Keynote address from Ms. Marja AspelundSep 28 2013 · 0 comments · Perspectives
Ms. Marja Aspelund, Consul General of Finland in Shanghai
China-Finland ICT Alliance Official Phase II Kick-off Forum, Shanghai, 24 September 2013
Dear experts and friends of the China-Finland ICT Alliance,
On my behalf, I would like to welcome all partners and other invited experts to this China-Finland ICT Alliance Phase II kick-off event.
I am delighted to notice that so many Finnish and Chinese partners have gathered this week to work on topics of joint interest and also to develop cooperation models and mechanisms even further.
This kind of cooperation is exactly what we need.
As we all are aware, China is a key partner for Finland in many areas.
Especially in the field of research, development and innovation (R&D&I), the importance of China has grown very rapidly during the last few years. China is number one in many fields.
China has its strengths, and Finland has its own. By actively linking these strengths and capabilities together, we can create a successful innovation environment for our business, industrial and academic cooperation.
This innovation-friendly environment is needed to develop new ideas, to test and to commercialise them and to create new jobs thus benefitting society as a whole.
To strengthen Finland-China R&D&I cooperation, many key decision-makers have visited China this year. Our President Mr. Sauli Niinistö visited China in the Spring and now very recently our Prime Minister Mr. Jyrki Katainen headed a business delegation.
Likewise, many Chinese leaders have been in Finland. For example, Mr. Yang Xiong, Mayor of the City of Shanghai visited the Helsinki Metropolitan area and Shanghai’s sister city, Espoo, in August.
One of the guiding themes of all these important visits has been innovation and the utilisation of new digital solutions in various areas of industry and society, including aging care, urbanisation, traffic, environment, education, and other areas.
In all these so called grand societal challenges ICT and digital services can produce very concrete solutions.
To enable so called systemic transformations, it is important to combine both top-down and bottom-up approaches and involve key stakeholders. In many areas the active role of cities is essential. City of Shanghai is a very good example of the development of future cities and we appreciate longstanding cooperation that City of Shanghai has had with Finland, and with City of Espoo in particular.
Also the education sector can take much bigger role in boosting innovation. In addition to facilitating research on specific areas of technology and application, the ICT Alliance has demonstrated its potential for becoming actively involved in ongoing developments in China’s education and innovation systems.
There is still a substantial unleashed potential, and students and university campuses represent a unique environment for creating and testing new solutions. This aspect is also included the ICT Alliance’s next phase activities.
When launching the ICT Alliance Phase II today, we are very happy to recognise that projects and activities focus on jointly identified key industrial and academic areas. For example:
Green communication: Energy efficient networking and future networks help address many needs in very rapidly growing wireless communication.
Intelligent city: Development of technologies for intelligent cities enable new solutions for traffic and various demand-driven services that again enable better use of resources.
Ageing: Finding solutions for ageing society, elderly care and wellbeing, are a common challenge. The scale in China makes it also a major opportunity for jointly creating globally unique and competitive solutions.
Environmental solutions: Environmental monitoring and sensing as well monitoring and control of energy use are topics that have gained a lot of attention and are included in Phase II projects.
Education: In the education area, ways of learning and supporting technologies are in transition. Finland together with China can create totally new solutions to learning by combining expertise in teacher training, in learning and brain research, in mobile and low energy technologies and in game areas.
China-Finland ICT Alliance has been active since 2009, and it has very well met its objectives in stimulating cooperation between China and Finland.
Now, at the launch of phase II projects the initial scope has extended and expectations are even higher.
Together China and Finland are well positioned for co-creating new innovative solutions and global breakthroughs.
China has extensive resources for research and development – and a large single market for highly scalable solutions. Finland has complementary expertise in key areas and can also act as a “gateway” linking the European Union and other international partners and markets together.
I wish you an interesting forum, and I am confident that the topics discussed here, including digital solutions for future networks, energy efficiency, navigation, sensing, and applications in traffic, wellbeing, environment, education and, others are exactly those that will create new business opportunities for both Finland and China.
By working together we can reach our global objectives in R&D&I.
Thank you for your attention.