives tomorrow’s most successful sustainable businesses.”

> Jouko Suokas
(Published in HighTech Finland 2011)