This article was co-edited by Matti Sommarberg, a recently nominated FIMECC Fellow and Jari Hämäläinen, chair of FIMECC’s Service Business strategic research area.

In Finland, six strategic centres for science, technology and innovation have been established as a platform for open innovation and in order to drive breakthrough innovations in the industry. The Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster, FIMECC is one of these, focusing on both technology and business-related programmes.

Success requires renewal

In a recent CEO Forum organised as part of the 6th FIMECC Annual Seminar, Jorma Ollila, former Chairman of Nokia emphasised the importance of continuous change and learning. Mika Vehviläinen, Cargotec’s President and CEO, pointed out that renewal requires open-minded networking. FIMECC is a prime example of this. Our industry needs to keep pace with developments in digitalisation, such as the Industrial Internet which involves the convergence of machine and intelligent data. Risto Käkelä of Avant Tecno and Juho Nummela of Ponsse demonstrated how true entrepreneurship and passion lead to worldwide success, even when your competitors are giants in the sector.

A glimpse into the future

FIMECC’s EUR 240 million research portfolio covers five strategic themes: Service Business, User Experience, Global Networks, Intelligent Solutions and Breakthrough Materials. Highlights of the seminar presentations included the following revelations:

  • The industrial world is moving in a direction where machines will become intelligent enough to “think”, communicate with each other and make intelligent operational decisions.
  • The core of future intelligence will be based on wireless, energy-autonomous sensors measuring all essential aspects of machines. These sensors will harness the required energy from ambient vibration, sunshine and radio waves.
  • Technology will further improve operator safety, by detecting hazardous situations and thus preventing accidents.
  • A huge change in the service business may come when all of the data collected by machines is made open to everyone. In such a scenario, the winner in the future industrial service business will be the company that masters service platforms by orchestrating industrial ecosystems. Such ecosystem thinking is already familiar within the smartphone business.
  • All of the above benefits and many more will be offered by digitalisation and the Industrial Internet.
  • Future user experience concepts will be based on ease of use through predictive and intuitive user interfaces, while the technology behind the experience is invisible to the user.

Be patient, this is not all going to happen overnight. However, you won’t have to wait for Port 2060 to see it.

Cargotec is a FIMECC shareholder, together with other leading Finnish companies, universities and research institutes.