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The state level cooperation frameworks and meetings, such as the China-Finland S&T Joint Committee meetings, are important to be involved in for long term planning and for defining joint focus areas. For the medium to short term cooperation and actual implementations the role of province and city level cooperation is growing as the pilot projects often take place at the province and city or district level.
The Tekes-MOST joint call during spring 2016, involving Zhejiang and Jiangsu specific calls, is an example of active province level collaboration. The ICT Alliance together with active university partners, University of Oulu and Aalto, facilitated the creation of “Smart IoT Consortium” including collection of proposals for local demonstrators at the China side. This was followed by a workshop in Shanghai in April to develop and finalize proposals.
ICT Alliance participated city focused cooperation events such as visit of the delegation of Vice Mayor Biao Chen, Shenzhen Municipal Government Office, in June at TEM where
topics involved bioeconomy, cleantech and digitalization (BCD) as well as industrial design where the cooperation is already ongoing.
The city level cooperation of Espoo and Shanghai has continued and is again on the ICT Alliance activities agenda also for 2016 as several events are being planned in Shanghai (e.g. SLUSH China and Nordic Design and Innovation Week 2016).
Developing Industry – Academia consortia for pilots and testbeds in China and in Finland
Smart IoT, 5 G and testbeds consortium: To respond to the Tekes- MOST call and other forthcoming opportunities a Consortium on Global Business in Smart IoT was initiated during spring 2016 facilitated by the ICT Alliance cooperation, with University of Oulu leading with Hilla Program as the affiliated activity for accelerating industry cooperation. This consortia collected six potential proposals from China that were further developed for the Expression of Interest call at the end of 2017:
- Smart City
- Smart Home Air
- Smart Water
- Cloud-based Intelligent Water Treating and Dispatching System
- Smart City Design
- Smart Education
The discussion on developing Smart City (e.g. MaaS) and 5 G & IoT pilots in Finland for Chinese companies, leveraging the testbeds in Oulu and possibly Tampere, has become active during spring 2016. The 5th Gear program and Hilla will be a focal point in the China-Finland RDI collaboration leveraging testbeds and piloting in real-life environments.
The main topics in the April 2016 visit to China and the ICT Alliance workshop include Smart IoT / Smart City, learning solutions, including the initial planning of EduCloud and Smart Learning Services pilots, intelligent senior services, health and rehabilitation solutions, built around the DigiRehab consortium.
The April visit was extended to Hong Kong and Singapore to cover the market opportunities in these areas in addition to China as this broader scope was clearly indicated to be in the companies business interests.
Learning solutions EduCloud and School-as-a-Service:
One of the focus areas in ICT Alliance since 2013 has been new digital learning solutions. The work has been done in cooperation with the Sino-Finnish Learning Garden framework initiated by Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland, and Ministry of Education, China.
In 2015 Digile initiated the Learning Evolution Agenda (LEA) to help creation of comprehensive solutions from Finland for joint Sino-Finnish offerings to the global markets with major Chinese ICT companies.
In April 2016 it was suggested to focus ICT Alliance on currently active Tekes programs and have education transferred to a company driven mode. Consequently, in the April – June period we have worked actively towards this aim with EduCloud Alliance (ECA) and LifeLearn company established to internationally leverage ECA results by creating a scalable delivery channel and with the Finnish education accelerator and xEdu. Preparations for a Sino-Finnish EduCloud project for piloting, testing and adapting the Finnish solutions in China have been started involving the above partners and the key education universities in China and Finland. Cooperation is proceeding in developing and piloting School-as-a-Service (SaaS) that combines digital learning solutions with configurable physical environments in a new way with Aalto University and City of Espoo and Tongji University and City of Shanghai as the key partners involved. The SaaS approach would involve a variety of companies ranging from digital learning to access solutions being an example for new services and service operators in a smart city.
Digital rehabilitation and health games: International consortia of research institutes and companies are being developed in senior services and health and wellbeing. Currently active area in cooperation development is digitalization in rehabilitation, including health and rehabilitation games. The solutions are of high demand in China as rehabilitation has been largely underserved area in health. Same applies elsewhere in Asia and the active partners are coming from Singapore, Japan and Korea. This matches well the FinlandCare growth program of Finpro.
Design and digitalization: Both Finnish and Chinese companies are increasingly looking to cooperate in combining design and digitalization in Asia – but also in Finland with Chinese companies providing many of the technologies to be embedded. During spring 2016 discussions with companies have been initiated in ICT Alliance context with target areas including smart home, smart city (e.g. vehicles), digital health and wellbeing. In the ICT Alliance, the next step is to investigate the possibility to organize a consortium involving both Finnish and Chinese partners. To identify concrete business cases a group of design companies have confirmed their interest in joining the events in China during October – November 2016 and one-on-on meetings for them are also to be facilitated.
Service packages for companies: Supporting the development of “service packages” for Chinese companies interested in European markets ICT Alliance has also been involved in the discussion for developing Finland as “International IPR Hub” for which a proposal is being prepared by EK and IPR University Center. The opportunity is timely as the European common patent system is now renewed giving Finland a better position to act as a hub for Asian companies interested in entering European markets. In the preparation Chinese companies have been identified as the first prospective group of customers. For the Finnish companies in China one of the services of high demand continues to be Cloud services in China pilots. This is to be concretely piloted starting with education companies (planned for end of 2016-beginning of 2017) and based on the experiences extended to other areas.
Health is one of the focus areas in 2016-2017 for ICT Alliance. The Finnish companies and institutes are interested in China together with other East and South-East Asian markets. Some in ICT Alliance focus areas, like HUR in rehabilitation, have already been successful with their business in the region and looking to extend their offering. Next steps were discussed with HUR, Metropolia and STM representatives, among other, and some of the companies (e.g Medanta, Orion Diagnostica) have already been involved in ICT Alliance facilitated events in China. In addition, the personalized medicine and digital hospital solutions are very potential area for Finland and ICT Alliance is looking opportunities to establish cooperation in the “big data” based solutions in China and Singapore during 2016 to support these activities.
The International Research Forum on Intelligent Sensing and Services in Urban Environment for Traffic and Mobility (ISSUE-TM) is the first Research Forum established by ICT Alliance and the experiences and lessons learned will be used when launched other such Forums, in areas where active cooperation already exists, such as in education and learning solutions and in smart living and smart homes for the seniors.
Sensing, social media and data analysis are among the topics studied for innovative solutions and new business opportunities in intelligent traffic and urban mobility. There are already a number of teams and projects active in China-Finland cooperation – or planning to establish such cooperation. They come from different cities and universities providing resources and expertise for complementary collaboration. There is clearly a call for a forum that would enable making use of the synergies, combining adequate resources for international collaboration and for big research initiatives aiming at helping to solve some of the major challenges in society.
ICT Alliance and its coordinators, DIGILE and WiCO, are well positioned to act as facilitators of such Research Forums where activities involve research combined with pilots for large-scale real-life experimentation that provide experiences and data to understand better the underlying phenomena and the proposed solutions. Pilots also provide context for studying viable business models and opportunities to explore commercial cooperation, thus bringing universities and companies together in business oriented R&D&I. The ISSUE-TM Forum has concrete and practical aims, including:
- Devising jointly agreed common “core” principles, data items and formats for data collection and data sharing, and agreeing on sharing of experiences from different experimentation approaches for making best use of the complementary data available in Finland /Europe and in China respectively.
- Sharing access to data sets and/or analysis results of pilots in Finland and in China, such as City of Oulu and City of Tampere, and the data sets being collected by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and in Fuzhou and Beijing.
- Preparing for applying for a cooperative national projects in Finland and in China, bi-lateral Sino-Finnish projects, and EU projects creating first proposals in 2014 (e.g. Horizon 2020)
- Arranging co-located ISSUE-TM Forum events in Finland and in China and setting up online collaboration. The events will be organized both in the context ICT Alliance events and in the relevant conferences and exhibitions in ITS and Smart City area.
- Arranging visiting expert talks as well as involving PhD level exchange researchers in the Forum activities and in related Doctoral Summer Schools.
ISSUE-TM is planning a joint application to develop a sensor network for the some of the most central urban areas in Finland (Prof. Jukka Riekki, University of Oulu, will coordinate this application). Discussions with Chinese partners regarding parallel projects are conducted. Linking already ongoing platforms and is planned to be followed by new joint projects. These may be initially funded by separate calls and later provide basis for joint calls e.g. by NSFC and Academy of Finland (for university driven research) and MOST and provincial / municipal S&T Committees and Tekes (for industry driven research). ISSUE-TM also forms a good basis for developing joint proposals for international calls, such as EU H2020.
