Innovative thinking and technology that help us reduce our impact on the environment have been a Finnish strength for many years, and continue to be. Now increasingly widely referred to as cleantech, these initiatives have been a prominent aspect of many of the success stories featured in HighTech Finland, and a number of companies in the field have now come together under the umbrella of the Cleantech Finland programme.
The latter’s logo can be found throughout this edition of HighTech Finland and was also very much in evidence in the Finnish pavilion at the Shanghai World EXPO in 2010. Known as the Giant’s Kettle, the pavilion proved a great success, attracting millions of visitors and winning an international award for the best design in its category.
In fact, design is another Finnish strength. Not only in the consumer goods that often come to mind when people think of design, such as table- and glassware, but also in industrial products – in everything from paper machines to medical diagnostic systems.
Cutting-edge design and innovation generally draw their strength from the people behind them, the inspiration they bring to the table, and their expertise. Which is why education and a dynamic educational sector are so important and why we put so much emphasis on education in Finland as a means of promoting creativity and the joy of learning. It is also why we have high hopes of new initiatives such as Aalto University and its mission to bring together established expertise and teaching in technology, business studies, and industrial design under one and the same roof.
Finland has a lot to offer and I hope that you will experience some of our enthusiasm for a very range of technology – and what can be done with it – through the ideas profiled in HighTech Finland 2011. I also hope that they will inspire you to find out more about how we can all contribute to creating a better and more sustainable future for everyone.
President of the Republic of Finland