Finland to host Nato research centres

Finland’s Defence Ministry announced on Thursday that the country will host two Nato test centres for new technologies and a business accelerator.

Finland proposed their establishment last year, a few months after joining the alliance. The plan was given the green light by the board of Nato’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (Diana).

Test centres for new technologies will be established in Espoo and Oulu. The Espoo site will be connected to the state-owned VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in Otaniemi, while the Oulu site will be attached to the northern city’s university.

Cyber ​​security and 6G technology

The Otaniemi test centre is to focus on testing cyber-secure communication and quantum and space technologies. The test centre coordinated by the University of Oulu will offer companies the opportunity to test 6G network technologies. Meanwhile on Thursday, the Ministry of Transport and Communications said that 90 percent of Finnish households are covered by high-speed 5G networks.

VTT will also establish a business accelerator in Otaniemi in cooperation with Aalto University and the University of Helsinki. The accelerator will focus on future communication systems and quantum technology. Its services will be particularly targeted at start-ups and SMEs with little experience in the defence and security sector.

According to Defence Minister Antti Häkkänen (NCP), the accelerator and the test centres will increase the recognition of Finland and the business opportunities of Finnish companies among the other 32 Nato ally states.

“Finland’s leading position, especially in the development of new generation communication technologies and quantum technologies, is likely to attract operators and experts to Finland. Our profile as a frontrunner of dual-use communication technologies will make Finland more attractive to international financiers and strengthen our technological input as a Nato member,” Häkkänen said in a defence ministry handout.

Nato’s Diana initiative, launched in 2021, is aimed at identifying future defence-sector challenges and finding technologically innovative solutions for them in partnership with companies.

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