Open Data – an opportunity for linking research teams and cities
In Finland the six biggest cities (Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa, Turku and Oulu) have a common program for work on open data and related issues and to open up more municipal data. There are expected to be pilot applications on open data and traffic, in particular, is one of the key areas. City of Tampere is coordinating the projects for that part, involving actors from at least two of the participating cities. Since ISSUE-TM includes active and experienced teams from the major Finnish universities it is in a good position for a strong application. For example, focusing on Traffic Situation Displays (snapshots of the actual or partly predicted situation of the traffic) the aim is to create methods for data analysis to improve traffic and environment situation displays, working on open data and/or producing open data. The sources include data from traffic, such as public transportation and traffic lights, and from sensors, including static city sensors, sensors in cars, and wearable user sensors, including mobile phones. The user or vehicle specific raw data cannot be opened, but the analysis results, if properly produced, can be. Also non-open data such as taxi traffic data can similarly be used. Infrastructure data on road conditions, and environmental data containing e.g. information on weather, should also be included, as well as social data. Prof. Jyrki Nummenmaa, University of Tampere, will lead the preparatory work for joint proposal in this area aiming at submission by the participating Finnish partners by September 2014.
Data and computation platform
The universities themselves have their own facilities, which differ, however it is not easy to open up the universities’ own platforms for external use. One preferred option is to use FORGE Service Laboratory launched by DIGILE. Other options are contacting CSC directly and using commercial cloud services. Prof. Jyrki Nummenmaa will continue the discussion with DIGILE on the platform. Such a platform could be set-up by partners in China to be gradually linked with the Finnish platform for joint research and development.
The events during summer 2014 involving ICT Alliance / ISSUE-TM include:
- The 10th ITS European Congress, Jun 16-19, Helsinki, where meetings of the Finnish teams was held.
- August 6th – August 13th University of Tampere will host a Finnish – Chinese event on analysis of Social Media. The Programme will involve a specific session in ISSUE-TM including both Chinese and Finnish experts.
- 2014 International Conference on Management Science and Engineering (21th) (ICMSE2014),
Organised by Harbin Institute of Technology and Aalto University, in cooperation with the eBEREA network and China-Finland ICT Alliance. Theme: Management of Innovation in Big Data Era, August 17-18, 2014 Helsinki, Finland. There will be a specific invitational workshop involving Chinese and Finnish partners.
Ageing of the population is a common trend in the developed countries and will start to face some of the developing societies as well. In China the challenges related to ageing society services – and the associated opportunities – are of exceptional scale. The statistics of Sixth National Population Census by the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs indicated that the number of people older than 60 years was close to 200 million (over 13 percent of the total population) in 2012 and the senior population will continue to grow very fast in coming 30 years. The one child policy (4-2-1 family structure) and urbanisation will further amplify this challenge.
Consequently, there is a vast gap between the elderly care resources and the needs in this growing market. The government naturally cannot alone take the responsibility of providing the needed services for the rapidly aging population in China. This creates new business opportunities in public services, private services and in citizen and consumer driven solutions. For example, the rapid growth of the (mobile) Internet in China as well as the rapidly developing communications and cloud infrastructure and the investments in IoT and related technologies will help to provide the needed infrastructure and building blocks for new services.
The development of digital solutions for new innovative services for the aging society has been a jointly identified area for China-Finland cooperation already for some years. For example, the Sino-Finnish Active Ageing cooperation initiative was launched at Shanghai World Expo 2010 and since then developed to involve activities in other cities, like Beijing and Wuhan and being extended e.g. to Shenzhen. China-Finland ICT Alliance has also chosen Senior Services as one of the focus areas. The aim is to help senior citizens to live active and quality life at homes longer, reduce the time period spent at hospitals by supporting rehabilitation and home care, support their active participation in the society, and facilitate social interaction with relatives and friends. The focus is not just on creating solutions that would categorically set elderly apart by “old people” but taking an integrative and holistic view. One element is to use the widely deployed consumer platforms for ensuring wide availability and for having basis for rapidly scaling solutions. For example, the very recent announcements (in June) on smart home and smart health platforms and development tools by major companies like Apple and Google and similar developments in China can be leveraged. The ICT Alliance activities combine research and developments in related areas, such as smart home, personal health and wellbeing, and smart communities and cities where demand responsive and situationally relevant services for the citizens are being studied.
A prerequisite of successful and wide adoption of technology solutions in elderly services is properly organized education and training. It has been estimated that up to 30 million people need to be (re)trained in the coming years in China to provide the services and to boost the creation of this new “senior industry”. When linked with the introduction of appropriate processes and supporting technologies, the benefits from new solutions can be realised. Even training as such is a substantial joint opportunity for Finnish and Chinese partners and relates well to the also on-going cooperation in learning solutions. It is important to put these activities in the “big picture” for understanding the market and priorities. The role of real estate industry that may for example enjoy special preferential treatments and support when developing senior communities with relevant services, the on-going and planned reforms in health insurance and medical services, and the initiatives aiming at better integrating IT industry and health sector in China are examples of such major areas and initiatives to position with.
In the ICT Alliance there has been an interest among a group of universities and companies to develop cooperation that would more actively link the areas of elderly services, personal health and wellbeing and smart home together. Recently, “Home-as-a-Service Platform” concept has been introduced by DIGILE as a potential framework to bring together related activities in these complimentary areas. For example, a “Home based personal services for elderly” concept is being developed by a consortium led by Active Life Village in close cooperation with DIGILE, with cities, such as the City of Espoo and Municipality of Pyhtää, and with the Ministry of Transport and Communications. With such a comprehensive initiatives that bring together companies, universities and key public sector actors – working closely together with the Chinese development and channel partners and with the key stakeholders – we can together create more relevant propositions for the Chinese market. And in the next phase, with Chinese partners, to bring very competitive and advanced solutions to the growing international markets.
The new Research program on promoting health and wellness, planned jointly by SalWe and DIGILE, could play an important role in the senior services area and in China cooperation. It is tentatively titled as “Speedy Recovery” as it aims at drastically shortening the stay in hospitals and speeding up rehabilitation at home.
China-Finland ICT Alliance and DIGILE activities in education represent the “Learning Solutions” part of the Sino-Finnish Learning Garden (SFLG) that has been initiated by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) and being developed in cooperation with the Chinese Ministry of Education (MoE). Working together with the key academic, public and industry partners in both countries, this focus area aims at bringing schools, academia, national research programmes (e.g. the Academy of Finland and Tekes, the SHOKs such as DIGILE), China-Finland ICT Alliance, companies and authorities to join their efforts to co-create modern learning solutions to foster 21st century skills among students in China and Finland. It covers learning research, teacher training and learning solutions, i.e. technology, services, and content, ranging from kindergarten to primary, secondary, higher education and to vocational and professional education.
The DIGILE and China-Finland ICT Alliance activities take place in two main areas in learning solution cooperation:
I EduTech Business Ecosystem: for creating, testing, adapting and scaling innovative solutions in education, involving international business pilots together with Chinese partners. The EduTech Ecosystem is meant for companies.
II EduTech Research Forum: for universities and research institutions, planned to launch in September 2014 (at the Forum on Education Solutions for Sino-Finnish Learning Garden – ”21st Century Learning Skills”).
In addition there are ongoing discussions for setting up joint education Cloud services for R&D&I and pilots in China.
Some observations on online education and learning solutions market in China
Online education and learning solutions area is under an active development both for serving public sector and private sector educational institutions as well as the huge online (and mobile) consumer market in China.There are several major developments and education reforms ongoing or being planned that may provide joint development and business opportunities. Examples of these include the need to deliver education to the countryside, the growing demand of vocational education including in public and private sectors, and the education reforms ranging from Kindergartens to universities that will extensively leverage digital delivery (e.g. the education cloud services, the e-textbook and e-Schoolbag initiative and others).
The Chinese education tradition has emphasised performance in exams at various levels and the major goal for students is the Gaokao national university entrance exams. In June 2014 close to 10 million students participated.There is a call for renewal of the education system to emphasise more open-ended and innovation-driven approaches and the learning of “soft skills” in addition to the “hard facts” as the prevailing education approaches are not optimal for meeting the future needs.
What Finland may bring into play also in the EduTech area is the support for enabling the move towards student-centered approach, complementing the theory and textbook based materials with real-life experiences, and providing solutions for learning the so called “21st century learning skills” in social settings, encouraging experimentation and allowing for failure. The “Learning is Fun” approach promoted by many of the Finnish education experts and EduTech companies can also encourage students to become involved in social and physical activities for learning the “soft skills” and for better wellbeing.
The rapid growth of China’s Internet and mobile user base has continued and the number Internet users in China reached over 600 million by 2013. It is particularly noticeable that since the penetration of (mobile) Internet reached close to half of the population the online education market has grown even much faster. While market growth demonstrates the potential, the field is becoming fiercely competed as market positions are being built. The established players, like New Oriental, face new challengers, including the Internet e-commerce, social networking and games giants, like Alibaba and Tencent, that provide education services and apps stores. Actually, new partnerships are being formed among the players (e.g. New Oriental has teamed up with BesTV and rumoured to also join forces with Tencent).
