Finland has established itself as one of the leading deep technology hubs in Europe, according to a survey conducted by Atomico, a London-based investment firm.
Finnish technology firms in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and the Internet of Things have over the past two years secured roughly $100 million from investors eager to gain access to the technology expertise bred by the likes of Nokia, Rovio and Supercell, the survey indicates.
“Finland has put itself on the map in these fields,” Teddie Wardi, a director at Atomico, stated at Slush 2016.
The country, he revealed, is an attractive investment destination investors especially because of the education level and work experience of its technology workforce.
“The experts you have here are experienced and highly-educated when compared to other countries. Helsinki alone has 29,000 professional-level software developers. Fifty-two per cent of them have more than six years of [work] experience and one-fourth have master's-level or higher qualifications,” he said according to Kauppalehti..
Arto Pussinen, the head of ICT and digitisation at Invest in Finland, agrees.
The local workforce, he adds, also offers a number of other benefits: Finnish employees are committed to organisational goals in a way that has reduced job hopping and contributed to the development of expertise. The cost of labour is low in comparison to elsewhere in Western Europe – especially in the case of experienced employees.
“Wages go up faster with seniority in many other countries. Wage progression here is relatively flat. Hiring experienced, top-notch technology experts is particularly affordable in Finland,” he says.
Pussinen reminds that the country is home to expertise also in camera, imaging, radio communication and wireless technologies. “These are all fields that have been developed here for a while. We've got a comprehensive chain of expertise – from education institutions to research centres and businesses,” he highlights.
Such technology-intensive sectors are the focus of growth programmes launched by both Finpro and the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes), and the research investments of education institutions and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT).
“The more complex your technology, the better-equipped you are to succeed in Finland,” summarises Pussinen.