Business Finland has granted significant funding for a project led by VTT, which examines foresight capabilities and future preparedness of Finnish industrial companies. The two-year research project "Strategic foresight for sustainable innovation and growth" will start in January 2022 with a budget of more than EUR 1.5 million. In addition to VTT, 12 companies and Tampere University participate in the project.
‘In our research and work with companies, we have discovered that strategic foresight is an untapped opportunity for many companies. It enables companies to improve their ability to renew and grow significantly. Systematic foresight supports the impact of strategic management, the development of new business, and the identification of the forces of change and disruptions in the operating environment,’ says Nando Malmelin, Professor of Practice at VTT.
The research project develops organizational capabilities and practices that enable companies to anticipate and utilize future opportunities. The aim is to develop strategic foresight methods, tools, and practices in co-operation with companies. The network of corporate foresight to be developed in the project will share information on research results and identify significant opportunities for innovations and new business. This will create new knowledge and understanding of the sources of sustainable growth to support strategic management.
The project involves Business Finland's Veturi companies such as KONE, Metsä Group, Fortum, Neste, and ABB, as well as the SIX Mobile Machines cluster and its companies Sandvik, Ponsse, Valmet Automotive, Cargotec, and Valtra. Other companies participating in the project are Orfer and Orion. The project will be implemented in co-operation with Tampere University.
‘The development of foresight in an uncertain world is an important strategic priority for VTT. Developing strategic competitiveness is at the heart of our strategy, and systematic foresight is a key research area in creating a competitive advantage. In addition, we examine strategies that can be used to shape the operating environment of the future, instead of only reactively adapting to changes,’ says Kalle Kantola, Vice President in Foresight and Data Economy research area at VTT.