- Southwest Finland and the Wroclaw and Gdansk regions in Poland are building co-operation to strengthen their competitiveness in the ICT sector
- The establishment of the European ICT Alliance will create e.g. conditions for wider use of data-driven test platforms
- The focus areas connecting the regions are, in particular, the maritime industry, logistics and services
The region of Southwest Finland and two key regions in Poland – Wrocław and Gdańsk – are ramping up their cooperation in the development of digital business and related research. The European ICT Alliance, which will be launched this autumn, already includes around 300 ICT companies.
Future success will depend highly on the ability to sharing experiences and skills in professional networks. In addition to sharing data and algorithms, the general understanding of business and the knowledge of users – their needs and the experiences they want to have – need to be expanded.
The European Union has a strong focus on digitalization in the upcoming seven-year period beginning next year. EIDHs (European Digital Innovation Hubs) help especially those companies that are still in the early stages of developing their digital capabilities, while Horizon Europe is meant for those further along.
Various test platforms for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) will be essential for the testing of new products and services. These require larger investments, advanced skills and a broader knowledge of business processes to be competitive. Knowing the customer’s level of digital maturity better enables the targeting of digital services. More sustainable, data-driven business models require a large number of companies to supply reliable shared data. Targeting both the test platforms and the services naturally becomes a lot easier as the network grows.
The goal of the European ICT Alliance is to create new business opportunities through cooperation and networking. The Alliance is supported by Turku Science Park Ltd and InvestGDA in Poland, both of which act as connectors in the network between the regional public sectors, universities and companies.
“The European ICT Alliance is a great opportunity to expand various data-driven platforms. It also opens up the possibility of cooperating on the development of various test platforms,” says Michael Lindholm, Network Manager at Turku Science Park Ltd.
There are a great number of ICT companies in Southwest Finland, Wrocław and Gdánsk that cover nearly every field of business and technology. The Finnish and Polish regions have similar focus areas, including the manufacturing and maritime industries, infrastructure, logistics and services. Research cooperation is a natural component of the alliance. It is also of great importance to connect the companies with investors and share information with new start-ups. Cooperation based on a network model is also more open and agile to take on projects of different sizes.
“We are looking forward working with the Port of Gdynia to accelerate the development of smart ports by offering our data platform for sharing data among actors in the Port,” says Sami Kasonen, VP of Sales Marketing at Awake.AI, the company creating the smart port and shipping platform in Turku.
The benefits offered by this cooperation have also been noticed in Poland:
“We see great potential for cooperation between Polish and Finnish organizations and companies. Finland has a highly innovative business scene, and Polish companies, on the other hand, have a deep technical specialization. The partnership between Interizon, ITCorner, InvestGDA and Turku Business Region is going to strengthen cooperation between companies from these regions. The European ICT Alliance allows us to create an ecosystem, which empowers synergies and is beneficial for members of all our organizations,” says Michał Zacher, ITCorner Board Member and CEO at Vazco, Wroclaw based software development company.
“We see great potential in this initiative. Among Interizon Cluster members there are companies operating in the electronics, telecommunications, information technology, automation and robotics, as well as research and development institutions, education units, and business environment institutions. Through the European ICT Alliance we can build international value chains with foreign companies,” says Jaroslaw Parzuchowski, CEO of Interizon Cluster.