Bringing know-how from Finland to Germany
The German manufacturing industry benefits from the know-how already available in Finland on digitisation issues. A partnership programme was launched in 2017, bringing together representatives of German industrial companies and Finnish digitisation experts. The cooperation is intended to enable faster progress by German manufacturing companies, since the wheel does not have to be reinvented. The know-how in digitisation is there - and increasingly so in Finland. Representatives of German companies want to take advantage of this. The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is one of the leading organisations in the field of research and technology in Finland, which can be compared to the Fraunhofer Institute. The VTT started a programme called "Industry 4.0" in cooperation with 14 Finnish industrial companies. Within this programme VTT offered the participating companies the knowledge of experts in AI (Artificial Intelligence) or Cybersecurity. In Germany, too, this knowledge can provide a considerable boost to development.
Experiences from Finland
Petteri Alahuhta is VTT's Customer Account Lead. He talks about how knowledge-based analysis and state-of-the-art algorithms are used in Finnish manufacturing companies to develop and improve AI solutions. Maintenance can be more proactively planned and improved through the use of these technologies. Automatic quality control becomes simpler and more efficient. He also refers to the various solutions in the area of blockchain, Internet of Things systems, device security and encryption techniques already offered within the European cyber security research networks. An interesting example is the so-called war room for security tests, which is intended to provide more control before the launch of systems. Especially in critical operational processes in production, it is essential in Finland and Germany to integrate AI and Cybersecurity into all considerations from the very beginning.
VTT and BMWi see similar priorities and potentials
VTT is part of the Finnish Ministry of Labour and Economic Affairs, as are the relevant departments of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany. The BMWi also sees potential and need for further promotion of digitization in the German economy and above all in the manufacturing industry. In April last year, the BMWi organised an event on policy making in Berlin. Finnish and German company representatives came together and discussed the possibilities of cooperation in questions of digitization and industry 4.0. Ilkka Lakaniemi is Vice President of the Digital Economy and Growth Department of the Finnish Central Chamber of Commerce. He is convinced that Finland, thanks to its advanced research and high level of know-how in technology and digitization, can become a driving force for the rest of Europe and, of course, for Germany. The next step for German companies towards digitisation can be faster and easier thanks to Finnish experience and Finnish expert knowledge. The "Industry 4.0" programme is the first cooperation programme between Finnish and German companies and experts, launched by the German-Finnish Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the German DIHK, the Central Chamber of Commerce of Finland and the Technology Industries of Finland. However, it does not have to be the only cooperation programme of this kind.
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