“SHOK Companies Are Perfect Tools For Enhancing Growth”
SHOK summit demonstrated concrete results of the Finnish government’s investments into the open innovation projects
Held in Helsinki yesterday, the second SHOK summit showcased Finland as the prominent leader in supporting cooperation between academia and industry for the benefit of the digital economy. The Finnish Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation (SHOK) presented over 60 concrete results from academia and companies in the fields of cleantech, healthcase, ICT, metals and engineering, construction and forestry.
Supported through a unique combination of public and private funding, each SHOK cluster aims to generate cutting edge research on a global level and implement the resulting innovations in concrete products and services. “SHOKs provide a new environment for knowledge creation and utilization. They are still very new and each cluster is unique but they have already achieved some impressive results that need to be actively communicated to the tax-payers”, shared Aino Sallinen, Rector of the University of Jyväskylä.
Finland spends over 3% of its GDP on research and development. As a result, many international surveys ranked Finland among the top performing nations in the world. “You are the envy of many nations, including Ireland”, declared Sean Sherlock, Minister for Research and Innovation, Ireland. “Finland is an R&D powerhouse and I am really looking forward to seeing tangible results emanating from Finnish research and innovation. It is important that industry and academia work together and that is well embodied in SHOK programs”.
The importance of integrating scientific research with strategic industries was emphasized throughout the summit. “The challenge small countries like Finland face today is escaping the commodity trap”, said John Zysman, Professor at the University of California, Berkley and co-founder of BRIE. “To do that, new sources of value need to be discovered through ICT-enabled services”.
Supporting digital economy is crucial for Finland. “Between 2005-2010 Finland’s share of export fell by almost 20%. As a proportion of total export, high-tech export has fallen under 10%. Strategic centers of science, technology and innovation are perfect tools for changing these facts”, said Olli-Pekka Heinonen, State Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office. “We need to gather experts in strategic sectors around research themes of global importance. This would lead to break-through for businesses on the international scale. When working in a global market like this, it is more important than ever to ensure Finnish government is committed to a long-term funding for these strategic centers.”
The SHOK community is composed of six clusters: the Finnish Metals Engineering Competence Cluster; the Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation in the Field of ICT; the Built Environment Innovations; the Forestcluster; the Strategic Centre for Health and Well-being; and the Cluster for Energy and Environment.
“SHOK exemplifies a massive cultural evolution in industry innovation that we haven’t seen in any other country and we are still at the very early stages of this process”, concluded Reijo Paajanen, CEO of TiViT Oy.
Read also a column (only in Finnish) at Suomen Kuvalehti "Mitä saatiin aikaan 200 miljoonalla - osaamisen rakennemuutos vai lisää byrokratiaa?"
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Harri Kulmala, CEO, Finnish Metals Engineering Competence Cluster FIMECC Ltd.
Mr. Reijo Paajanen, CEO, Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation in the Field of ICT TiViT Ltd.
Mr. Ari Ahonen, CEO, Built Environment Innovations RYM Ltd.
Mrs. Christine Hagström-Näsi, CEO, Forestcluster Ltd.
Mrs. Saara Hassinen, CEO, Strategic Centre for Health and Well-being SalWe Ltd.
Mr. Tommy Jacobson, CEO, Cluster for Energy and Environment CLEEN Ltd.