Some recent trends in the market indicate that parents are prepared to spend even more on the education of their child as the income level has risen. In order to adopt new solutions there should be demonstrated evidence on the benefits, including not only new skills and wellbeing but also maintaining or improving performance in the mandatory tests, when dealing with curriculum topics.
The rural-urban migration continues and will be increasing demand for vocational education and adult education encouraging private investments. Working together with actors involved in the development of the vocational education and well as in the renewal of the university sector, like the development of the universities of applied sciences in China, there will be better visibility to the needs for digital solutions and possibilities to cooperate with their development and large-scale deployment. While cooperating on research and pilots related to education reforms the learning solutions (technology and services) should be considered as a part of more comprehensive Sino-Finnish solutions, involving teacher training, curriculum development so that the learning solutions are integrated, and the development of the physical and virtual (online) learning spaces, including classrooms and complete schools that enable new kinds of learning and also support wellbeing of students.
About the challenges and opportunities in the public and private sector and consumer market
Despite the rapid growth, the consumer market in digital content and services appears to be challenging for international players. For example, the entertainment content, such as movies, music, TV shows and games the models differ from those in the West. For example, in mobile apps and games, the revenues are seldom generated from the downloads but rather in-app (in-game) purchases of value adding services, such as speeding up in the game, getting to next levels, etc. Due to the sheer size of the market experiencing growing demand of learning services in areas such as English language or mathematics, there is a lot of competition, including also free offerings. However, the parents often pay for the solutions if they can be demonstrated to bring progress in learning (e.g. in passing the curriculum tests).
Taking the market environment into account in planning, the offerings and business models will be needed. With quality content and right kinds of partnerships, the consumer market is a viable area. There is a good track record of Finnish game companies to be followed by educational offerings.
In parallel, the public education and private schools markets will be addressable when the appropriate channels are established and solutions certified. Indeed, in the public sector where the solutions are part of the curriculum, the role of education authorities is essential and without being approved to the curriculum it will be difficult to bring solutions to the market. As some parts of the curriculum may be defined at the local level, it will be important to establish cooperation with authorities and education experts who can mandate and carry out special pilots at the City and District levels. In the Sino-Finnish Learning Garden, contacts have been established with Municipal Education Commissions in Beijing and in Shanghai. For a Finnish provider, one school district even in a second tier city may be a major case.
The EduTech Ecosystem – enabling business pilots in China
While there are many interesting learning area comes in Finland they often lack the resources to go alone into new markets, like China. With EduTech Business Ecosystem, representing the learning solutions of the Sino-Finnish Learning Garden, we gather together companies to form business pilots and “clusters” to better to meet the demand. In the Ecosystem the effort and risk can be shared and the creation of a more comprehensive and therefore more attractive offerings becomes possible.
More importantly, the aim is not just to enable of Finnish solutions export and localisation in China, but together with Chinese partners to develop solutions for China and Finland – and to the global learning market.”We try to get contacts for the benefit of business solutions, experimentation, implementation and business development in China. And when we put the reputation of Finland in the game, we have together with companies to ensure that we keep our promises. This is for all of us it is a positive challenge.”
Cooperation with Tekes Learning Solution programme
EduTech Ecosystem and ICT Alliance have initiated cooperation with Tekes Learning Solution programme to leverage the synergies. On 3 June Tekes Business Breakfast was organised at Finlandia Hall by the Learning Solutions Programme in cooperation with DIGILE. The meeting gathered a number of companies and organisations interested in the EduTech Ecosystem and in exploring the Chinese education market.
The programme was opened by Ms. Suvi Sundquist, Director of the Learning Solutions Programme of Tekes, followed by presentation on EduTech Ecosystem and the Sino-Finnish Learning Garden by Mr. Matti Hämäläinen, and the FORGE Service Lab by Mrs. Pia Erkinheimo, Head of Crowds & Communities, at DIGILE. The session resulted to the group of interested companies join EduTech in areas such as primary school education as well as professional education.
Sino-Finnish Learning Garden and EduTech Beijing Workshop: Continue joint efforts on education technology and learning serviceJun 12 2014
Based on the good results from April Beijing Sino-Finnish Learning Garden meeting, China-Finland ICT Alliance and Beijing Normal University organised Sino-Finnish Learning Garden and EduTech Workshop in Beijing on 9 June.
The objective is to push forward pilots in education technology and learning services as well as to focus on technologies and services research, such as mobile and ubiquitous technologies in education, learning analytics, e-book standards and gaming
Prof. Yu Shengquan, Dean of School of Education Technology and Director, Joint Laboratory for Mobile Learning: Ministry of Education of China described experiences from a model for ubiquitous learning resources. The laboratory has been built under the national guideline of “Education Information Development Plan (2011-2020)” and “MOE and CMCC Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement”, supported by “Ministry of Education – China Mobile Research Fund”. Cooperation presentations were also given, for example, by Prof. Shu Hua, National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning; Prof. Teng Jun, Vice Dean, Institute of International and Comparative Education; Ms. Xie Xi, International Department, Beijing Normal University Publishing Group; Dr. Wang Jun, Deputy Director, Office of International Exchange & Cooperation; Mr. Mika Tirronen, Counsellor (Science & Education), Embassy of Finland in Beijing; Mr. John Zhuang, Director of Learning, China, Rovio; Prof. Yuzhuo Cai, Higher Education Group (HEG), School of Management, Chinese Education Research & Exchange Centre (CEREC), University of Tampere; Mr. Matti Hämäläinen, China-Finland ICT Alliance, DIGILE.
A co-creative research forum on education will be launched in autumn 2014 involving active China-Finland research units for education technology and learning services cooperation with first joint pilot projects.
On 4-5 May the Third China International Senior Services Expo (CISSE 2014) and related Forum, Beijing. A Finnish booth was organised together with Active Life Village, Finnish and Chinese companies and BJAST. About 400+ customers visited and several b-2-b meetings were organized. The Finnish business delegation, led by Mr. Jaakko Rissanen, CEO, Orion Diagnostica, and the official delegation of Minister Paula Risikko’s with Vice President of China Association of Social Welfare, Ms. Xiaoli Feng, visited the booth and studied the solutions and established cooperation.
The main target for participation was to raise awareness of Finland, Finnish companies and their solutions in the field of care, and this goal was reached. The Expo reflected the broad based interest in this area in China, including real estate developers, care home providers, care and medical equipment and other wellbeing products, such as food. According to Mr. Juha Lipiäinen, CEO, ALV, “The best takeaway from CISSE was to get a complete view of the elderly industry in China and how China approaches it ‘end to end’ from building construction to health foods and everything in between. Chinese have a good grasp of the elderly person’s needs and how to meet those. Combined with advanced Finnish wellbeing technology, this could be a winning combination.”
On 5 May the Senior Service Science and Innovation Workshop was organised at Beijing Academy of Science and Technology, BJAST, Beijing. Matti Hämäläinen gave an invited talk and joined the planning of future activities with BJAST and the 2012 co-initiated International Research Center for Senior Service Innovation (IRCSSI) involving BJAST, Fraunhofer IAO and Aalto with DIGILE and ALV. BJAST is one of the key partners in China for research in Senior Services Innovation.
On 6 May the International Seminar on Intelligent Community and Home-Based Senior Care Service Innovation was organised at Yulong International Hotel, Beijing. On behalf of the Finnish parties Mr. Matti Hämäläinen gave a presentation on Senior Care Service Innovation in Finland. In the afternoon a visit to the Yangfangdian Elderly Care Community and to Cuncaochunhui Care Home was organised for the business delegation of Minister Risikko and the Sino-Finnish cooperation and experiences were presented by Dr. Jianbing Liu, Director of BRCUSE/BJAST, and other experts. Both events received visibility in the Chinese print media and TV.
On 7 May a workshop for the business delegation of Minister Paula Risikko was co-organised with ICT Alliance, Finpro and Zhongguancun Life Science Park (LSP), Beijing, to discuss cooperation opportunities in health and wellbeing with particular focus on the wellbeing of elderly and the development of services for senior communities. A very large community of over 1000 people is planned at Zhongguancun LSP, including also a Peking University hospital. The event was opened by Mr. Tom Zhu, Finland Representative Office, Zhongguancun Software Park, followed by several companies based at LSP, including Beijing CSCEC-Zhongguancun Bio-pharmaceutical Investment Co.ltd, PKU HealthCare Industry Group, CapitalBio Corporation, Mindray Corporation, Taikang HealthCare Research Center, and Lawke Health Laboratory Center for Clinical Laboratory Development.
