A match had been identified: In Oulu there were companies with interesting services and products suitable for the vehicles of the future, and in the Gothenburg automotive cluster there were OEMs, suppliers, networks and test arenas. Today the contacts are both broad and deep, several cities are involved and many plans are in motion. Since many of the Finnish tech companies are small startups or in a growth phase, they need help to make contacts and get introductions. In Gothenburg you have Business Region Göteborg, which has expertise and contacts, and in Finland there are Business Tampere, Business Oulu and Business Finland.
“After last year’s networking event it became very clear to us that Gothenburg, as one of Europe’s two main automotive hubs, was incredibly interesting to the Finnish companies that participated. And that they in turn were not particularly well-known to the vehicle manufacturers here, but that there were many points of contact for electric, autonomous, and connected vehicles”, says Lars Hagebris, Senior Advisor at Business Finland. Hagebris also mentions that, in discussions Volvo and Scania and others, he has heard that major companies are also interested in making contact with smaller, innovative tech firms, but are not entirely sure how to do so.
“So we have an important function to fulfil and we recognise that there are benefits for large and small companies alike”, he says.
New era of collaboration
Jukka Olli from Business Oulu and Ari Lylynoja from Business Tampere assert that an ever greater number of companies in each city are gearing towards the automotive industry, along with burgeoning research, which, in the future, can be applied in the industry.
“Many of them already have contacts in Germany, but I think that they find it easier to concentrate on Gothenburg, especially now that they have learnt more about how the vehicle cluster functions and how work is carried out here”, says Lylynoja, and Olli agrees:
“Nordic companies work well together, everyone is open and willing to share with and trust each other, without the fear of being exploited. I see it as a new era where collaboration and the sharing of ideas are central.”