21 Apr 2010, Posted by Harvey Cheng in Guests from China, Innovations, 0 Comments


With the meticulous arrangements from Finnish side, I was able to experience very substantial innovative trip for one week. I was accompanied by Mr. Kimmo Heinonen, Innovation Development Manager of Culminatum Ltd Co. He arranged every meeting very scrupulously, and his professionalism and attentiveness were very impressive.  I visited almost every important agency of Finnish national innovation system. However, most important among those were the following institutions: Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Aalto University, Tekes, VTT, Vantaa Innovation Institute, Culminatum Innovation Ltd, Sitra, and others.  Besides, I also visited and learned about Chinese-owned start-up company, several science parks, and enterprises there as well.

Finland is the world’s first country which applies the theory of National Innovation System into practice.  At present, Finland has become one of the most innovative and competitive countries in the world.  By 2020, Finland will become one of the leading knowledge-based societies in the world.  Overall, the national innovation system has been established successfully in Finland, it has formed an effective operation of the system from which China can learn.  The Innovation Department of Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy is responsible for implementation of the national innovation strategy and coordinates various agencies of the innovative services.

Following is the summary of the main institutions:

TEKES (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) is the main public funding organization for research (basic or long-term research), development and innovation in Finland.  It gives funding to various institutions – be it enterprises, universities or institutes, and it requires integration of production, teaching, and research, which eventually generates a series of achievable innovations that could drive the formation of industrial clusters.

SITRA is an independent innovative funding agency, which is mainly responsible for fostering the transformation of technologies and providing financial support for commercialization.

VTT is the national technology research center which is also the largest multidisciplinary research institution in Nordic countries.  VTT provides one stop services starting from innovative concept to the scientific research, and also outsourcing services.

The main function of Culminatum is managing the expertise clusters in Helsinki region.

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About the writer

Doctor Cheng is the founder of CVISC InnoConsulting in Shenzhen, China. He is Executive Dean of Global Institute for Innovation Management (GIIM). He is also Chairman of Shenzhen Chapter of Product Development and Management Association of American (PDMA) .He got his Ph. D degree from Tianjin University and did innovation postdoctoral research in Zhejiang University from 2007 to 2008. Doctor Cheng focuses on Innovation Management research and consulting services for Governments, private firms and NGOs. His interesting research includes National Innovation System, Regional Innovation System and Structured Product Innovation Management (SPIM).