China-Finland ICT Alliance Finnish Partners Workshop
It includes University of Oulu, Aalto University, University of Helsinki, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Tsinghua University, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), and Huazhong University of Science and Technology as its academic partners. Sensing City Traffic was presented by Dr. Timo Nyberg, Aalto University. The academic partners include Aalto University and Chinese Academy of Sciences. These projects intensify research cooperation among each other and with related projects in Finland and China as described in the Research Forum Working group section below.
The project focusing on navigation systems cooperation, Finland’s Enhanced Navigation using COMPASS/Beidou Signals, was presented by Dr. Laura Ruotsalainen, Finnish Geodetic Institute (FGI). Finnish Geodetic Institute (FGI), GNSS Research Center (GRC) in Wuhan University, and Chinese Antarctic Center of Surveying and Mapping (CACSM) are the research partners. There is an interest both sides in China and Finland to extend this cooperation to include new research partners and companies (e.g. with Geostar who also joined the workshop).
Related to future activity planning, presentations were also given by invited experts: Dr. Sergey Andreev with Prof. Evgeny Kucheryavy, Tampere University of Technology, presented their research on Improved Connectivity and Service Experience in Heterogeneous 5G Deployments; and Future Networking cooperation (Beyond Internet) was represented by Dr. Arto Karila and Dr. Dmitrji Lagutin, who have been carrying on cooperation with Future Network Innovation Institute of China (FNII) based in Nanjing.
In the working session Prof. Jyrki Nummenmaa, University of Tampere, introduced their research activities in intelligent traffic (related to the City of Tampere’s Intelligent Traffic activities) and cooperation links in China.
An update on eServices and eBusiness research and the eBEREA network activities was presented by Prof. Jukka Heikkilä, University of Turku. Currently, active areas include research on developing and implementing digital services for “young elderly” in the BeWell research activity. It is now a part of DIGILE’s D2I research programme and has several company and research partners in Finland and is closely linked with international partners in China, Germany, Italy, Sweden and The Netherlands.
Dr. Risto Vilkko, Academy of Finland, presented the cooperation framework between the Academy of Finland and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and the process for the ongoing preparation of a joint call on 5G networks. Dr. Mika Klemettinen, Tekes, described Tekes’ activities and future directions in the networking and Internet of Things areas that are thematically related to the ongoing and new initiatives in ICT Alliance. Companies in the field of future networks, everyday sensing and social media, and geoservices were presented by Dr. Philip Ginzboorg, Huawei, Mr. Kimmo Valtonen, M-Brain and Mr. Tony Liu, Geostar (WudaGeo).
China-Finland Workshop on 5G Networks in Shanghai
The objectives of the workshop were to discuss current developments in future network research, identify joint research interests in the field of 5G and finalise the collaborative Finland-China research project agenda. Considering the long term track record in Finland on cellular network development starting from General System for Mobile Communications (GSM), and the urgent demand for advanced mobile technologies in China, it is beneficial and strategic important to carry on joint 5G research in areas such as system design; air interface and multi-antenna; new spectrum, millimetre wave air interface and backhaul; efficient hardware and platforms, multi-cell, and signal processing; as well as management and modelling.
From the Chinese side, technical presentations were given by Prof. Xiaohu Ge, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Prof. Jianhua Zhang, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Prof. Honglin Hu, Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prof. Qinyu Zhang, Harbin Institute of Technology, Dr. Fusheng Zhe, ZTE Corporation, Prof. Hua Zhang, Southeast University, Prof. Pinyi Ren, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Prof. Shengjie Zhao, Tongji University, Prof. Zhisheng Niu, Tsinghua University, Prof. Gang Wu, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Prof. Wuyang Zhou, University of Science and Technology of China, and Prof. Lingyang Song, Peking University.
From the Finnish side, presentations were given by Prof. Evgeny Kucheryavy, Tampere University of Technology, Prof. Mikko Valkama Tampere University of Technology, Dr. Sergey Andreev, Tampere University of Technology, Prof. Sasu Tarkoma, University of Helsinki, Dr. Tao Chen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Prof. Antti-Heikki Tölli, University of Oulu, Prof. Riku Jäntti, Aalto University, and Dr. Kari Pehkonen, Broadcom Communications Finland Ltd. On behalf of China-Finland ICT Alliance, Dr. Jani Kaarlejärvi talked about the 5G elements of Horizon 2020, and financial opportunities in setting up joint, large-scale Finland-China-EU projects in the field of 5G. To begin a joint 5G EU proposal planning raised a lot of interest, and one or two joint teams could be set up to begin the planning for Call 14.
After three days of actively elaborating of the content of the joint call for Chinese-Finnish scientific cooperation, National Natural Science Foundation of China and Academy of Finland signed the Memorandum of Understanding concerning joint call on 5G networks. According to the preliminary schedule, the joint call will be published and opened in June 2014, decisions will be made in October 2014 and the funding period would begin in early 2015.
China-focused EduTech Business Ecosystem Workshop
Education is a focal area in China-Finland cooperation and to better synchronise activities and boost the impact of cooperation, the ”Sino–Finnish Learning Factory” (SFLF) initiative has been prepared under the direction of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture together with a team of experts from companies, research institutions and organisations. The initial areas suggested for the SFLF initiative include: learning research, teacher training and learning solutions, i.e. technology, services, and content ranging from kindergarten to primary, secondary and higher education and to vocational and professional education. When preparing the SFLF initiative, Digile as the Coordinator of China-Finland ICT Alliance has been invited to facilitate the cooperation of education technology and services companies, including related piloting and research. The preparation of EduTech business ecosystem started by Digile in 2013 together with those companies that were interested in education technologies and services area, under a theme “Education-as-a-Service”.
The second pilot was outlined by Mr. Ari Ketola, Context Learning Finland, Mr. Pentti Mero, Airport College, and Mr. Esa Tervo, Neoxen. It focuses on professional and corporate training, on transport and logistics in particular, targeting e.g. airport professional training. Mr. Mika Martikainen, Skilltize, described their offering in real-time online training and tutoring, with an initial focus on languages (English and other) and mathematics. Synergies were identified among these two pilots in planning and potential for a few additional pilots to be specified during the planning process. It has also become obvious that there is an interest among the partners to involve research centers in the EduTech cooperation model. A Research forum for education technologies and services focus area within ICT Alliance is now in active planning.
Focus area: Intelligent Sensing and Services for Traffic and Mobility in Urban Environment
Focus area: Elderly Services and Smart Home
In the ICT Alliance context, there has been an interest among a group of universities and companies to develop cooperation that would more actively link the areas of elderly services, personal health and wellbeing and smart home together. A “Home-as-a-Service Platform” concept has been introduced by Digile as a potential framework to bring together related activities in these complimentary areas. For example, a “Home based personal services for elderly” concept is being developed by Active Life Village and its partners in close cooperation with cities, such as the City of Espoo.
Elderly services and smart home solutions will be discussed in Beijing in early May 2014 in an international cooperation meeting hosted by the Beijing Academy of Science and Technology (BJAST), a key ICT Alliance partner in this area, involving also Fraunhofer IAO and representatives from Taiwan and Korea. Dr. Matti Hämäläinen, as the ICT Alliance representative, will also join the “3rd China International Senior Services Expo” (CISSE 2014) that is the main event in this field. This trip will also include visits to Zhongguancun Z-Park and Life Science Park for extending cooperation in these areas (these events coincide with the planned visit of Minister for Social Affairs and Health, Paula Risikko, in Beijing at the same time).
Hanasaari Forum on Nordic Education, Exporting Education Knowhow and China Cooperation
Focus area: Environmental Monitoring (Air Quality)
Pure Finland 2014 – High-level Events in Beijing in Autumn 2014
- “Coolest brands from Finland”, September;
- “Destination Finland”, 23-25 October;
- “Innovation Finland”, 25-27 November; and
- “Creative Finland”, December.
Jani Kaarlejärvi Appointed an Advisory Board Member in the European Commission funded CHOICE project on EU-China cooperation on ICT R&D&I
Through its objectives, the CHOICE project creates a bridge towards Horizon 2020 to shift away from technology-driven towards innovation-driven ICT R&D based on societal and consumer needs:
• Identify obstacles to reciprocity and encouraging a more balanced ICT R&D&I relationship with China based on reciprocity, supporting European nationals, companies and organisations willing to access Chinese research programmes;
• Highlight and showcase European and Chinese excellence in ICT R&D; and
• Strengthen EU-China industrial ICT R&D cooperation, also with the view of preparing the ground for new upcoming rules governing EU-China ICT R&D cooperation under Horizon 2020.
