VTT maintains top-level technology expertise in several key areas, and strives to use this know-how to enhance the competitiveness and growth of companies and organisations operating in Finland. Finland's industrial structure is in transition, with companies or even entire sectors either renewing and developing further or vanishing from the Finnish business scene.  At this critical juncture, VTT finds itself charged with the vital task of helping to support Finland's renewal and the search for new growth.

Putting it a little more simply, competitiveness can be developed in two ways. One is to create value for the customer by producing the same products and services at lower cost. The other is to create greater value for the customer by developing new or better products and services. Debate concerning Finland's competitiveness has almost invariably revolved around the first of these, namely costs. This is despite the fact that Finland's rise over the past few decades – and indeed the global growth in productivity – derives from technological development and its successful exploitation. This will continue to be the case in future. VTT's technological expertise gives Finland a cutting edge, and this is something we must take full advantage of.

As always, the companies that will succeed in Finland are those that seek growth and renewal through technology – in other words, that take on the mantle of forerunners in their field. Fortunately, Finland still has many of these potential growth companies, in all shapes and sizes. VTT must identify these companies and encourage them and others to seek out and benefit from the opportunities that technology generates.

The goal that needs to be grasped at the national level is that companies would see Finland as one of the most desirable countries in Europe for building new business in the chosen areas where Finland has world-class expertise and actors. At VTT level we must try to become one of Northern Europe's most sought-after partners in those areas in which companies turn to technology to develop and grow their business.

Aaro Cantell,
Chairman of the Board