Study: Turning Finland into the Silicon Valley of the industrial internet

Do we see the industrial internet as a job killer, or job creator?

According to researchers of Aalto University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, and the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy Etla, the upheaval brought on by the industrial internet is an opportunity to increase Finnish well-being and productivity and to make Finland an attractive target for investment. The working group estimates that if successful, business activities of the industrial internet would bring EUR 12 billion in investments and 48,000 jobs by 2023.

This will be possible only if both enterprises and public players commit to actively promoting the industrial internet. If Finland does not succeed in rapidly advancing to the front line in the industrial internet, productivity, investments, and the number of jobs will continue to decline.

The Finnish Industrial Internet – from challenge to opportunity, a project examining the opportunities provided by the industrial internet in Finland, as well as its impact, and obstacles facing it, was implemented as part of the implementation of the Government's analysis, assessment and research plan for 2014, and its final report was published today, 27 April, in Helsinki.

The report draws three possible paths of development for how the industrial internet changes our society, and puts forward 15 concrete measures which can help turn Finland into a brave pioneer in the utilisation of the opportunities provided by the industrial internet. 

Three possible development paths

Finland's industrial development has been weak in recent years and investments and productivity have been on the decline. The working group estimates that if nothing is done, this trend will continue, and 16,000 jobs will be lost in the coming four-year period.

A second alternative is for Finnish companies and other players to rapidly utilise the new opportunities offered by technology in their business, in which case we can achieve growth of EUR 4 billion in investments and 16,000 new jobs. 

If, on the other hand, companies take on the role of key players in platforms and ecosystems of the industrial internet, then according to the working group, growth as high as EUR 12 billion in investments and 48,000 new jobs can be achieved.

Fifteen measures for reaching the best path

New technologies and innovative solutions can be advanced by, for instance, using five per cent of all public procurements on alternatives that advance the industrial internet. Large companies must also work more in funding growth companies and serving as their partners. In the United States large companies are behind about 10% of all capital investments into startup companies, whereas there is very little of this kind of activity in Finland. Capital investments into startup companies should be seen in taxation as a part of the additional deductions made by companies for their research and development activities.

According to researchers, it is the task of government to create favourable conditions for investments and growth through means of new active industrial and ownership policy. It is the task of companies to invest in the development of digital talent and to create growth based on new business opportunities and markets.

Industrial internet

The industrial internet refers to a phenomenon in which both the internal business processes and the products and services that are sold are linked with the internet. This requires that all matters and objects related to production and service processes should have a digital identifier which passes on data to the different players of delivery and value chains. A fixed connection to the internet allows for predictable operation.

More information:

Suomi – teollisen internetin Piilaakso (pdf, in Finnish)

Government's analysis, assessment and research activities (Prime Minister's Office website)

Professor Martti Mäntylä, Aalto University, tel. +358 50 351 2160, [email protected]

Research Professor Heikki Ailisto, VTT, tel. +358 20 722 2233, [email protected]

Research Associate Timo Seppälä, Etla, tel. +358 9 6099 0238, [email protected]

Project Manager Sari Löytökorpi (Government's analysis and research activities), Prime Minister's Office, tel. +358 295 160 187

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