Next Activities and Actions
- China-Finland ICT Alliance new initiative meetings in Shanghai, Beijing and Wuhan, 7-17 April
- Cooperation meetings on Elderly Care Services and “Smart Home for elderly”, 3-9 May, Beijing
- China-Finland ICT Alliance new initiative meetings in Shanghai and Beijing, June
- ICT Alliance Research Forum on Intelligent Sensing and Services in Urban Environment for Traffic and Mobility (ISSUE-TM) during the 10th ITS European Congress, 16-19 June, Helsinki
- International Conference on Management Science and Engineering (21th) (ICMSE2014) in cooperation with eBEREA network, 17-18 August, Helsinki
- Finnish-Chinese Workshop on Analysis of Social Media, University of Tampere, 6-13 August, Tampere
- Pure Finland, “Coolest brands from Finland”, September, Beijing
- Shanghai Design Week, 13.-17.10.2014, Shanghai
- Radical Design Week, 16.-25.10.2014, Shanghai
- Pure Finland, “Destination Finland”, 23-25 October, Beijing
- Pure Finland, “Innovation Finland”, 25-27 November, Beijing
- Pure Finland, “Creative Finland”, December, Beijing
More Information on China-Finland ICT Alliance and Digile
For more information, please visit the China-Finland ICT Alliance website www.ictalliance.org, Digile website www.digile.fi and http://www.digile.fi/DIGILEintro or contact Dr. Matti Hämäläinen and Dr. Jani Kaarlejärvi (email@example.com).
A new EU-China cooperation project has been launched last January 2014 aiming to provide continuity and progress in supporting and strengthening China Collaboration on ICT research with Europe.
The CHOICE project is funded by the European Commission DG CONNECT through its 7th Framework Programme and comprises Chinese and European partners, involved in previous and on-going EU-China collaboration projects, that will ensure all the valuable outputs of previous projects will be fully exploited and that synergies with relevant projects will be developed.
During its two-year duration, the CHOICE project emphasis will be put on:
· Identifying obstacles to reciprocity and encouraging a more balanced relationship with China based on reciprocity, especially supporting European nationals, companies and organisations willing to access Chinese research programmes;
· Highlighting and showcasing both EU and Chinese excellence in ICT R&D;
· Strengthening EU-China industrial ICT R&D cooperation, also with the view of preparing the ground for new upcoming rules governing EU-China ICT R&D cooperation under Horizon 2020 (H2020).
Thanks to this approach, the CHOICE project will create a bridge towards H2020 and capitalize on the timely conjunction of H2020 shift away from technology driven towards innovation driven ICT R&D based on societal needs and consumer aspirations, with the Chinese Government’s firm commitment to growing domestic demand, thus emphasizing opportunities in China for the exploitation of H2020 and in particular its potential for contributing to increasing Chinese domestic demand.
Dear ICT Alliance partners,
Thank you for active work in 2013 and Happy New Year 2014 to you all!
We would like to inform that next Workshop for the Finnish ICT Alliance partners is suggested to be held on 11 February 2014 at DIGILE in Otaniemi.
There we aim at reviewing the progress since Shanghai kick-off event and spending substantial part of the time in discussing the ways of developing the ICT Alliance activities further so that they could better serve the needs of current and future partners – and also enable parties to actively contribute.
Please let us know by Friday 24.1 the expected participants from your projects.
Also, please advise us who will be the main contact points in your project .
These may be different than the original contacts in the Tekes application (as we already learned when preparing the September 2013 Shanghai Workshop).
Also, let us know if some people should be added to the list for your projects.
China-Finland ICT Alliance Finnish partners Workshop
Time: Tuesday 11 February 2014, 9:00 − 15:00
Location: DIGILE, Showroom,
Vaisalantie 6, 02130 Espoo (Falcon Business Park in Otaniemi), see: http://www.digile.fi/contact
When at reception call Matti (+358 40 758 0150) or Jani for picking up (+358 40 540 7896)
Participation: Representative(s) of the Phase II projects and Invited experts in New Initiatives.
1. Update on the China-Finland ICT Alliance
2. Projects update (max 10 min each)
by the project leads/representatives, summaries will be requested beforehand
3. Discussion on modes of cooperation, including Research Projects, Business Ecosystems and Research Forums, and other planned for 2014
4. Planning the events in 2014
Timing and content of Workshops and other events
5. Other issues
Year 2013 in retrospect:
Year 2013 was the beginning of a new phase (Phase II) of the China-Finland ICT Alliance.
Building on research cooperation in information and communication technology the ICT Alliance has continued to extend its activities in digital services in areas of joint interest. Aging society, urban mobility and traffic, and education – among other – are application areas that have become focal in cooperation and the activities are expected to expand during this year in addition to the future energy efficient networks, sensing and other technology topics.
The second half of 2013 reflects the evolution of the ICT Alliance, following the digitalization of almost all aspects of society, industries and our everyday life. In addition to the official kick-off of Phase II projects in September Workshop in Shanghai, quite a few events took place in the September – December time frame to promote ICT Alliance cooperation in business oriented R&D&I in ICT and digital services. Examples include joining the Pujiang Innovation Forum in Shanghai (the key innovation event in China organized by MOST with Finland as the Country of Honor in 2013) as well as joining the visits of Minister Risikko, Viitanen and Kiuru to highlight the ongoing cooperation and new opportunities in ICT and digital services in their respective areas (Health and Wellbeing, Communication and Housing, and Education). The invited participation of ICT Alliance as a Showcase in the OpenChina-ICT Final Conference on Strengthening Cooperation in ICT Research between Europe and China is an example of recognition that may help in positioning Finland as a potential “gateway” for China-EU R&D&I cooperation. In 2014 the work continues in the development of the ICT Alliance as an open “platform” for international cooperation.
Please, find attached the summary of the second half of 2013 ICT Alliance activities: “China -Finland ICT Alliance August – December 2013 Update” (you may distribute it freely to parties you expect to be interested in ICT Alliance and China-Finland cooperation). This newsletter format has proven to be useful in conveying information about the activities and we plan on publishing it on a monthly basis on the Website. We would also be happy to include sections that provide information about the events and progress in the projects more often than what is possible in the Workshops.
Preparing for year 2014
We may expect that 2014 will be an active year in the China-Finland cooperation. At the beginning of the year it is good time to review the progress that has taken place since our last joint Workshop in Shanghai, share information about future plans, prepare for the future events and discuss new opportunities. These may be, for example, involve new cooperation modes such as Business Ecosystems and Research Forums (an update on these will be given in the Workshop), as well as in extending the bilateral work to multilateral and wider international contexts, such as China-EU projects.
While there are several areas where the Chinese entities, including universities, research centers and companies, have indicated their interest in cooperating with Finland and Finnish partners, financing the R&D&I cooperation remains a challenge. This is particularly true when considering public funding for the university research but similar challenges appear also when companies are looking to get financing for initiating cooperation in new areas. In this situation it becomes even more important to be able to link complementary activities and resources as well as different modes of operation (e.g. cooperation in research projects, education and in business pilots).
The project based work may be considered as the “backbone” of the ICT Alliance and it is worthwhile to consider how the next projects can be built on current cooperation and results – and how new parties already working with China or interested in joining may be brought into play in the ares of joint interest. The difference in scale between China and Finland, including size of markets and the resources available, requires both focusing and pooling of resources that may come from other actors and projects in Finland as well as elsewhere (i.e. act as “gateway” or “hub”).
Feedback and ideas for events and activities:
We are working on a list of events that will be organized or co-organized by the ICT Alliance during 2014 both in Finland and in China and will share that in the coming weeks before the February workshop.
We would be happy to get your ideas and input on such initiatives and events in which China-Finland R&D&I cooperation in ICT and digital services could have role. This would allow us well in advance to contact the relevant Finnish and Chinese experts and entities who may contribute our activities – and also benefit from participation. Also, this would allow us to synchronize the Alliance with other Finland-China events.
We look forward to you your ideas and views for developing both the ICT Alliance, the ways of working and the work in the substance areas that you see relevant for the cooperation.
Looking forward to meeting you in Otaniemi, at DIGILE, on 11 February 2014.
China-Finland ICT Alliance November – December 2013 Update
ICT Alliance as a Showcase in the OpenChina-ICT Final Conference on Strengthening Cooperation in ICT Research between Europe and China
The conference gathered about 100 experts from industry, business and research both from China and Europe. Its first session was on EU-China collaboration perspectives, second session was on cooperation priorities in ICT among the two regions, and third session provided recommendations and suggestions for EU-China successful ICT research cooperation. Key discussion topics focused on:
- what will be the impact of Europe’s financial pressure on European funded international research?
- what Horizon 2020 will mean for Europe-China R&D&I cooperation?
- what are concrete perspectives for cooperation on ICT research under Horizon 2020?
- what way global grand challenges that both regional areas face can be tackled via joint R&D&I activities?
