Information about science based innovations, solid facts to support decision-making, performance and business development for VTT’s partners, customers and anyone interested in high technology and its applications.
A magazine on science, technology and business

​​​A priority for us is making the right investments at the right time, says Research Director, Colonel Jyri Kosola (right) of the Finnish Defence Forces. On the left is Research Director, Colonel Olli Klemola of the Finnish Defence Research Agency.

Defence Forces seek a head start

Paula Bergqvist | 24.5.2017

​VTT was founded 75 years ago to support Finland’s war effort. What will the role of research be in the Defence Forces in the 21st century? 

Research is important to the Finnish Defence Forces in a number of ways, since 30-40 year investments are concerned.

– We use research to forecast the future and direct investments towards the right targets. A priority for us is making the right investments at the right time, says Research Director, Colonel Jyri Kosola of the Finnish Defence Forces.

– Another aim is to build system capabilities correctly, so that we can manage development-
related risks. Thirdly, we need to prepare for a rainy day, in the form of a bio-threat or system jamming, for example. We need to understand how to get the most out of our systems and become familiar with their vulnerabilities and weaknesses. 

More accurate purchases

– We also need to be able to procure. Investments can take years to prepare. We need 
to know how systems actually behave, since we cannot decide on the basis of sales pitches, comments Research Director, Colonel Olli Klemola of the Finnish Defence Research Agency.

– Procurements involve issues which product manufacturers do not necessarily understand, continues Kosola, referring to a confrontation where the enemy tries to wrong foot the Defence Forces via its systems. 

– We want to do some research, such as encryption algorithms, ourselves. In addition, electronic warfare involves issues which states are reluctant to sell to others; you have to do these yourself too, says Kosola. 

Kosola says that Finland wants to be at the forefront of areas such as ultra-precise radar sensor technology.

– Foreign defence companies are not familiar with Finland’s conditions and operating environment, and therefore research is needed. For example, a tank camouflage net needs to blend in with the Finnish environment, for which reason we need to understand all natural background signatures, says Klemola.

The Defence Forces restructured their research organisation in 2014. Their largest single unit is the Defence Forces Research Agency, which has sub-units in Ylöjärvi, Riihimäki and Tuusula. 

There are around 200 staff, a quarter of whom are soldiers, while the rest are civilian personnel. In addition, each of the three branches of the Defence Forces – the army, navy and air force – has its own research unit. Military sciences research is centralised in the National Defence University. 

Research related to technology, warfare and people was combined during the restructuring. The key idea was to examine warfare as a whole. 

– The Defence Forces can now examine performance-related issues holistically and seek cost-effective solutions. In practice, this could mean that training and a change of tactics are needed, rather than new technology on every occasion, says Klemola. 

– We are strongly networked with society: the scientific community, research institutes and industry. This is where we differ markedly from Sweden, for example, where the FOI research institute does many of the things which VTT does for us, Kosola explains.

– VTT is our key research partner. Our current partnership and framework agreement has been in place since 2009. We intend to deepen it so that projects can get under way based on more agile processes in ‘home-order’ style.

VTT_Paaesikunta_E8R8416.jpgCooperation with VTT was given a boost this year when the tasks and composition of the Defence Forces’ Technology Board were adjusted to better meet the needs of the Defence Forces.

Three hulls for the price of two

Research improves the cost-effectiveness of operations. 

– By using VTT’s simulation model, we have succeeded in lowering purchase prices. A major benefit is gained when we receive three ship hulls for the price of two for use by the navy, says Kosola. 

From the perspective of the Finnish Defence Forces, VTT’s key expertise lies in knowledge of society’s resilience, enhancing and taking account of human capabilities, and various technologies, particularly cyber, radio frequency, communications and materials technologies.

– Around 75 years ago, cooperation began with the development of our national radar expertise and serving basic public needs. This has expanded hugely over the decades. Radar is still a key area of research. In 2014, the Defence Forces disengaged from certain research tasks. For these, we now rely on the expertise of our partners when necessary, says Kosola.

