Digital Game Changers: Finland to provide solutions for a low-carbon digital society


The joint project was launched during the coronavirus crisis with the aim of finding the tools and resources to help Finnish companies come out as clear winners in the redistribution of the market. In a best-case scenario, our businesses will be able to solve the challenges posed by digitalisation and climate change simultaneously. The window of export demand created by reconstruction must be taken advantage of in full.

Last spring, the Confederation of Finnish Industries launched the Digital Game Changers project that saw the participation of around twenty leading Finnish companies and market leaders in their field. The aim was to jointly map out new trends in customer needs, management, technology and working, and primarily to discover the keys to putting Finland at the forefront of efforts to address these challenges.

Finland is facing a historical market window, says Jyri Häkämies, Director General of the Confederation of Finnish Industries, emphatically.

“Now is the right time to target the global demand that is emerging at the crossroads of digitalisation and the efforts to combat climate change. Digital technologies will be at the core when we switch to producing, for example, low-carbon steel or clean transportation.”

According to Häkämies, the entire business community should take advantage of this growth opportunity.

“While driver companies are important, the fact is no one can create a low-carbon digital society on their own. The entire ecosystem needs to chip in. Partners in the SME sector should get their share of the rising demand for our exports.”

Results and further development ideas
from the Digital Game Changers project

“First we take Vaasa, Oulu, Espoo – then we take Dublin”

The aim of the joint project of the energy sector was to make low-carbon solutions a new export product for Finland. The project has developed solutions for how to perform a complete turnaround in the energy systems of cities and municipalities by replacing fossil energy with renewable electricity. After the pilots in Vaasa, Oulu and Espoo, the low-carbon solutions will be scaled up to create an export business, first in Dublin and later more broadly in Europe. The need is enormous, as all EU countries will be forced to modernise their energy systems to meet the 2050 climate targets. Project participants: ABB, Fortum and Clic Innovation, as well as Fidelix, HögforsGST, Oilon, Oulun Energia, Single Wing Energy, Sumimoto, Vaisala, Valmet and Vexve. The research partners are the Finnish Meteorological Institute, LUT University, the University of Oulu, the Finnish Environment Institute and VTT.

EU ambassadors give precision support for green digital exports

It is important for Finnish companies to participate in public procurements elsewhere in Europe when the member states use EU relief funds for green digital investments. In connection with this, we identified a need for a new type of export promotion service, which we piloted with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Finnish embassies were tasked with finding out for the Digital Game Changers companies what kind of green digital investments various EU countries are preparing to make with relief funds. The ambassadors also offered the companies support in negotiations and opened doors for them. In future, Business Finland will offer a similar service.

The key to becoming a pioneer in maritime logistics: solving data sharing bottlenecks

More efficient sharing of data will be crucial for keeping Finland at the forefront of the maritime industry going forward. However, data is not currently utilised to the fullest extent. A pilot for developing data sharing in an authentic harbour environment should be launched in Finland. At the same time, we should begin developing a technical platform that would allow the sharing of confidential data. The project participants are ABB, Cargotec, DB Schenker, DIMECC – One Sea, VTT and Wärtsilä.

Three success factors for a digital leap in health care technology

Data is at the heart of the digital leap in health care, which is why we need joint efforts both at the national and at the international level in order to accelerate the creation of reliable rules, technology and collaboration. Finland should create the means for improving the way health data reserves and test environments are utilised. It should also be possible to utilise health data more effectively from various sources, which will require interfaces and standards to be developed. The third success factor is personalised wellbeing data. It is also important to strengthen Finland’s brand as health technology leader in order to boost export. Project participants: ONNI terveys, Orion, Oura Health and Planmeca.

Using artificial intelligence to provide better customer service in Finnish

The coronavirus pandemic moved consumer interaction and shopping to digital channels, increasing the need for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in customer service and support.  The working group explored the possibilities offered by AI in developing customer understanding and digital customer service. The companies involved shared their experiences and brainstormed best practices to improve the conversational abilities of chatbots, expand content and build new logics, among other topics. The project participants were Caruna, DB Schenker and OP.

Data secure management and working in a hybrid world

When the coronavirus crisis hit, many workplaces made a digital leap almost overnight. This working group reviewed what these changes require from management. A key conclusion is that the importance of cybersecurity is heightened in this new age of hybrid working – it is important to put it on the senior management’s agenda. The working group is preparing recommendations for digital management and cybersecurity, which will be published in June. Project participants: ABB, Beweship, Cyberwatch, Danske Bank, DB Schencker, Ensto, Finnair, FISC, Fortum, F-Secure, Konecranes, Kreab, SOL, Staffpoint, Telia, Valmet and VTT.

Industrial 5G offers new opportunities for large-scale digitalisation of society

The coronavirus shock has led to the same reaction as in previous crises: people want to make the most out of technology. Moreover, the earliest technologies have matured and are now close to being deployed on a wide scale. This is why industrial 5G is more relevant than ever, since it is the prerequisite for the large-scale digitalisation of our society’s infrastructure in industry, transportation and health care alike. The working group laid the foundation for the ecosystems needed for 5G breakthroughs. It also sought solutions to business models and partnerships in the data economy. The project participants were Cargotec, DB Schenker, Fortum, Konecranes, Nokia, Telia and VTT.

Webinar recording: ”Digital leaps of the COVID year – Finnish pioneers share their findings” 17 May 2021
Watch in YouTube