- should the European Commission have a stronger role in the coordination of bilateral cooperation activities of European Member States?
- should Chinese-European ICT research concentrate even more on actual industry needs and mutual market access of Chinese and European value chains?
ICT Alliance in the Horizon 2020 ICT Work Programme Kick-off Conference
- ICT work programme for 2014;
- Investing in key enabling technologies;
- ICT applied to social innovations;
- Women in ICT business;
- Open data and digital content;
- Smart home and smart living;
- Cloud computing; and
- Future Internet.
- Call 7: Advanced Cloud infrastructures and services;
- Call 8: Boosting public sector productivity and innovation through Cloud computing services;
- Call 13: Web entrepreneurship;
- Call 14: Advanced 5G network infrastructure for the future Internet;
- Call 15: Big data and open data innovation and take-up; and
- Call 16: Big data – research.
Horizon 2020 ICT Work Programme Kick-off conference proved to be highly relevant event for assessing the current status and the new initiatives of China-Finland ICT Alliance. The on-going ICT Alliance projects and the new initiatives match Horizon 2020 ICT Work Programme and the broader EU-China collaboration objectives well. Likewise, the OpenChina‐ICT recommendations of the six optional and complementary routes for future cooperation between Europe and China are taken into use in ICT Alliance as it carries out jointly defined cooperation in R&D projects that involve researcher and student exchanges and are industry-driven – involving also SMEs and innovative start-ups. It provides input both to bilateral and EU level dialogue and is involved in City level collaboration when addressing challenges facing urban societies. Some of the key thematic topics and forthcoming calls are highlighted below.
The key thematic topics discussed in the Kick-off conference are active in the ICT Alliance cooperation. Examples include Smart home and smart living; Cloud computing; and Future Internet. Open data is also gaining attention in particular at City levels for enabling citizen-driven and third party service innovation. Smart home and smart living topics have been on the agenda in ICT Alliance since 2012. For example, the “active life home” services have also been developed and jointly piloted for example in Beijing and Shanghai, and an ecosystem activity on elderly care and active life (ECAL) has been launched by DIGILE. Also, the work in preparing an open mobile and embedded ecosystem (OMECO) aiming at developing open software and open hardware platforms that would help linking “everyday sensing” and common consumer platforms to create highly scalable horizontal solutions has selected “Smart Home” as one of the first potential application areas. The “everyday life” data collection also plays an important role in these activities.
Calls in the ICT Work Programme 2014-2015 include areas where, in the ICT Alliance context, there is a track record of active joint work as well as newly launched projects between China and Finland and with other EU countries being linked. These projects relate among other things to:
- Call 7: Advanced Cloud infrastructures and services where current projects e.g. “Everyday Sensing” have activities.
- Call 8: Boosting public sector productivity and innovation through Cloud computing services, where a new initiative is being prepared, involving also ICT Alliance, for launching a large scale real-life experimentation environment for development of future public digital services across Europe that are well trusted by citizens as well as by public and private service providers and that enable service roaming.
- Call 14: Advanced 5G network infrastructure for Future Internet, opportunity for a joint proposal is being studied. A strong proposal and consortium can be built on the several years of joint research partnerships in ICT Alliance in wireless access and energy efficient networking projects since 2009. From the Chinese side active parties involve e.g. WiCo (the Coordinator of ICT Alliance China side), Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) and other key universities, with positive feedback also from the NSFC. The Finnish active research partners include VTT, University of Oulu, Aalto University, and Tampere University of Technology. A preparatory joint China-Finland/EU workshop has been proposed for Q1/2014 in Beijing with ICT Alliance involvement on Advanced 5G.
- Call 15: Big data and open data innovation and take-up; and
- Call 16: Big data – research, relate to ICT Alliance Phase II projects, like “Everyday Sensing”, “Sensing City Traffic”, and are focal areas in the enterprise cooperation discussions with entities like Z-Park / Zhongguancun Science Park. Open data plays particularly important role in the citizen and 3rd party driven innovation of public services as mentioned above. ICT Alliance is active in jointly identified services area with entities developing services for Cities like Beijing and Shanghai. New initiatives in real-time economy and novel financial services to boost innovation are in preparation phase in the ICT Alliance, and will be making extensive use of the big data approach. Likewise, in the various areas of everyday sensing and demand responsive (services for) cities these techniques will be developed further and employed.
ICT Alliance cooperation activities have been developed in areas such as open mobile and embedded software and hardware platforms and tools. The “City-on-Demand ” concept is being developed to introduce service architecture thinking that includes both design of the physical urban environment and the digital service environment for creation of demand driven service solutions. Examples include mobility in urban areas, configurable spaces and access flow, and other services enabling better resource sharing and sustainable solutions. Complementing the activities in specific technology and application areas the ICT Alliance has taken active role in developing R&D&I cooperation in the horizontal area of education and training. The work covers new technology enabled solutions and ”Education-as-a-Service” concept. These are being developed, among other, by launching EDUTECH ecosystem activity (prepared and coordinated by DIGILE) to support the Sino- Finnish Learning Factory cooperation launched in 2013 by Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture working in cooperation with the Chinese Ministry of Education, and with the key academic, public and industry entities in both countries. Following the open international approach of ICT Alliance the above areas are open for cooperation not only for Finnish and Chinese partners but also for involving the relevant and interested international partners in Europe – and elsewhere.
In summary, during 2013 China-Finland ICT Alliance has taken steps to become a recognised open platform for business-oriented R&D&I also including pre-market pilots and experiments. Simultaneously, important dialogues with actors more oriented towards basic research, such as the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), has developed to a level where potential areas for international bilateral and multiparty collaboration have been identified, and events such as workshops are planned for 2014.
In addition to research activities, ICT Alliance has been recognised for its potential role in contributing to the creation of new comprehensive solutions that go beyond specific technologies. This is now taking place in the preparation of so called “business ecosystems” as well as in cross-sector initiatives involving Finnish and Chinese parties. The creation of business ecosystems, like those coordinated in Finland by DIGILE, can be a viable approach for involving Finnish and Chinese companies and other entities as partners and/or business pilot owners for creating relevant solutions with adequate momentum and access to (piloting in) the market. The ecosystems are open for other interested and contributing international partners as in general in all ICT Alliance activities.
Horizon 2020 is a timely and prominent framework for supporting EU-China R&D&I cooperation and there is a strong interest from Chinese partners to launch joint projects although funding for Chinese partners is not at the moment provided by Horizon 2020. Chinese partners are positioned today also to take active role as key contributors reflecting China’s interest in open international R&D&I while simultaneously ensuring boosting its own innovation and design capabilities.
In December ICT Alliance was one of the key topics when the DIGILE management visited several EU Cabinets including Research, Innovation and Science, and the Digital Agenda. The China-Finland ICT Alliance, recognised in the OpenChina-ICT and other international cooperation forums, is ready to take an active role in helping to create some of the strong and high impact joint EU-China research proposals – for “Co-creating the Future”.
Visit of Ms. Pia Viitanen, Minister of Housing and Communications, to China in November
As the Finnish coordinator of ICT Alliance, Matti Hämäläinen participated some of Minister Viitanen’s business delegation meetings in Beijing and Shanghai, including meetings at Zhongguancun High-tech park, with whom China-Finland cooperation is in progress, Zhangjiang High-tech Park, with whom Golden Bridge and the City Espoo recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, and BesTV. Topics in joint discussions include Smart Home – Smart Life and potential role of Finland as a ”hub” for global digital businesses as the relevant infrastructure decisions and investments are now being made. As a result, these topics are now being jointly examined as potential initiatives in the ICT Alliance cooperation context. In addition, the possibility of developing a ”virtual science park” by Finnish and Chinese innovation system actors was suggested (by Reijo Paajanen, DIGILE) and is to be investigated at the moment.
Visit of Ms. Krista Kiuru, Minister of Education and Science, to China in November
4th Sino-Finnish eBusiness Education and Research & Collaborative Innovation Forum 6-7 November 2013, Haikou, Hainan
In December 2013, the network covers many of the prominent services and e-business research institutions in China, and it also has active cooperation via its expert network with other key partners such as Tsinghua University and Tongji University. As Hainan is a nationally recognised tourism industry region in China a special summit during the Forum was organised by Hainan Normal University involving local industry on ubiquitous services and e-tourism. For example, a Sino- Finnish project is under planning for 2014 for developing cruise ship related technologies and services. The e-tourism area is also seen as a potential area of wider EU-cooperation, in particular as the European eBEREA partners include Italy (Trento) and the Netherlands (TU Delft). This preparation is, at the Finnish side, driven by University of Turku and Åbo Akademi.
