Finland is a forerunner in autonomous and remotely controlled solutions that are renewing the industrial sector, logistics and the way people move. The use of autonomous systems in various fields of society requires robust investment in competence, innovations and technology. VTT will strengthen the development of autonomous systems by founding a subsidiary VTT SenseWay Oy, focusing on such systems.
The new company will seek access to the global markets from Turku, where some of the world's leading expertise in autonomous shipping systems can already be found. Autonomous systems are also making a strong entry into other transport and logistics sectors and mobile work machines, and VTT will respond to this demand with its solutions. The markets in the solutions business in this sector are growing rapidly, and VTT estimates their global value to exceed EUR 70 billion by 2023.
"There will be demand for autonomous systems in the future, as we are looking for solutions and innovations for tackling global challenges, such as resource sufficiency and industrial renewal. We want to ensure that the results of cutting-edge research reach the markets, and become a part of the business world and people's everyday lives more rapidly than before. At the same time, we are helping Finnish industries and society to adopt the changes in modes of operation and business practices enabled by the new technologies," says Antti Vasara, President & CEO of VTT.
Accelerating the market entry of innovations
Jere Laaksonen is appointed as CEO of VTT Sense Way as of 1st December. His former position was Vice President of Remote and Autonomous Ship Intelligence unit at Kongsberg Maritime.
Autonomous systems are revolutionising transport and logistics on land, at sea and in the air, and will make them even more efficient and safe in the future. Autonomous production systems, on the other hand, enhance the competitiveness and productivity of the industrial sector. VTT has been doing research related to autonomous systems at an international level for a long time. The new company will leverage VTT's extensive technological and scientific expertise in an efficient and multidisciplinary manner. It will also offer a new channel for using VTT's intellectual property rights.
"Our research operations must always stay at the forefront of development and introduce new innovations to be applied by companies. The development of autonomous systems is fast-paced – continuous development is essential," Vasara says.
The use of autonomous systems is progressing in many areas of application. The creation of systems with varying degrees of autonomy requires wide-ranging technologies and versatile expertise. In the early stages, 15 specialists within the sector will be responsible for the service production of VTT SenseWay Oy, the VTT subsidiary specialising in autonomous systems.