Finnish and Russian companies combine their expertise to develop new security technology for metal parts
Finnish company Idsens and Russian company Geoenergetika found each other through a series of fortuitous networking coincidences. A representative of the Russian metal coating business first came to Finland in 2014 to visit an expert in their field and to make a presentation at the Rubicon Forum which brings together Russian and Finnish companies. Idsens did not attend the event but later heard about the company from a consultant and decided to make contact.
Idsens specializes in Electro-Magnetic Acoustic Resonance (EMAR) measurement technology which it has developed for validating and authenticating metals and metallic products. For example, Idsens has worked with the Mint of Finland to develop technology that allows new kinds of “invisible” structural security features to be manufactured within coins alongside existing security features.
Idsens saw the potential of combining its sensors with Geoenergetika’s expertise in marking metal in a way that prevents the counterfeiting of metal parts, for example spare parts in the automotive industry.
“Geoenergetika was surprised by our approach because they had not even considered the possibility of this kind of business,” says Sami Kalliokoski, co-founder of Idsens and Head of the Electria research unit at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences where the company was formed as a spin-off in 2010.
Getting to know each other
Following a joint funding application from the FASIE program, the companies carried out some initial testing which confirmed the compatibility of their technologies. Having only met the Geoenergetika’s European representative, Idsens decided to visit the company’s facilities in Kaluga about 150km south of Moscow.
The visit went really well and since then we have done more successful technology testing and Geoenergetika has also visited us in Finland,” says Kalliokoski.
The companies are currently deciding on the type of business and its location for taking the cooperation to the next level, while also researching the many different industries where their technology could be applied. A major investor with good connections to the automotive industry is now interested in the new technology they have developed.
Finland offers good first base for Russian companies
According to Kalliokoski, Russian companies can really benefit from Finnish know-how and networks as they start looking towards the international markets. Helsinki Ventures has a program that specifically helps Russian startups enter the Western markets by using Finland as a first base.
“This idea really resonated with our Russian friends because Finland and Russia are so close, the infrastructure is so good here and there are services specially made for Russian companies. This makes it easier to take the first step to the West and from here there is good access to Europe and the rest of the world,” says Kalliokoski.