Finland a key piece of digital puzzle for ABB

What makes Finland such a great environment for research and product development activities is the unique combination of a potent energy cluster and world-class technology firms, says Sari Toivonen, a senior advisor at Invest in Finland.

ABB has invaluable expertise for the fourth industrial revolution – the digital revolution – in Finland, Pekka Tiitinen, the managing director of ABB Finland, declared to Talouselämä in April.


The Switzerland-domiciled power and automation technology provider has been gearing up for the digital revolution for some time but made what is perhaps its boldest gambit to date in mid-March by announcing ABB Ability.


ABB Ability consolidates approximately 180 digital solutions into a cross-industry capability designed to enable its users to unleash the potential of the Internet of Things.


Finland is set to have a major role in the project, according to Tiitinen. ABB has established a new research and product development team, consisting of dozens of experts, in the country to focus on developing digital capabilities.


Finland has for long been a forerunner in smart grid technology.

“Our new unit is part of the company’s efforts to digitise. It’s absolutely a core element of Ability. We have a major role in the project,” Tiitinen said in an interview with the financial magazine. “We’re investing heavily in design and development in Finland. We’re capable of developing solutions for the entire world here.”


ABB in 2016 reported a turnover of €2.2 billion and invested almost €130 million in its product development efforts in Finland, making it the fourth biggest product development spender in the country, according to the financial magazine.


A unique combination of a robust energy cluster and leading tech expertise

ABB has certainly come to the right place, affirms Sari Toivonen, a senior advisor for the bioeconomy and clean-tech industry at Finpro’s Invest in Finland.


What makes the country such a fine environment for developing and trialling new power generation, management and transmission solutions is the combination of a robust energy cluster, liberal regulatory setting and world-class expertise in information and communications technology, she tells.


“That’s a good combination, one that makes us very competitive. We have a strong industrial background. We have top-notch expertise in information and communications technology, as we have demonstrated. And we have our energy cluster,” explains Toivonen.


Finland, she reminds, has for long been a forerunner in smart grid technology, a fact that speaks volumes about just how liberal, robust and advanced its energy cluster is. “We have a small but liberal environment, and we’re keen on attracting other companies here to develop new energy solutions for global markets,” she says.



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