FinNode - the new Finnish innovation centre in Silicon Valley

Activities get underway with the Web-2-Mobile competition

FinNode, the new Finnish innovation centre, will open in Silicon Valley, USA, in January 2007. The innovation centre will serve Finnish and American companies and researchers. FinNode’s objective is to accelerate the arrival of Finnish companies onto the USA market, to augment the mobility of researchers and research cooperation between Finland and the USA, and to add to the attraction of Finland as a target for investment and as a place to establish a business. The innovation centre has been established by Finpro, the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (Sitra), the Academy of Finland, Tekes – Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Almost all the founding organisations already operate in the USA. However, FinNode brings all their services under one roof, making them more easily accessible to customers. The centre will also develop new joint services.

The official opening of the FinNode office in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley, will take place on 24 January 2007. In the initial phase, staff from Finpro, Tekes and VTT will work in shared premises. The International Business Accelerator Center INBAC, which is a business accelerator owned by VTT and Technopolis Ventures, will also operate out of the same premises.

Silicon Valley still one of the world’s major innovation clusters

FinNode chose North California and Silicon Valley as its location because it is still one of the world’s major innovation clusters. The region has two of the world’s top-ranking research universities and several of the world’s leading technology companies have offices in Silicon Valley.

Open cooperation with all parties involved in innovation

FinNode aims for open cooperation with all parties involved in innovation. Activities in Finland are primarily linked to the operations of the founding organisations. In the USA, FinNode is part of the network for Finnish export promotion and internationalisation (the EPI actors). Besides actors from FinNode, it includes other Finpro offices, Tekes USA East Coast office and delegations from Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

FinChi showed the way

FinNode is Finland’s second innovation centre. The first one, the FinChi innovation centre, was established in Shanghai, China, in 2004. Innovation centres involving Finnish actors are also being planned for St Petersburg and Tokyo.

The Web-2-Mobile competition seeks new mobile innovations

FinNode is arranging a business plan competition in cooperation with Red Herring professional magazine and an international trend-setting company in the mobile sector. The Web-2-Mobile competition is mainly targeted at Finnish and Californian start-up businesses. The competition aims at developing mobile services for the future and at utilising mobile solutions in work as well as in other areas of life.

The winners of the competition will be invited to develop and test their innovations in the product development labs of a leading company in the sector. Winners will also be profiled in the Red Herring and present their company and innovations to interested investors.

All entrepreneurs and companies are eligible to enter the competition. To participate, fill in the form at www.makeweb2mobile.org. The competition will run until 10 December 2006. The selected finalists will be published on 2 January 2007, and the winners will be presented at the opening of FinNode’s Santa Clara office on 24 January 2007.

Additional information

FinNode innovation centre:

Riku Mäkelä
FinNode Project Manager, technology expertise
+358 1 408 464 2911
riku.makela@tekes.fi

Web-2-mobile competition:

Pekka Pärnänen
Head of Trade Center, Finpro Silicon Valley
+358 1 650 846 9300
pekka.parnanen@finpro.fi

 



VTT is an impartial expert organisation. Its objective is to develop new technologies, create new innovations and value added thus increasing customer's competencies. With its know how VTT produces research, development, testing and information services to public sector and companies as well as international organisations.