Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Finnish Creative Export

Innovation is THE word at the moment. Within the next 5 years VTT will transform from Technical Research Centre of Finland to Technology Intensive Innovation Organisation. Tekes (National Technology Agency) will be Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation starting from 1 Nov '06. How these politics / opinions / words appear in the real world?

It's no problem to generate new ideas or even innovations at the VTT. Tekes has done good job funding commercialisation of ideas, too but I think we are still somewhat lacking the enforcement of innovations. EU, Tekes and other research financiers surely have a significant role in enabling innovations to develop -- why actual enforcement happen most often at SMEs?

ContentBusiness.fi maintains a list of TOP 30 Finnish International Companies in Creative Export. 'The TOP 30 list is based on company exports measured in terms of euros. The data are mainly gathered from within the companies themselves and partially also from financial statements delivered to the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland.' Digital media & entertainment companies Sulake, StarCut and RedLynx are in the top 10 though this list is not inclusive. Actually it is surprisingly scattered. Even though the list might become interesting as soon as it will cover (at least) digital media companies more broadly. Another issue is how long one should reach for groundbreaking innovations? Sulake has been able to commercialise their solution/innovation of linking Lego type of characters and isometric perspective to online community when other developers were either doing 3D worlds or text-based communities. How large research organisation could experiment and innovate the same way?

Another relevant question would be: is 'Technology Intense Innovation Organisation' just a trend-sniffer, smoother of the path or an aggregator for SMEs or MNEs? VTT is trying to boost up commercialisation of research findings. It is still too early to say what role would suit for such an organisation but still one should strongly question whether to talk about innovations at all. Or if we do, how many innovations are needed to enable the creation of 'Innovation Organisation'?

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