Hilla brings new type of business activity based on ICT research

Finland is in the midst of a great structural change. The upheaval in industrial branches and the utilisation of digitalisation require the development of new ecosystems and competitive solutions.

Hilla (High-tech ICT Leverage from Long-term Assetization) is a wide research project whole and an experiment funded by Tekes and it involves the piloting of a new operational model. Hilla comprises four areas utilising digitalisation, which are wireless ICT, transport, health and wellbeing, and industry. Driving forces behind Hilla are the University of Oulu, the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), and the Oulu University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with businesses and BusinessOulu.

Hilla combines world-class research, high-quality corporate collaboration projects, innovation of new business activities, and open national and international cooperation. The wider project aims at flexible ICT skills and redirecting research and development activities at rapidly growing fields of industry. The goal is to build new global business activities in Finland by utilising ICT skills and knowledge.

"The strength of the Hilla project is broad-based research content and competence in the utilisation of enabling technologies through research. Research makes it easier to produce new information for the benefit of business and industry in the present upheaval in industrial branches. The goal of research is to extensively benefit many sectors in the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation. A new kind of commercial utilisation of research results of Hilla's kind can also attract foreign investments and research centres to Finland", says Ilona Lundström of Tekes, who is responsible for funding large companies and research institutes.

Growth Mill accelerates commercialisation

A new operational model, Growth Mill, is at the centre of Hilla, utilising applied research and constantly developing business models.

"On a national level, Growth Mill is a significant new way to operate. It accelerates the commercialisation of research results and builds common development environments for the needs of the industrial internet, data-intensive business activities, and the manufacturing industries, for instance. VTT's aim is to make this new approach more broadly available to Finnish companies. By duplicating it we seek to accelerate the commercialisation of research results", says Petri Kalliokoski, Executive Vice President at VTT.

"With Hilla, the University of Oulu, VTT, the Oulu University of Applied Sciences and Finnish companies seeking international growth are combining their forces in a way that has never been seen before. This is how nationally significant export business activities and new jobs are created. Hilla is open to all interested growth-seeking enterprises that want to cooperation with each other and with research institutes for the creation of new growth", says one of the key developers of the Hilla operational model, Professor Jaakko Sauvola of the University of Oulu.

In the first 18 months Tekes will be funding Hilla research institutes by more than EUR 9 million. Tekes is prepared to provide about EUR 35 million in funding for a five-year Hilla whole worth a total of about EUR 50 million.

Further information

Professor Jaakko Sauvola, University of Oulu
tel. +358 50 3839 272, jaakko.sauvola (at) oulu.fi

Vice President, Research, Knowledge Harri Kopola
VTT, tel. +358 40 5574 867, harri.kopola (at) vtt.fi

Deputy Director Jari-Pekka Rontu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
tel. +358 50 532 5954, jari-pekka.rontu (at) oamk.fi

Director Ilona Lundström, Tekes
tel. +358 50 5577 678, ilona.lundstrom (at) tekes.fi


Kaj Nordgren
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