Digital Disruption of Industry

Research focus

The Digital Disruption of Industry -project aims to model the digital disruption and to strive for active measures for influencing the direction and speed of the change. Based on the research the project will provide policy proposals that support the success of Finland and Finnish companies.
Digital Disruption of Industry studies how digitalisation changes industry

The Big Picture

The Big Picture provides a holistic and increasingly detailed overall picture of the digital disruption, focusing on the driving forces of the change -  its technical, economic and business enablers and constraining factors (regulation, norms, and mindsets). It studies the status in key areas of the world (EU, USA, China, new economies), the status and resilience of chosen industrial ecosystems, and the role of ICT industry as an enabler to the change but also as a disrupter of existing business domain boundaries.

Learning from Past Disruptions

Learning from Past Disruptions will provide additional depth and insight by studying recent and on-going digital disruptions through case studies of four domains: banking and finance, communications, media, and commerce and retail. Its aim is to expose the specifics of each disruption: what changed, which elements were created, and which were wiped out; reveal the roadmap of the change; study the impact on institutions; and generally explain why the disruption played out as it did.

Futures Foresight

Future Foresight and Interventions will focuse on three industrial ecosystems important for Finland: Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing, Energy, and Built Environment, including their interaction with the ICT Industry.  Futures Foresight deploys multidisciplinary research to study the potential progress of the ecosystems and their crossovers using multiple methods such as scenarios, roadmaps, techno-economical modelling and simulation, and impact studies.

We interact closely with the ecosystem stakeholders (large industry, SME’s, startups and innovators, RTDI actors, government bodies, employees, customers, and consumers) to study the impact of the disruption on economy, work and workforce, consumers, and institutions in a wide perspective.


The outcomes of Futures Foresight suggest innovations on how the stakeholders and their employees operate to enhance their competitive position; interact with each other; share information; share risk and benefits; or deal with unexpected events. In the interventions we study these hypotheses experimentally via concrete interventions co-designed and co-executed with the stakeholders.

Policy options and interaction

On the basis of the research work described above we will synthesise options for addressing the policy challenge of the project in close interaction with other researchers, policymakers, thought leaders, and the wider society. To maximise their practical impact, the policy measures will be cast in the form of executable policy programs built according to emerging best practices of “soft industrial policy”. The policy recommendations will also be anchored in existing policies on EU and national levels (e.g., the EU Digital Agenda), as well as legislation in force and under preparation.

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