Ilkka Lakaniemi (in the picture), Research Director for the School of Business's Center for Knowledge and Innovation Research (CKIR) has been monitoring the impacts of digitalisation on economic and social development, both internationally and in Finland, for quite some time. At the same time, he has helped academic research and research by companies gain more in-depth understanding, trials and utilisation of the platform economy and innovation ecosystems in Finland.
CKIR's research focuses on examining and studying digitalisation, and digital services as well as business models and organisation forms. The Center engages in extensive cooperation with researcher from the School of Business's Department of Information and Service Management and Department of Management, and the School of Science's Department of Computer Science. Platform Value Now (platformvaluenow.org) coordinated by Aalto SCI Professor Ahti Salo is one of the key joint projects. It is an Academy of Finland Strategic Research Council project and just received further funding. Ilkka Lakaniemi will be responsible for relations with stakeholders, and Assistant Professor of Design Business Management Taija Turunen will see to the School of Business's part of the project.
EU IoT Large Scale Pilot: SynchroniCity and other international IoT projects
CKIR is also involved in various European and other international projects, one of which is the European Commission's SynchroniCity: Delivering an IoT enabled Digital Single Market for Europe and Beyond. The Synchronicity project is a concrete attempt to deliver an IoT enabled digital single market for European cities. Basic operating models, which the project has selected will be tried simultaneously in 11 reference areas (in eight European cities and three cities outside of Europe in Asia and North America). The SynchroniCity initiative will create consistent systems and practiced for intelligent urban solutions based on Internet of Things (IOT) applications. SynchroniCity will continue to expand the competence and networking capital the CKIR has gained via EU projects, and the project is strongly linked to other projects that steer extensive innovation ecosystems, such as CONCORD and bIoTope.
'A participatory approach will be applied to the SynchroniCity project in which companies and cities will be able to participate transparently in the expansion of functioning systems. The project will make no attempt to develop new technology solutions, but rather to find and apply existing solutions more efficiently. Participants will generate a positive scaling impact and the necessary critical mass. This will also allow Europe to have a strong presence on the global public sector infrastructure market,' Ilkka Lakaniemi explains.
Industrie 4.0 - towards production that is more customer-oriented, more automated, more flexible and faster
According to Lakaniemi, there are excellent, well-functioning cooperation models between universities and companies in Finland. Aalto offers companies real competence, out-of-the-box ideas, and the application of these, through means such as international experiments.
CKIR is taking part in the Industrie 4.0 project of Finland-Germany digital collaboration together with the German-Finnish Chamber of Commerce, the Finland Chamber of Commerce and Technology Industries of Finland. The project will give Finnish companies more opportunities to participate in European digital ecosystems.
'A total of 15 companies, of which Elisa IoT was the largest, were selected for the project. In Germany, all companies must be members of a chamber of commerce, which provides them with a good basis for finding partners to collaborate with. Events to which the local Chamber of Commerce invites local member companies to have already been organised in throughout Germany. A total of over 250 meetings have been held this far, 25 of which have led to partnerships. Cooperation is also profitable in that applying for joint EU projects with German partners is sensible,' Lakaniemi says.
Important events to take place in February
CKIR is involved via the Platform Value Now project in the Academy of Finland's Rakkaudesta tieteeseen (For the Love of Science) event, which will be held at Finlandia Hall on 14 February. At the event, projects funded by the Strategic Research Council will showcase their research results and activities. Researchers and decision-makers will meet in solution groups, which will also allow citizens interested in the researched data to take part in discussion.
On 15 February, the Finland's chairmen will get together at the Information Academy, which will be organised in Porvoo. The topic of this event will be the impact of artificial intelligence on society. Lakaniemi will host the event as the chairman of TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre board – he was selected for the position for a three-year term from 2018 to 2020.
Professionals in demand at the CKIR
'It is essential in all projects in which the CKIR is involved to understand that the business world the objectives, communication and operating methods of the business and academic worlds. My background supports this aim. Before coming to the CKIR, I studied both in Europe and North America, worked as a researcher at the post-graduate unit of the Academy of Finland, acted as an adviser in Brussels and acted for 12 years in various positions at Nokia, Ilkka Lakaniemi outlines.
'Our current researchers Heini Ikävalko ja Anssi Smedlund conduct research at our unit and successfully participate in international conferences. CKIR Director Petra Turkama and I are constantly looking for talented people, who have expertise in research and practical project management, to join our team. Our projects are multidisciplinary and international, which means they provide excellent learning and networking opportunities for young researchers.
Mr. Ilkka Lakaniemi
Center for Knowledge and Innovation Research, CKIR