The global information and communication technology giant Huawei set up a new research and product development unit at TUT’s Kampusareena in Tampere in September. The unit is part of a wider entity that is focused on mobile technology. Its own focus is on audio and imaging technology in consumer products.
The research cooperation with Huawei is right on target with one of TUT’s key focus areas: the digital operating environment.
“I am especially intrigued to see what this research cooperation will bring about in the area of light-based technologies,” TUT’s President Mika Hannula notes.
According to Huawei’s CTO for R&D in Finland Mikko Terho, Tampere was an attractive place to locate to because of the availability of a highly educated and professional workforce in suitable research areas.
The fact that such a major corporation has decided to settle itself in this region may attract other global enterprises to the city.
“Huawei’s arrival in Tampere sends a great message to other operators and strengthens the region as a whole,” says Senior Manager Oula Välipakka from Tredea.
Towards the end of 2016, the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) opened a site for research cooperation on the first floor of Kampusareena. The experts working there include a biologist, a fish geneticist, a food chemist, timber harvesting researchers, a vole specialist, a plant physiologist, and many others.
Luke is a research and expert organisation that aims to promote bioeconomy and the sustainable use of natural resources. Kampusareena is a logical base for operations, as Luke works in cooperation with both TUT and companies in numerous projects.
“For example, companies can commission a variety of studies, while the people at the University can propose research projects or joint applications for funding,” says Researcher Riina Muilu-Mäkelä from Luke.
“The expertise of universities and research institutes can be harnessed more flexibly when we participate in agile networks. Luke’s presence at TUT significantly promotes our cooperation and ability to combine our expertise for the benefit of companies and the rest of society,” says President Mika Hannula.
Top expertise from Tampere had wider exposure than ever before at the startup and technology event Slush, held in Helsinki. Four research teams from TUT introduced themselves at the event, aiming to commercialise their research-based innovations.
The event was also attended by startups and growth companies based on TUT’s research, such as Wirepas, Braincare, W2E, Movendos, Injec and Forciot.
Appearing at Slush provides the research teams and companies with a great opportunity to meet with international investors and take a step towards commercialising their innovations.
“It is also important for the university to highlight some of the gems of its research and help research teams on their path towards commercialisation,” says Pasi Vakaslahti from TUT’s Innovation Services.
Photo: Jussi Hellsten
An innovation that was created as a by-product of research at TUT received an honourable mention for technical creativity from the City of Tampere in October. Francescantonio Della Rosa and Jari Nurmi turned a phenomenon that had disrupted their research into a business in the form of Ekin Labs Oy.
The City of Tampere grants an award for technical creativity every year. In 2016, the honourable mention was awarded to Professor Jari Nurmi and Doctoral Student Francescantonio Della Rosa from TUT. The researchers were using mobile devices to measure a LAN signal in order to utilise the measurements in locating devices. People moving about the room disturbed the measurements, but the problem was turned into an innovation: a method for reliably recognising the presence of people.
“The method only requires a device that uses a wireless network, such as a smart phone, onto which the simple software is downloaded. The data sent to a cloud service can be used to alert users to an unwanted presence or, conversely, lack of activity at a location, such as the flat of an elderly person living in sheltered housing,” Jari Nurmi says.
December 2016 marked thirty years since the registration of the first .fi domain, which is the Finnish national network ID. The very first .fi identifier registered was tut.fi for Tampere University of Technology, followed by hut.fi for Helsinki University of Technology.
Tampere University of Technology applied to the American Stanford Network Information Center for the set-up and management rights for the .fi domain for Finland in 1986.
“The .fi domain gave access to network IDs, and the .fi form was introduced into Finnish email addresses. What Finland still lacked in those days was an Internet connection,” says Professor Hannu-Matti Järvinen.
An Internet connection opened in Finland two years later.
“In practice, the connection detoured via Stockholm. The 64 kilobit connection was sufficient for Finland as a whole.”
Back in 1986, no one even dreamt of the World Wide Web, and researchers wrote a great many letters. It took a week for a letter to travel across the Atlantic, so you could expect a reply in two weeks at the earliest. Once the Internet connection opened, it only took a few minutes for an email to reach its destination – and the rest is history.
In spring 2016, the Tampere3 higher education institutions launched an innovation competition called ‘Powering up Tampere business by research and the commercialisation of the results’. The competition’s prize of €1 million was divided evenly between three research projects.
The winning projects in the competition were the Photovision project, which is developing a method for treating macular degeneration; the SOLAB project, which commercialises laboratory products related to cell research; and the TAM3WAT project, which is developing a quick test for monitoring water quality. All the successful projects involved researchers from TUT.
The innovation competition was funded by the City of Tampere. The competition received 31 applications that met the requirements. The high-level competition was looking for research projects that would create as much added value for business life in Tampere as possible. Factors that were examined in particular in the selection of winners included innovativeness and novelty value, the commercial potential of the project, the schedule for entering the market, and the international applicability of the results.
Tampere University of Technology invests in strategic partnerships and collaboration with companies of all sizes. Our new Kampusareena building has brought industry and business to the heart of the campus, and it already housed 110 different companies in 2016. Collaboration between the University and companies creates new information, expertise, and business.
TUT's fundraising campaign raised €4,5 million in donations in 2016.
Major donors included Technology Industries, Cargotec, and Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK.
Operation established in Tampere as a subsidiary of Helsinki University of Technology
Tampere University of Technology (TUT) gains independence
The first ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees
The university starts operating as a foundation
The new foundation university is to begin its operation
The first ‘teekkarikaste’ student dipping takes place
The first building on the Hervanta campus, Konetalo, is completed
TTY Alumni association is established
TUT celebrates its 50th anniversary, Kampusareena is inaugurated