– We have a number of projects under way with VTT, such as the technical measurement of wear and damage to the canopy and perspex on fighters. The list is long and includes a very large number of different types of solutions.

Research cooperation becoming international

In addition to VTT, the Finnish Defence Forces’ research partners include Aalto University, Tampere University of Technology, the University of Oulu, Lappeenranta University of Technology and the University of Turku. The Defence Forces are also involved in European research networks within the ERA (European Research Area). 

– NATO’s Science and Technology Organization, the STO, recently became fully open to Finland. Through the Enhanced Opportunities Partnership (EOP), interesting research activities are now opening up for Finland. Also our research partners can deepen their cooperation through their new status. Says Klemola.

– It’s been great to work alongside VTT’s professional and inspiring employees. Their expertise and enthusiasm shows in the quality of their research, states Kosola. 

He is also delighted with the confidential collaboration arising from long-term research projects. 

– We can openly discuss problems together.

This cooperation was given a boost this year when the tasks and composition of the Defence Forces’ Technology Board were adjusted to better meet the needs of the Defence Forces. Key organisations are now involved in discussing strategic research and technology policies: membership includes representatives of the defence sector via the Association of Finnish Defence and Aerospace Industries (PIA), in addition to the Finnish Defence Forces, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. VTT is the only company to represent itself directly, with President & CEO Antti Vasara serving as a member of the Council. 

– It has taken years of trust to get our collaboration to this stage, says Kosola. ​


Photos: Miika Kainu


 

 

