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


 

 

VTT Impulsehttps://www.vttresearch.com/ImpulseVTT Impulse
A birthday gift from us to ourselveshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-birthday-gift-from-us-to-ourselves.aspxA birthday gift from us to ourselves
Are environmental claims believable?https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Are-environmental-claims-believable.aspxAre environmental claims believable?
Matti Apunen: At the core of the solutionhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/At-the-core-of-the-solution.aspxMatti Apunen: At the core of the solution
At the digital forefront of mininghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/At-the-digital-forefront-of-mining.aspxAt the digital forefront of mining
Automation gives packages wingshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Automation-gives-packages-wings.aspxAutomation gives packages wings
Cell screening leads to new cancer treatmentshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Cell-screening-leads-to-new-cancer-treatments.aspxCell screening leads to new cancer treatments
Challenges conceal opportunitieshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Challenges-conceal-opportunities.aspxChallenges conceal opportunities
Comfy but energy efficient homeshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Comfy-but-energy-efficient-homes.aspxComfy but energy efficient homes
Finland on its way towards low-carbon year 2050https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finland-on-its-way-towards-low-carbon-year-2050.aspxFinland on its way towards low-carbon year 2050
VTT Impulsehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/MainPage.aspxVTT Impulse
S Group believes in a multi-channel modelhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/S-Group-believes-in-a-multi-channel-model.aspxS Group believes in a multi-channel model
The creators of the future get down to businesshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-creators-of-the-future-get-down-to-business.aspxThe creators of the future get down to business
Digitalisation of the shipping industry requires cutting-edge researchhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Digitalisation-of-the-shipping-industry-requires-cutting-edge-research.aspxDigitalisation of the shipping industry requires cutting-edge research
Impulse 1/2018https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-1-2018.aspxImpulse 1/2018
Converting rags to design clotheshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Converting-rags-to-design-clothes.aspxConverting rags to design clothes
Jari Gustafsson: Old and new workhorses as recession beatershttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Old-and-new-workhorses-as-recession-beaters.aspxJari Gustafsson: Old and new workhorses as recession beaters
Transport gets smarthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Transport-gets-smart.aspxTransport gets smart
Productive use for Finnish biomasshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Productive-use-for-Finnish-biomass.aspxProductive use for Finnish biomass
Same old routine for the next 100 yearshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Same-old-routine-for-the-next-100-years.aspxSame old routine for the next 100 years
A future without wastewater?https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-future-without-wastewater.aspxA future without wastewater?
Modelling and simulation facilitateshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Modelling-and-simulation-facilitates.aspxModelling and simulation facilitates
Business for transportationhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Business-for-transportation.aspxBusiness for transportation
Petri Kalliokoski: Artificial intelligence moves from words to deedshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Petri-Kalliokoski-Artificial-intelligence-moves-from-words-to-deeds.aspxPetri Kalliokoski: Artificial intelligence moves from words to deeds
All sights on generationhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/All-sights-on-generation.aspxAll sights on generation
Before information gets lost in numbershttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Before-information-gets-lost-in-numbers.aspxBefore information gets lost in numbers
Designers needed in printed technologyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Designers-needed-in-printed-technology.aspxDesigners needed in printed technology
Health benefits and efficiency without sacrificing food qualityhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Health-benefits-and-efficiency-without-sacrificing-food-quality.aspxHealth benefits and efficiency without sacrificing food quality
Serious efforts to boost the Finnish economyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Serious-efforts-to-boost-the-Finnish-economy.aspxSerious efforts to boost the Finnish economy
The creative force of change managementhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-creative-force-of-change-management.aspxThe creative force of change management
Digital ecosystems are emerginghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Digital-ecosystems-are-emerging.aspxDigital ecosystems are emerging
Tracking peoplehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Tracking-people.aspxTracking people
Tua Huomo: Energy production and use – smart choices have an impacthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Energy-production-and-use–smart-choices-an-impact.aspxTua Huomo: Energy production and use – smart choices have an impact
We must maintain Finland as an attractive target for investmenthttps://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
Miniaturising devices to fit on your palmhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Miniaturising-devices-to-fit-on-your-palm.aspxMiniaturising devices to fit on your palm
Developers of the futurehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Developers-of-the-future.aspxDevelopers of the future
An export product tougher than nailshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/An-export-product-tougher-than-nails.aspxAn export product tougher than nails
Turbine blades bring millions in savingshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Turbine-blades-bring-millions-in-savings.aspxTurbine blades bring millions in savings
Pekka Soini’s Business Finland is an "internationalisation channel" for companieshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Pekka-Soini’s-Business-Finland-is-an-internationalisation-channel-for-companies.aspxPekka Soini’s Business Finland is an "internationalisation channel" for companies
Intelligence for machineshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Intelligence-for-machines.aspxIntelligence for machines
Matti Apunen: A problem called excellencehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Matti-Apunen-A-problem-called-excellence.aspxMatti Apunen: A problem called excellence
The story of Finlandhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-story-of-Finland.aspxThe story of Finland
Open-source infrastructure in product development for the electromechanical industryhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Open-source-infrastructure-in-product-development-for-the-electromechanical-industry.aspxOpen-source infrastructure in product development for the electromechanical industry
Finland is aiming towards smart transporthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finland-is-aiming-towards smart-transport.aspxFinland is aiming towards smart transport
It is the duty of entrepreneurs to seek growthhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/It-is-the-duty-of-entrepreneurs-to-seek-growth.aspxIt is the duty of entrepreneurs to seek growth
Intelligent transport – a trump card for Finnish exportshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Intelligent-transport-a-trump-card-for-Finnish-exports.aspxIntelligent transport – a trump card for Finnish exports
More speed to network services with 5Ghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/More-speed-to-network-services-with-5G.aspxMore speed to network services with 5G
Return on investmentshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Return-on-investments.aspxReturn on investments
What's going on in Australia?https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Whats-going-on-in-Australia.aspxWhat's going on in Australia?
Why do so many women feel chilly indoorshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Why-do-so-many-women-feel-chilly-indoors.aspxWhy do so many women feel chilly indoors