Nokia to Release Ideas and Innovations to Finnish ICT Companies
Nokia, Technopolis and Tekes unveiled the Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill, a ground-breaking initiative to recycle Nokia’s unused ideas and innovations with selected Finnish information and communication technology (ICT) companies for further development and exploitation. Prepared and launched in cooperation with several Finnish cities, the initiative aims to match ideas with companies that will be able to develop them into world-class products and services.
Nokia’s research and development efforts produce massive amounts of new mobile innovations. Only a fraction of the ideas and concepts finally make it in the market as part of Nokia’s offering. Consequently, over the years, thousands of potentially successful innovations have been shelved.
This unique initiative to recycle innovations stems from the founding organizations’ commitment to strengthen the Finnish ICT sector and generate new, internationally competitive businesses. The investments in the development projects to be launched as part of the Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill are expected to total up to 8 million euros, including 4.5 million euros in public funding.
The three-year initiative is a joint effort by Nokia, Technopolis, Tekes and several Finnish cities. Tekes, the Finnish funding agency for technology and innovation, has granted a significant amount of the public funding. Technopolis, one of Europe’s largest science and technology park chains, will coordinate the initiative and provide business development services to support and enhance the funding effort. The participating cities add to the funding with the aim of boosting the ICT sector in their regions.
“We feel it’s important to support the birth and growth of Finnish companies that base their offering on technology and service innovations and aim to build internationally competitive businesses,” said Esko Aho, Nokia’s executive vice president for corporate relations and responsibility. “As we will not take all of the innovations generated by our R&D into production, we are happy to give other competent companies the opportunity to turn these innovations into success stories.
“Speeding up the economy calls for a new degree of openness. We hope that the Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill sets an example that companies across other sectors will follow. The current economic climate is just right for a critical evaluation of intellectual property portfolios and the release of the innovations that are more suitable for others to exploit.”
The innovations released by Nokia are in areas such as environmental and energy-related solutions, location-based services and advertising, near-field communication, mobile security, health care applications and future Internet services, among others. The objective is to evaluate the thousands of available innovations and select around 100 to be matched with a company that demonstrates the best ability to exploit them and that is then granted funding for further development and commercialization.
“More efficient utilization of existing innovations is a novel and interesting perspective in boosting R&D and innovation,” said Martti af Heurlin, deputy director general of Tekes. “The Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill is fully aligned with the Finnish national strategic intent to develop new knowledge intensive ventures. Ideally, the initiative will create significant volumes of new international business.”
“Nokia is demonstrating exceptional corporate responsibility by releasing innovations for further development and use without compensation,” said Keith Silverang, CEO of Technopolis. “In economically challenging times, we need these kinds of collaborative initiatives that benefit the community as a whole. On top of the innovation and financial support, the participating companies will be offered a wide range of Technopolis business development services to help them ramp up their businesses swiftly.”
A selection committee formed by Nokia, Technopolis and Tekes representatives has already started screening and evaluating the available innovations and candidate companies interested in one or more of the ideas. Potential companies are being screened primarily from the databases of Technopolis, Tekes and the participating cities.