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Savonia University of Applied Sciences
Microkatu 1, Kuopio, 70210, Kuopio (Finland)
DigiCenterNS supports Pohjois-Savo region companies in their digital transformation journeys by providing services that improve digital skills, foster technology testing and increase networking of companies.
Our Digital Innovation Hub, DigiCenter North Savo, operates at Pohjois-Savo region and helps local companies, mainly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), in their digitalization development problems focusing on the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and digital services.
The focus areas of Pohjois-Savo region are Digitalisation, ICT in Manufacturing and Energy Technology and Digital transformation in Health industry. Companies in the area are struggling with following topics: digitizing the services, understanding business opportunities of digitalisation while creating strategies, digital marketing, and e-commerce, use of online customer service tools and more specific: AI, Internet of Things and robotics, utilizing digital communication channels, learning human behaviour in the context of digitalisation, programming, and information security.
- Technology & Knowledge Transfer Services aim at enhancing the transfer of digital technologies and digital knowhow in Pohjois-Savo region and increase the digitalization-related networking. These services shall strengthen the local research and innovation capacities.
- R&D&I Services aim at provide Pohjois-Savo region companies with up-to-date information on features, opportunities and limitation of new digital technologies. Additionally, the goal of DigiCenterNS is to identify and build digital innovation platforms that companies may have access by request.
- Funding and Project Preparation Services aim at increasing funding (regional, national, international) applied in Pohjois-Savo region by coaching, supporting and networking companies in the context of digitalization funding
Currently our DigiCenterNS operates with non-profit status and DigiCenterNS coordinators are non-profit organizations.
Link to national or regional initiatives for digitising industry
DigiCenterNS has been established based on findings at Digitalization at Pohjois-Savo report: https://www.pohjois-savo.fi/media/julkaisut/rahoitus/digitalisaatio-pohjois-savossa_ohjelma_kesakuu2017.pdf
DigiCenterNS is contributing to regional Smart Specialization themes especially to "Machine and Energy Technology", "Wellbeing Technology" and "Water". https://www.pohjois-savo.fi/en/smart-specialization.html
DigiCenterNS received around 2,8M€ ERDF and other public funding co-orginated by Regional Council of Pohjois-Savo. Funding for salary and other running costs is 2.19M€ and 640k€ for investments. With that investment money DigiCenterNS builds for example:
- 5G test network to Kuopio Savilahti campus area
- High performance computers for AI services
DigiCenterNS is working together with Kuopio Water Cluster (https://kuopiowatercluster.com/) that is a part of Water Smart Territories (https://s3platform.jrc.ec.europa.eu/water-smart-territories) focusing on digitalization and Industry 4.0. Monitoring report will be updated on Jan 2020 and there Kuopio Water Cluster is mentioned.
DigiCenterNS is an actor in interregional Elmo strategy: https://issuu.com/ip-suomi.elmo/docs/elmo-strategy_english_web
DigiCenterNS is also participating to "GreenLine Platform for Sustainable Forestry" -project at https://elmoenf.eu/high-impact-action-projects/
DigiCenterNS has services to support Finnish strongholds like "Manufacturing" and "Energy" as well "5G", "IoT" and "AI". Ref page 22: julkaisut.valtioneuvosto.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/161585/TEM_2019_27_Digital_Innovation_Hubs_in_Finland.pdf
DigiCenterNS supports also national program to become one of the leading countries in the application of artificial intelligence worldwide. https://www.tekoalyaika.fi/en/
5G is one of the flagship projects in Finland and DigiCenterNS is supporting that by 5G test network. https://www.traficom.fi/en/communications/communications-networks/5g-momentum-ecosystem-enables-finnish-leadership-5g
DigiCenterNS was participating DIHelp program during year 2019 and during that time team created business and action plans for DigiCenterNS. At the same time DigiCenterNS has set up governance model for opetation. https://dihelp.eu/
DigiCenterNS supports regionally the objectives for Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specializations (RIS3) by encouraging regional SMEs and mid-caps innovation and experimentation in digitalization, supporting practice-based innovation, stimulating private sector investments, and increasing productivity through digitalization.