Impulsehttp://www.vttresearch.com/ImpulseImpulse
Impulse 1/2017http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-1-2017.aspxImpulse 1/2017
A birthday gift from us to ourselveshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-birthday-gift-from-us-to-ourselves.aspxA birthday gift from us to ourselves
A future without wastewater?http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-future-without-wastewater.aspxA future without wastewater?
A machine is more humanehttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-machine-is-more-humane.aspxA machine is more humane
At the digital forefront of mininghttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/At-the-digital-forefront-of-mining.aspxAt the digital forefront of mining
Cell screening leads to new cancer treatmentshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Cell-screening-leads-to-new-cancer-treatments.aspxCell screening leads to new cancer treatments
From ideas to major innovationshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/From-drawing-board-to-major-innovation.aspxFrom ideas to major innovations
Health benefits and efficiency without sacrificing food qualityhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Health-benefits-and-efficiency-without-sacrificing-food-quality.aspxHealth benefits and efficiency without sacrificing food quality
VTT Impulsehttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/MainPage.aspxVTT Impulse
What's going on in Australia?http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Whats-going-on-in-Australia.aspxWhat's going on in Australia?
An export product tougher than nailshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/An-export-product-tougher-than-nails.aspxAn export product tougher than nails
Impulse 2/2014http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-2-2014.aspxImpulse 2/2014
Impulse 1/2016http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-1-2016.aspxImpulse 1/2016
Impulse 2/2016http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-2-2016.aspxImpulse 2/2016
Impulse 1/2015http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-1-2015.aspxImpulse 1/2015
Impulse 2/2015http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-2-2015.aspxImpulse 2/2015
Impulse 1/2014http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-1-2014.aspxImpulse 1/2014
How to become a leading country in flexible energy production systemshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/How-to-become-a-leading-country-in-flexible-energy-production-systems.aspxHow to become a leading country in flexible energy production systems
Brazil paves the way for bioenergyhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Brazil-paves-the-way-for-bioenergy.aspxBrazil paves the way for bioenergy
By measuring you can improvehttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/By-measuring-you-can-improve.aspxBy measuring you can improve
Let's make bioeconomy a realityhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Lets-make-bioeconomy-a-reality.aspxLet's make bioeconomy a reality
Before information gets lost in numbershttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Before-information-gets-lost-in-numbers.aspxBefore information gets lost in numbers
Cleaner city traffic with wood-based dieselhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Cleaner-city-traffic-with-wood-based-diesel.aspxCleaner city traffic with wood-based diesel
Tracking peoplehttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Tracking-people.aspxTracking people
It is the duty of entrepreneurs to seek growthhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/It-is-the-duty-of-entrepreneurs-to-seek-growth.aspxIt is the duty of entrepreneurs to seek growth
Why do so many women feel chilly indoorshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Why-do-so-many-women-feel-chilly-indoors.aspxWhy do so many women feel chilly indoors
Digital ecosystems are emerginghttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Digital-ecosystems-are-emerging.aspxDigital ecosystems are emerging
Sensor of tomorrowhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Sensor-of-tomorrow.aspxSensor of tomorrow
The future 5G network proceeds to test phase in Ouluhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-future-5G-network-proceeds-to-test-phase-in-Oulu.aspxThe future 5G network proceeds to test phase in Oulu
Jaakko Eskola: ”The ability to reinvent yourself is vital to success.”http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/”The-ability-to-reinvent-yourself-is-vital-to-success”.aspxJaakko Eskola: ”The ability to reinvent yourself is vital to success.”
Modelling and simulation facilitateshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Modelling-and-simulation-facilitates.aspxModelling and simulation facilitates
World in 2030 - answers to tomorrow’s questionshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/World-in-2030-answers-to-tomorrows-questions.aspxWorld in 2030 - answers to tomorrow’s questions
We must maintain Finland as an attractive target for investmenthttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/We-must-maintain-Finland-as-an-attractive-target-for-investment.aspxWe must maintain Finland as an attractive target for investment
All sights on generationhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/All-sights-on-generation.aspxAll sights on generation
Demand for energy storage is growing rapidlyhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Demand-for-energy-storage-is-growing-rapidly.aspxDemand for energy storage is growing rapidly
Using personal know-how to promote the common goodhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Using-personal-know-how-to-promote-the-common-good.aspxUsing personal know-how to promote the common good
Business angel speaks out: Growth from the international arenahttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Business-angel-speaks-out-Growth-from-the-international-arena.aspxBusiness angel speaks out: Growth from the international arena
Robotics – technology with multi-faceted potentialhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Robotics-technology-with-multi-faceted-potential.aspxRobotics – technology with multi-faceted potential
Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn: Renewal of economy will bring new growthhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Renewal-of-economy-will-bring-new-growth.aspxMinister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn: Renewal of economy will bring new growth
Risk management in an increasingly complex worldhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Risk-management-in-an-increasingly-complex-world.aspxRisk management in an increasingly complex world
Are environmental claims believable?http://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Are-environmental-claims-believable.aspxAre environmental claims believable?
The perfect pilot environment for Arctic solutionshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-perfect-pilot-environment-for-Arctic-solutions.aspxThe perfect pilot environment for Arctic solutions
International entrepreneurship does not happen overnight it needs to be nurturedhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/International-entrepreneurship-does-not-happen-overnight-it-needs-to-be-nurtured.aspxInternational entrepreneurship does not happen overnight it needs to be nurtured
Clearing the way for new materials with ChemSheet technologyhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Clearing-the-way-for-new-materials-with-ChemSheet-technology.aspxClearing the way for new materials with ChemSheet technology
We cannot afford not to have robotshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/We-cannot-afford-not-to-have-robots.aspxWe cannot afford not to have robots
Intelligent transport – a trump card for Finnish exportshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Intelligent-transport-a-trump-card-for-Finnish-exports.aspxIntelligent transport – a trump card for Finnish exports
Pilot plants forge innovative ideas into business activitieshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Pilot-plants-forge-innovative-ideas-into-business-activities.aspxPilot plants forge innovative ideas into business activities
More than siliconhttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/More-than-just-Silicon.aspxMore than silicon
Sustainability and acceptability for mining operationshttp://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Sustainability-and-acceptability-for-mining-operations.aspxSustainability and acceptability for mining operations

CONTACT US

P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT, Finland
Tel. exchange +358 20 722 111
Opening hours Mon - Fri 8:00 - 16:30,
UTC +2 time zone

CUSTOMER SERVICE

info@vtt.fi
Tel. +358 20 722 7070
Opening hours Mon - Fri 9:00 - 11:00 and 12:00 - 15:00,
UTC +2 time zone