More Information on China-Finland ICT Alliance and DIGILE
For more information, please visit the China-Finland ICT Alliance website www.ictalliance.org, DIGILE website www.digile.fi or contact Mr. Matti Hämäläinen and Mr. Jani Kaarlejärvi (firstname.lastname(at)digile.fi).
Zhongguancun Science Park is one of the most intensive R&D&I foundations in China. To boost cooperation with Finnish companies, it invited 30 most innovative companies from its community to join the forum on Finland-China business and R&D&I cooperation on 30 October 2013 in Beijing. The key objective was to identify and discuss partnership between Finnish companies and Zhongguancun Science Park in the field of ICT and digital solutions and applications. The forum was chaired by Mr. Zeng Xiaotao, Managing Director, International Operations, Administrative Committee of Zhongguancun Science Park, and hosted by Mr. Yang Nan, Vice General Manager, Beijing Zhongguancun Software Park Development Co., Ltd. Mr. Jani Kaarlejärvi and Mr. Matti Hämäläinen presented current and future business activities and joint business initiatives of DIGILE and China-Finland ICT Alliance with the special focus on how joint R&D&I projects create business value for SMEs and which way it is possible to fasten processes from R&D to market entry for new solutions, products and services.
Following joint R&D&I interest areas were identified:
- e-banking and e-commerce;
- data analytics;
- 5G technology;
- cloud security ; and
- future media technologies and platforms.
Companies that participated in the Enterprise Forum included, for example:
- Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE: QIHU) is a leading Chinese supplier of Internet products and services and mobile safety;
- iSoftStone (NYSE: ISS) is a leading China-based IT services provider, serving both Greater China and Global clients.
- UFIDA Software Co Ltd is the largest local management software provider in China and the Asia-Pacific region;
- Beyondsoft Corporation offers end-to-end development and testing cloud computing solution and in 2013 was awarded “TOP 50 Service Outsourcing Players in China”;
- Senscape Technologies is China’s first mobile augmented reality platform dedicated to developing high-tech company, augmented reality technology is the intelligence and wisdom of the city’s major tourist supporting technology;
- Beijing GEO Technologies develops big data technologies to apply in the advertising industry, and its patent DataQuateTM technology platform processes 4TB real time internet audience profile data/day, coming from operator broadband and internet, and has managed advertising resources for blue chip clients including Citi-Bank, Pepsi, Peugeot, Johnson and Johnson, Suning.com etc.;
- Anplat Co., Ltd. Is an industry-focused BI (Business Intelligence) standardized software solutions company;
- Kingsoft Corporation Limited, as one of best-known software companies, is a leading software developer and Internet service provider in China, and on October 9th, 2007, Kingsoft was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;
- ChinaCache (NASDAQ: CCIH) is one of the world’s leading providers of content delivery network and cloud services; and
- Beijing Venus Information Security Technology Co., Ltd, listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, has a perfect professional security product line. In the government and the army it has 80% market share of the world’s five hundred 60% of Chinese enterprises to provide safe products and services; in the financial sector, it has on policy banks, state-owned commercial banks, national joint-stock commercial banks to achieve 90% coverage. In the field of telecommunications, it offer the three operators, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, security products, security services and solutions.
For more information, please see our October 2013 Update www.ictalliance.org.
Minister of Communications Ms. Pia Viitanen visits China
Minister of Communications Ms. Pia Viitanen visits China on 10-17 November 2013 with a business delegation in which Mr. Reijo Paajanen, CEO, DIGILE Ltd., also participates.
The themes of the visit cover areas that are of joint interest for both Finland and China. These include, among others, smart cities and sustainable urban design as well as telecommunication, digital broadcast, digital services and business as enabled by the Internet and new technologies.
Working together with Team Finland, and Finpro in particular, China-Finland ICT Alliance coordinated by DIGILE (Dr. Matti Hämäläinen) and Shanghai Research Center for Wireless Communications WiCo (Dr. Yang Yang) has planned a Business Networking Event titled “Co-creating Future Digital Business: Communication and Media Focus” for the delegation in Shanghai on 13 November.
The aim is to share few concise “snapshots” on recent business and R&D&I developments in Finland and China highlighting some key areas represented by the delegation members. Following Minister Viitanen’s opening remarks, Ms. Sirpa Ojala, CEO, Digita Networks Ltd., Head of the Business Delegation, and Mr. Reijo Paajanen will present the views from Finland. Mr. Andy Huang, VP, BesTV of SMG and a long term partner Mr. Simon Wang, VP, NERC-DTV will present updated views from China, before moving to a networking session where both business opportunities as well as joint research opportunities in the China-Finland ICT Alliance framework will be discussed.
The one week visit to China will also include several meetings on ICT, R&D&I cooperation and SME engagement that are expected to have a positive impact on the development of China-Finland ICT and digital services cooperation and also to open up new international cooperation opportunities.
China-Finland ICT Alliance Official Phase II Kick-off Forum, Shanghai
The China-Finland ICT Alliance Week gathered Finnish and Chinese partners representing recently completed, new projects and selected future initiatives. It also acted as a forum for several different business meetings and workshop sessions including cooperation in areas such as cloud services, big data applications, traffic services, geoservices and navigation, environmental monitoring technologies and solutions,elderly care and assisted living.
China-Finland ICT Alliance had its official Phase II kick-off forum in Shanghai on 24-26 September 2013. The main objective of the forum was to further develop new ways of international R&D&I cooperation, in particular between China and Finland. One of the key objectives was also to prepare new Finland-China initiatives in the jointly defined areas,such as digital services, aging care, urbanisation, smart traffic, environmental sensing and monitoring, and education, and other areas.
In the opening words the two official ICT Alliance coordinators, Prof. Honglin Hu of WICO and Prof. Matti Hämäläinen of DIGILE, highlighted the results of the completed work in future networking, future wireless, and future services that exceeded the initial expectations and built a good basis for moving forward in the launched Phase II projects. The work now continues in areas of joint interest, including energy efficient networking, development of future digital services based on cloud computing, big data, in particular when linked with sensing and novel IoT solutions, and applications in intelligent cities, environment, ageing society among other. The China-Finland ICT Alliance has now been developed to a potential model for creating an open international R&D&I cooperation platform for all.
Dr. Xing Jijun, Deputy Director General of China Science and Technology Exchange Center (CSTEC) from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the ICT Alliance set a new target to develop the Alliance actively towards international cooperation. R&D&I cooperation would benefit from even broader international partnerships. The Alliance platform has been played an important role in strengthening relationships between China and Finland, and this has become a very good showcase of a bilateral, win-win cooperation.
Ms. Marja Aspelund, Consul General of Finland in Shanghai, highlighted that China-Finland ICT Alliance has very well met its objectives in stimulating cooperation between China and Finland. This kind of cooperation is exactly what is needed. Through the launch of phase II projects the initial scope has extended and expectations are even higher. There is still a substantial unleashed potential in this cooperation, and students and university campuses represent a unique environment for creating and testing new solutions. This aspect is included the ICT Alliance’s next phase activities. Together China and Finland are well positioned for co-creating new innovative solutions and global breakthroughs, and Finland can also act as a “gateway” linking the EU and other international partners and markets together.
Mr. Jarmo E. Heinonen, Consul of Science and Technology & Head of TEKES Shanghai, reminded that TEKES has been active in funding China-focused R&D&I projects since the 1980s, and China will continue to be one of the key focus areas for TEKES. Through R&D&I cooperation it is possible to open up new business opportunities for both partners. TEKES played an important role in setting up the China-Finland ICT Alliance in 2009, and now in 2013 TEKES funded new joint ICT Alliance projects with more than M2€. Expectations on the industrial and academic impact of the Phase II projects are high.
Dr. Fusheng Zhu, Chief Engineer of ZTE Corporation, pointed out in his industrial keynote speech that 5G is one of the key topics when discussing R&D in future networks. China has taken a very active position towards developing and testing 5G. Development of 5G is such a potential area that it should be also put on the China-Finland-EU agenda.
Prof. Sasu Tarkoma, Academic Coordinator of DIGILE’s Internet of Things programme & University of Helsinki, presented DIGILE’s IoT programme and how it promotes the creation and growth of ecosystems that involve companies, universities, and individual contributors. It develops IoT platform technology, an IoT hub, for the concrete and rapid realisation of IoT deployments and ecosystems. An IoT hub is a backend system developed for certain type of IoT devices. The hub controls the devices and stores the data that they produce solving the problem of device and data ownership. Anyone can setup an IoT hub and thus their size can vary from small to very large deployments. The programme also develops an open API for IoT hubs so that data and access to sensors can be provided to third-party applications and other hub instances.
