November 2012: New publication: Hannes Toivanen, "Does the knowledge trap exist? Diverging roles of domestic and foreign capacities for evolution of knowledge creation in China, India, Brazil and Northern and Sub-Saharan AFrica, 1986-2009", paper presented at the 10th Globelics Conference "Innovation and Develoment: Opportunities and Challenges in Globalization, 8-11.11.2012, Hangzhou, China.

November 2012: NEW PROJECT: Finland As A Knowledge Economy Report 2.0. This World Bank commissioned report will analyze recent developments of the Finnish knowledge economy, and is undertaken in collaboration with Ramboll Management Consulting that leads the project. VTT will analyze in detail the relationships between Finland and the emerging economies, as well as the role of innovation and ICT in Finnish development cooperation.

August 2012: VTT Innovation Studies Fall Seminars. You are welcome to attend any of the seminars of our bi-weekly innovation studies seminar. Download program and registration info here or see seminar website.

August 2012: SEMINAR INVITATION: ”Innovation potential and possibilites in Brazil and Africa” on 26th September, 2012. For invitation, please see here or download invitation.

June 2012: New publications:Pro-poor social and economic opportunities in the African ICT innovation ecosystem. Perspectives and case study of Iringa, Tanzania.” VTT Technology 32. Download. POLICY BRIEF: Pro-poor social and economic opportunities in the African ICT innovation ecosystem. Download.
This publications present the results of a recent VTT and Aalto University joint reseach project: "ICT-created jobs and micro-entrepreneurial opportunities in Africa have significant impacts on poverty. This publication investigates how ICT-related social and economic opportunities emerge and can be fostered at the base of the pyramid by analysing micro-entrepreneurial strategies and local ICT innovation ecosystems."

May 2012: InnoUEM project Newsletter 1/2012. Read updates on the Management of Innovation-Capacity building project between VTT and Eduardo Mondlane University. Click here.

March 2012: New website: Publications includes our publications and other resources on ICT4D and STI4D. Click here.

February 2012: VTT Innovation Studies Seminar - Spring Series. This seminar series provides fresh perspectives on-going issues from Finland and abroad. Seminars are free but require registraion. Program, registration info, presenstations, and further info here.

January 2012: New project: Co-Evolution of Knowledge Systems and Innovation Pipelines. This project will look deeply into broad ranging changes in the Finnish research and technology base, and develop new perspectives in assessing emerging technology and innovation areas. A major part of the work is biblio- and scientometric assessment of Finnish research and patenting 1970-2012, as well as global mapping of emerging technologies. More info here.

January 2012: New Project: EuroAfrica: Supporting ICT and policy cooperation in the “Africa-EU Strategic Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space”. VTT is the European technical coordinator in the 11-partner strong international consortium, which includes some of the leading European and African ICT institutes. The objective of the project is to support ICT research collaboration and policy dialogue within the Strategic Partnership between Africa and EU. More info here.

April 2011

Hannes Toivanen appointed as the European Co-Chair of the Information Society track of the Joint Expert Group on 8th Partnership
Senior Researcher Hannes Toivanen, Ph.D. has been appointed to the European Co-Chair of the Information Society track of the Joint Expert Group (JEG) of the 8th Partnership between Europe and Africa, which is composed of three tracks, Science, Information Society and Space. JEG is in an independent expert body that advises the European Commission and the African Union Commission on implementation of the partnership between Africa and Europe. P8 JEG is co-chaired by Luis Magalhães, the President of the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) (Portugal) and Mohamed Ben Amor, General Manager of the Tunisian Telecommunications Research and Studies Center. Ben Amor is also the co-chair for the Information Society track with Hannes Toivanen.

More information on the African-Europe Partnership:

New Project: Building Innovation Innovation Capacity at the Eduardo Mondlane University launched for full duration

Building innovation management capacities at UEM (InnoUEM) has been launched for the extended period, 2011-2012. Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and VTT have signed contract and the project has been launched in February 2011. VTT team concluded its first mission to Maputo, Mozambique in late March. The team organized workshop with the Faculty of Economics and Faculty of Engineering from UEM, as well as undertook stakeholder consultations.  More information at the project website:InnoUEM

New Publication: Mobile birth registration in Liberia. CMI project mid-term review
Authors: Toivanen, Hannes; Hyvönen, Jukka; Wevelsiep, Mathias; & Metsäniemi, Mika
Birth registration provides a person with a name and identity, and usually enables access to a wide variety of basic rights and services through e.g. acquisition of a driving li-cence, passport, and voter registration. The absence of birth registration may lead to the deprivation of such rights and services, contributing to the emergence of different forms of poverty and under-development. As such, birth registration and well functioning population information systems are essentia of democracy and civil society, especially in developing and post-conflict countries. This is a mid-term evaluation report about the Crisis Management Iniative’s project to establish Mobile Birth Registration system in Liberia. Download report.

Publication details: 2011. VTT, Espoo. 56 p. + app. 13 p. VTT Working Papers : 159. ISBN 978-951-38-7501-5 (URL:
Keywords: ICTAD, ICT, state building, Liberia, e-Government, public-private partnership, mobile data solution, evaluation, development cooperation, poverty reduction, information society

New publication: From ICT towards information society. Policy strategies and concepts for employing ICT for reducing poverty
Author: Hannes Toivanen
Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) play an increasingly important role for development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, we have good reason to believe that the region as a whole, and in particular selected regions, is set to witness rapidly accelerating deployment of ICT across society and economy. This project was commissioned by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to analyze on-going trends in employing information and communication technologies for devel-opment, as well as to introduce new perspectives to existing national ICT strategies. The concrete expectation with the project was to support the expansion of Finnish coopera-tion in the field of ICT and information society with the Tanzanian government. Download report.

Publication details: 2011. VTT, Espoo. 39 p. + app. 1 p. VTT Working Papers : 158. ISBN 978-951-38-7500-8 (URL:
Keywords: information society, innovation, ICT, ecosystems, Africa, Tanzania, development, poverty reduction

December 2010

African Local Innovation Ecosystem Project launched

With support from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, VTT is launching a project, ”African Local Innovation Ecosystem” (ALOIECO). The project will examine in detail innovation and ICT4D challenges in the context of African rural regions.

It will and examine in particular relationship between informal and formal innovation process, local and global knowledge chains, as well develop new perspectives on private-public partnerships in support of innovation and innovative business models in rural Africa.

The project includes also foresigh on near-market ICT technology, and extensive field research work to be undertaken in Iringa, Tanzania.

More information at the project website:ALOIECO