News and events - Tampere University of Technology

Technology Days attracted 7,500 visitors – particularly popular among youth

The national science event for the general public attracted a total of 7,500 visitors in the four organizing cities. This year, the theme of the event was ’big data’.
Visitors could experiment new technology in the Finlayson area in Tampere.
Visitors could experiment new technology in the Finlayson area in Tampere.

The theme was taken after last year’s Millennium Technology Prize winner Stuart Parkin’s research field. Professor Parkin also attended the Technology Days event in Tampere.

The visitors at the event were especially interested in big data in terms of data security and health technological applications. The main event of the Technology Days was arranged in Tampere on 22–24 October, involving technology-oriented expert speeches and workshops that gathered up to 4,000 visitors in the Finlayson area. In Turku, 1,500 people visited the ICT Building to hear about technology on 30–31 October, while the Tietomaa science centre in Oulu attracted over a thousand visitors. The Technology Days were concluded on 6–7 November with the event in Helsinki, also gathering more than 1,000 science and technology innovation enthusiasts.

The 2015 Technology Days offered more programme for children and youth than before. In each of the organizing cities, one event day was dedicated to schoolchildren’s workshops in which a whopping 1,500 secondary school youngsters participated. Also in the events for the general public, children and youth were able to familiarise themselves with various technologies, such as coding and the virtual reality, by participating in workshops that were open to all visitors.

“The Technology Days main event in Tampere exceeded all our expectations. Both the audience and the media were highly interested in our contents and we enabled a great number of wonderful encounters between people,” Professor Jaakko Astola from Tampere University of Technology noted. Astola was also the Chairperson for the Technology Days steering group.

Digitalisation made available to everyone – ‘made by humans’ becomes a counterforce?

The expert speeches highlighted the power of technology affecting us all, along with a human-sized perspective to technology. The utilization of technology and new ideas stem from the grass-root level: an innovator can refer to an entrepreneur from Taiwan who equips his bike with a 3D printer.

The question no longer remains if the robotisation of society is a threat or an opportunity. To the experts in the field, it is a fact to which people need to adjust. The number of devices connected to the Internet exceeded the number of people in the world as early as 2008, and according to an estimate, there will be 50 billion online devices around the globe in 2020.

“’Made by humans’ could turn into a similar sales argument as ‘fair trade’ or ‘organic’ are today. Humans cannot compete with robots by becoming more machine-like. Instead, humans should become increasingly human,” cyber service consultant Petteri Järvinen stated at the Technology Days in Tampere.

In Tampere and Turku, the biggest popular hit was Professor of Astronomy Esko Valtaoja’s speech, the dramatic contents of which were also cited in the media.

“Our view of the world is highly distorted: as few as 10 per cent of people actually know that extreme poverty has not increased in the 2000s but radically decreased. The media is full of bad news and we think that the economic decline in Finland is significant even though it is only a minor bump in our otherwise incredible economic growth that started in the 1900s. If we are unaware of the actual state of the world, how can we make wise and logical decisions? This comment goes out to the Parliament, as well”, Valtaoja stated.

Technology Days is the second largest set of events arranged by Technology Academy Finland, right after the Millennium Technology Prize award ceremonies.

Together with Technology Academy Finland, (TAF) Technology Days were organised by: Aalto University, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, University of Helsinki, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, University of Oulu, Tampere University of Technology, Turku University of Applied Sciences, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University.

Media contacts: Riina Vänttinen, Communications Specialist, Technology Academy Finland, riina.vanttinen@taf.fi, tel. +358 400 420 922

Further information:

Juha Ylä-Jääski, President and CEO, Technology Academy Finland: juha.yla-jaaski@taf.fi, tel. +358 40 903 0606

Jaakko Astola, Chairman of Technology Days project group: jaakko.astola@tut.fi, tel. +358 40 557 6417

News submitted by: Tiina Leivo
Keywords: services and collaboration, image and communications, technology days, big data, technology academy finland