Finland- a nation long known for its innovation- is seeking to bring Smart City technologies back home. Over 70 executives and officials across 10 Finnish cities sought the insight of Professor Solomon Darwin to learn more about Smart City technology. With Nokia’s purchase by Microsoft and paper exports taking a slump, Finland is looking to Smart City innovation technologies as its next leading export.
After Finnish officials met Professor Darwin at the Indian Presidential Round Table, he was invited to Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, one of the largest centers for innovation in Finland. Darwin, a leading expert in Smart City development, delivered a guest talk on “Building Smart Cities, Leveraging Open Innovation.” The executives learned about the distinct multidisciplinary approach to building a Smart City. According to Professor Darwin’s Triple Helix Model, this requires the involvement of universities (research), businesses (innovators), and the government to catalyze it all together under one ecosystem. Open Innovation serves as a critical theme to ensure the sharing of ideas- inwards and outwards- for the greater good of all cities. Darwin also touched on a Business Model framework to not only capture value, but deliver it as well.
Executives ranging from CLEEN Ltd. to VTT Technical Research Center of Finland are curious to learn more about advancements in Smart City design. Officials are seeking to find ways that Smart City technology can fit into Finland’s current model, and where that same model can be disrupted as well. Professor Darwin was even invited to serve on one of Finland’s Scientific Advisory Boards (SAB) for their CITY+ program, providing expertise on city development.
With exciting opportunities for collaboration with the Garwood Center at the Haas School of Business in sight, Finnish executives bring to the table their own innovation strategies and technologies for Smart City development worldwide. With the rise of the world’s urban population, officials from Finland and the world alike are interested in developing Smart City technology for better standards of living for all its citizens.
By Jon Caña