Finnish companies offer intelligent transport solutions for the future - Team Finland trade mission created connections to Italian market

Thirteen Finnish companies had the opportunity to get to know the industrial centers of northern Italy in Turin and Milan during Team Finland's trade mission trip in May. The trip was organized parallelly with the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ville Skinnari’s, visit to Italy.

The companies that participated in the mission are Finnish experts in the fields of green transition and intelligent transportation, as well as in the digital sector, including 5G / 6G technologies and cyber security. Northern Italy, on the other hand, is known for its automotive industry, and the mission gave Finnish companies the opportunity to present their know-how to important European companies.

 “We had noticed that investments of tens of billions of euros are underway in Italy related to the electrification of transportation and the use of artificial intelligence in mobility. We wanted to meet this demand by inviting companies that were experts in these fields. The process of internationalization of these companies was also at the stage where they were potentially ready to enter the Italian market. In northern Italy, and especially in Turin, there is a strong interest in investing in solutions of intelligent transportation and digitalization both on the private and public sector,” says Hanna Laurén, a Senior Specialist in Foreign Trade at the Finnish Embassy in Rome.

During the trade mission, the companies met key automotive industry operators as well as local administration and relevant sectoral organisations in northern Italy.

High-level contacts were born

Representatives of the companies who took part in the mission tell that important contacts were made during the visit.

“Our understanding of the field of intelligent transportation improved and became more precise. Now we know the needs of potential customers and public administration in Italy,” says Account Director Mikko Varjos from Solita.

"We got high-level contacts from the Italian market, and this is what we were looking for," says Tero Sarkkinen, founder and CEO of Basemark.

During the visit, Finnish companies had the opportunity to present their own solutions to Italian partners.

"The goal of our automotive offering is to enable safe and efficient driving in the future. We offer environmental data and insights  for different weather and driving conditions," says the Head of Automotive Petri Marjava from Vaisala.

 According to the experts, in the future the assisted and autonomous driving will require new safety solutions.

“Vaisala has experience in developing sensors, measurement equipment and data services, for example. With our road weather modeling, it is possible to predict changes on the road surface during the journey - not only bad weather, but also poor visibility, such as fog.  As such, our services are necessary also in Italy, where poor visibility can also cause problems and, in the north, snow and ice can hinder traffic. When we better understand road conditions, it is also possible to mitigate congestion and travel delays. This allows not only safe and efficient driving, but saves time and money”, Marjava tells.

Road weather modeling will be also very helpful for enabling assisted and autonomous driving. Modeling can help vehicle driving with an autopilot which route is the fastest, most efficient and safest, and whether it is possible for system to drive to the end of the route or whether the human driver needs to grab the wheel.

Photo: Vaisala Oyj

The car business is moving into software business

Solita's solutions are also related to the intelligent transportation of the future: the company is ready to provide data analytics services and artificial intelligence solutions to the Italian market.

 “We already have strong experience of these sectors in the Nordic countries. Our expertise is the understanding and utilization of data, i.e. information related to different types of traffic infrastructure and traffic situations and services. We collect different data together and offer it as open data. This way, we can improve the understanding of the traffic situations,” says Mikko Varjos.

Basemark already has customers in Italy. The company manufactures software systems for cars, and car manufacturers and suppliers are potential customers of Basemark.

“There are not so many licensed software system solutions for cars like ours. The car business is moving into the software business - previously 80 per cent of the value of the car was sheet metal and rubber, while soon the share of software will be over 50 per cent. Our intelligent software systems enable, among other things, autonomously driving cars and computer-assisted driving,” says Tero Sarkkinen.

Photo: Basemark Oy

Carsharing hygienically

Nanoksi Finland Oy has developed nanocoating solutions that make the cars and shared transportation vehicles of the future more hygienic.  The light-activated Fotonit® photocatalytic coating destroys pathogenic viruses, bacteria, yeasts and moulds from surfaces, and the surfaces remain hygienic without strong chemicals.

“The technology that we have developed is especially relevant in a world where we have seen a pandemic such as Coronavirus. Transportation sharing system is a growing trend, and our coating can be used to ensure hygiene in vehicles with many users,” says Katja Boutou from Nanoksi Finland Oy's International Sales and Marketing.

Kuva: Nanoksi Finland Oy

In addition to Basemark, Solita, Vaisala, and Nanoksi Finland Oy, nine companies participated in the trade mission: Aalto University, Akkurate, Elisa IndustrIQ, Fortum, JOT Automation, Stora Enso, TactoTEK, Ultra Design & Strategy and WithSecure.