ICT Alliance New Initiatives and Partner Meetings Day was arranged to provide an opportunity to openly discuss, present and plan new initiatives in areas of joint interests and to meet with interested researchers and teams as well as companies.The day also provided an opportunity to become familiar with the Sino-Finnish Centre (SFC) in Shanghai, established for joint research, design, innovation, education and industry – university collaboration. It can also act as one local “platform” and forum for ICT Alliance activities in China.Many new initiatives were identified to be taken forward under the China-Finland ICT Alliance:
- 5G and new opportunities in Future Networks
- IoT Hubs connecting IoT deployments across space and time for opportunities in experimental research, innovation and business
- New open mobile and embedded platforms – open sw, open hw and open design
- Intelligent spaces (e.g. smart home, smart living, assisted living and solutions for elderly)
- Intelligent traffic and mobility of people in urban environments
- Geoservices and navigation
- Big Data and Cloud Services in China-Finland/EU cooperation
- Green Campus – monitoring of energy use, environment (e.g. air quality) and user behaviour.
As a result of the New Initiatives meeting in Shanghai, followed by meetings in Beijing at the end of the ICT Alliance Workshop Week, active thematic groups of Chinese and Finnish partners were formed to work on the development of joint R&D&I activities in the above topics.
These range from linking the now funded Phase II projects to new pilots in China and Finland (e.g. in traffic and services for mobility in urban areas, monitoring on energy and environment), to extend current and new Business Ecosystem programmes to involve Chinese pilots and R&D partners, and to prepare for large scale Finland/Nordic/EU – China proposals in cooperation with MOST and in cooperation with NSFC as well as working with MIIT in large scale new digital services area.
The Business Ecosystem programmes being currently prepared in the China-Finland ICT Alliance context include Elderly Care and Active Life (ECAL) and Open Mobile and Embedded Ecosystem (OMECO) coordinated by DIGILE in Finland. The large scale initiatives are planned to involve key EU partners and Finland as “a hub” and some to be established with China-Nordic cooperation as a starting point.
In the discussion it was also noted that for example Sweden and Germany and others have China-focused funding instruments set up and they have been successful in boosting cooperation. It was proposed that also Finland should have a foundation, “Finland-China Foundation”, that would focus especially on supporting and further developing Finland-China R&D cooperation.New initiatives and ecosystem programs DIGILE as the China-Finland ICT Alliance coordinator from the Finnish side, together with industrial and academic partners in China and in Finland, has jointly identified a number of areas as a basis for development of new initiatives, new research projects as well as the launch of business oriented ecosystem programmes to drive the creation of new breakthrough areas together.As an example, services for ageing society, including elderly care wellbeing and health, has been set as one of the priority areas for coming years. Population aging hits many Western and international societies and new health and aging related initiatives are currently being planned. DIGILE’s “Elderly Care and Active Life Ecosystem” (ECAL) will be the first Finnish international cross-SHOK ecosystem. It focuses on boosting business development between Finnish and Chinese companies, and it involves about ten actors at the initial stage – more to follow later. The fundamental objective is to take social innovations to market through co-creation and co-development.In the field of elderly care and wellbeing, it was recognised that following topics would require more actions. These same elements will also be highly relevant in other key areas of cooperation, such as urbanisation and environmental solutions:
- understanding Chinese culture, traditions, and expectations;
- involving training, regulation development and new business approaches and models leveraging the vast business opportunities;
- linking public, private and consumer perspectives, linking bottom-up and top-down activities;
- cities as key actors and decision-makers;
- stronger business cooperation; and
- bilateral funding instruments, aiming at developing solutions to jointly addressing the global markets
Other new initiatives include preparation of Open Mobile and Embedded Ecosystem in Finland-China cooperation. A workshop was organised at BUPT in Beijing on Open SW, Open HW and Open Innovation Platforms. Closely related to this “open innovation platforms” work is the development of new educational approaches involving university-industry cooperation in innovation and entrepreneurship and the development of scalable “Challenge” based approaches for that. A Letter on Collaboration was signed between China-Finland ICT Alliance / DIGILE and BUPT to promote cooperation in open SW and open SW and open design and to initiate discussions for inviting university and industry partners to join the OMECO Ecosystem as a key research and piloting partners in China.
A number of other areas are also actively developed as new joint initiatives and business-oriented R&D&I and business pilots. The Company Meeting involved discussions on cloud and big data service cooperation development in China and in Finland with companies such as Cloud Valley, Shanghai Guofuguangqi Cloud Computing as well as on geoservices with Wuhan based Geostar (WudaGeo).
More Information on China-Finland ICT Alliance and DIGILE
For more information, please visit the China-Finland ICT Alliance official website www.ictalliance.org, DIGILE website www.digile.fi or contact Dr. Matti Hämäläinen and Dr. Jani Kaarlejärvi (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.
Sensing City Traffic
Ubiquitous and proactive value creation
Joint Research Project
Aalto University BIT (Business Innovation Technology) Research Centre and
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Guangzhou Municipality, Helsinki University, Moduco, Ajeco, Accenture and Nokia
This joint research project is a part of the vital and safe living environment research theme area and has a specific focus on smart transportation systems. The project aims, in general, to deepen the research collaboration between China and Finland and, more specifically, to (1) help Finnish and Chinese SMEs and large corporations like Nokia to build capabilities for capitalizing on smart transportation systems in China and (2) contribute to an improved understanding of smart transportation systems and their applications in Finland and the European Union.
UrbanTech China Conference in Beijing (http://www.urbantecchina.com/) is the country’s only integrated trading platform featuring key industry sectors for the sustainable development of cities.
On 28-30 May, it focused this year on the utilisation of information technology on urban development, sustainability, smart city and intelligent transportation.
In the conference Jani Kaarlejärvi gave a speech on “an ecosystem approach for international R&D&I cooperation in digital services in the industry and public sectors – Case: China-Finland ICT Alliance” in a session with company representatives e.g. from Z-Park, Samsung, LG, France Telecom and NEC.
This year the conference had exhibitors of 62 companies, 43 exhibitors or 71% of which are from overseas, doubling the number last year. In addition, the two-day conference received more than 800 delegates from 300 organisations or companies, representing more than 60 cities domestic and international cities.
China – Finland ICT Alliance – a Strategic Partnership for the Future
H.E Ambassador, Mr. Huang Xing
20 May 2012/5/21
China and Finland enjoy a long history of fruitful cooperation in the field of science and technology, among which information and communication technologies (ICT) has been one of the most potential and successful areas at the national level in the past years. To further strengthen and deepen bilateral cooperation in the ICT field, China-Finland ICT Alliance was established in 2009. Its main objective is to facilitate R&D&I cooperation between our two countries in ICT and intelligent digital services. Joint ICT Alliance work was initiated in three areas of common interest: Future Wireless (Connection), Future Wireless Networking and Core Network, and Future (Ubiquitous) Services. These projects have already yielded substantial results, such as joint publications, patents and standardization proposals, and various activities, such as joint workshops and researcher exchange programs.
In the year of 2012, it is time to look forward again at the future and launch the next phase of ICT cooperation. The China-Finland ICT Alliance is now well positioned to serve as an open, scalable and sustainable platform for bilateral cooperation in ICT and digital services. By acting as a “gateway” in selected R&D&I areas, China-Finland ICT Alliance could also play a major role in facilitating China-EU and even worldwide cooperation in this field.
To highlight the “gateway” position, the 3rd European Summit on Future Internet, organized by TIVIT, the Finnish coordinator of the ICT Alliance, has a special focus on EU – China ICT cooperation. The close R&D&I link between China, Finland and the EU is essential for the future of both sides.
Finally, I would like to wish China-Finland ICT Alliance greater success and more tangible achievements in the future.
eBEREA is a joint exchange programme dedicated to advance research and higher education in the fields of electronic business in EU and China.
The programme aims at advocating a prospering eSociety by means of researching electronic business, more specifically business modelling and design; related financial services for consumers and citizens; and the institutional arrangements such as regulation and trust enhancing mechanisms.
In China, the importance of electronic business is continuously increasing. With the rapid development, it is also facing challenges and emergent issues in codes of conduct, financing as well as legislation. Therefore eBusiness researchers in China are keen to exchange knowledge with their colleagues in Europe.
For Europe, the research collaboration with China provides a new opportunity to study eBusiness of high volumes and high growth rates: the largest and busiest eBusiness sites in the world are Chinese. The decisions made by Chinese authorities and economic players are of global importance and crucial to the development of global eBusiness environment.
Our objective in the eBEREA consortium is to build sustainable networks of researchers for the exchange of information between and among Chinese and European Universities for the prosperity of fair eBusiness, eCommerce and eServices for the good of the societies.
To achieve this we at eBEREA
- exchange faculty i.e. teachers and researchers
- exchange and provide facilities for post docs and Ph.D. students for high quality relevant research in joint research projects
- implement exchange programs for Master and Bachelor student on mutual exchange agreements
- network with other universities, companies, authorities, and customer communities.