Collaboration is gold in ecosystems

Smart Otaniemi aims at building bridges between partners and creating relations with networking partners. When we want to re-discover something as big as the whole energy, the traditional process of R&D simply is not sufficient. We need more breakthrough innovations and new types of collaboration between the partners, cities and countries.

There are many approaches that try to reach the next big things, such as open innovation, incubators, corporate venturing, design thinking and co-creation. Regardless of the approach, one thing is certain. It is very rare that you achieve breakthroughs alone. For energy, it is even impossible because of the systematic character. We have seen that when you combine energy sector players with the best ICT sector actors, new ideas start to appear.

Smart Otaniemi collaborates with research organisations, public sector, financers and different type of companies and organisations. Partner network helps to create an agile way of working and ensuring that we keep the right focus all the time. Citizens and users in core. Joint events and co-creation of the coming pilots are just one of those concrete examples of the collaboration forms.

Below views of collaboration from our networking partners who share the same vision of smart energy and are creating value with their own networks.


Berndt Schalin, CEO, Flexens:

Flexens is a newly founded company with the mission to implement the full society scale demo Smart Energy Åland, and be the business development platform for the participating companies. The aim of Smart Energy Åland is to implement an energy system running on locally produced 100% renewable energy in a society of 30.000 people with comprehensive industrial and service sectors. Flexens is public private partnership with solid backing from the Finnish industry in the sector as well as the national and regional governments involved. Flexens is cooperating with the Smart Otaniemi project by exchange of experiences and joint promotional activities. Smart Energy Åland is the ideal platform to scale up technologies piloted in Otaniemi to the larger society scale, and find partners for the commercialisation. Flexens is expanding its ecosystem of participating companies and offers a great tool for the business development for all involved parties.


Emmi Koskimies, Service Manager, FinDHC:

The Finnish District Heating and Cooling Association, FinDHC, is a non-profit association that has 75 member companies from all over Finland. Our mission is to raise the visibility and awareness of the importance of district energy and develop co-operation between our members both nationally and internationally. Smart Otaniemi is a great platform for building cooperation. Our goal is to strengthen research and development activities and support the export of technical solutions and services related to district heating.


Pertti Järventausta, Professor, Tampere University:

SENECC (Smart Energy Systems Competence Center) creates an ecosystem combining the knowledge of smart energy systems in City of Tampere region in Finland including Tampere University, VTT, industry partners and other stakeholders. The local communities with global mindset and international collaboration capabilities are needed now in energy scenes. The networking with Smart Otaniemi is key to promoting experimental and commercial approach to energy research and development. Smart Tampere – development sites and other pilots of the area will create part of the vast environment for research and development innovation, offering a significant growth and pioneering opportunities for new business on a rapidly developing energy market.


Anna-Kaisa Valkama, Program Director, EnergyVaasa:

EnergyVaasa is the leading cluster in energy technology in the Nordic region. The cluster has evolved during the years a significant international actor especially in the field of smart electronic solutions, sustainable energy, flexible power generation and digitalization. The cluster is made up of 140 companies in the industry, many of which are global market leaders of their niche. Co-operation with Smart Otaniemi is natural for EnergyVaasa as companies and universities need piloting opportunities and new models of cooperation in developing clean technology for the future. Together, we are more flexible, agile and innovative.


In addition to partners mentioned above,, Helsinki Business Hub, EKAT, Kasvu Open, LADEC, Smart & Clean Foundation, Motiva, Espoo Marketing and CLIC Innovation are our networking partners. We invite new networking partners to join Smart Otaniemi!