Market and Services
- Agriculture, hunting and forestry
- Electricity, gas and water supply
- Public administration and defence
- Health and social work
- Manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco
- Manufacture of machinery and equipment
- Other Manufacturing
- Other markets
- TRL1 - Basic principles observed and reported
- TRL2 - Technology concept and/or application formulated
- TRL3 - Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
- TRL4 - Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment
- TRL5 - Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
- TRL6 - System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
- TRL7 - System prototype demonstration in an operational environment
- Awareness creation
- Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
- Collaborative Researchs
- Concept validation and prototyping
- Testing and validation
- Digital Maturity Assessment
- Access to Funding and Investor Readiness Services
- Education and skills development
Business development support
Fomatec Oy (http://fomatec.fi/en/) is a company specialising in saw chain sharpening services and manufacturing of forestry harvester accessories.
Fomatec plans to furter develop their GreenLine services and leverage it to other business areas.
Provided solution to meet the needs:
DigiCenterNS is helping Fomatec to digitalize their order service process, to optimize logistics and to improve resource management in order to further develop their GreenLine services. The company plans to leverage GreenLine services to other business areas in the future. DigiCenterNS is a participating to "GreenLine Platform for Sustainable Forestry" -project.More details: https://elmoenf.eu/high-impact-action-projects/
Technology support: Digital services
Savon Voima Group’s business areas are electricity distribution, electricity generation and district heating. Electricity distribution is carried out in compliance with the Electricity Market Act, which means that electricity generation and distribution have been legally unbundled so that the subsidiary Savon Voima Verkko Oy is in charge of the distribution business. The company is one of the largest sellers of energy services in Finland (net sales of approx. EUR 187,7 million in 2018). The Group employs about 182 professionals in the field, and 300 persons through cooperation partners.
Reduce manual customer services work through digitalization and automation and thus increase productivity.
Provided solution to meet the needs:
The main objective was to apply robotic process automation for Savon Voima’s customer service process regarding planning of power shutoffs and delivering information of planned shutoffs to consumers.
DigiCenterNS started the technology pilot by interviewing the process actors to identify what can be automated and how process is performed by service agents. The scope of the pilot was defined to involve automation of ordering power shutoff cards (paper-based information cards that are sent by mail to energy consumers). RPA automation was conducted by using Python (Pywinauto component that uses UIA interface for reading user interface elements). Additionally, a small workshop to plan content of power shutoff cards was organized.
Results: As a result of the pilot, Savon Voima’s awareness of RPA implementation and related limitations increased and one of the first RPA experiments within the company was conducted in managed test environment. The RPA pilot and lessons learnt were documented by using action research method.
Ecosystem development: XR
Client profile: local SMEs working in the area of XR technologies.
Companies involved at the moment:
- Hurja Solutions Oy: https://www.hurja.fi/
- 3dTalo: https://3dtalo.fi/
- SimLab IT: https://www.simlabit.com/
- There was a need for competence development, best practices sharing and co-operations in field of XR technologies.
- Follow-up new technologies.
- Networking and new business opportunities.
Provided solutions to meet the needs:
- As a part of ecosystem development DigiCenterNS has established XR (AR,VR, MR) special interest group, XRHubSavo, where local SMEs and start-ups can share their best practices.
- Part of that activity DigiCenterNS had first seminar on 1st of October 2019 (Link to the seminar (in Finnish) https://www.digicenterns.fi/tapahtuma/xr-tools-and-digital-opportunities/).
- DigiCenterNS arranged small event focusing on XR technologies and business opportunities. (Link to the event (in Finnish) https://www.digicenterns.fi/tapahtuma/xr-monday-ma-9-12-2019-technopolis-kuopio-mikrokatu-1-sali-b5014/)
Ecosystem development: Digitalization, 5G and open data
Client profile: City of Kuopio
City of Kuopio is building research, enterpreneur & innovation hub to Savilahti (http://www.savilahti.com/savilahti) having there 5G network. City of Kuopio is also planning to utilize open data for new businesses and services as well as improving existing services such as public transportation.
Provided solution to meet the needs:
DigiCenterNS is helping city of Kuopio to in their plans for "Digitalization and open data". (ref page 18: http://www.savilahti.com/sites/www.savilahti.fi/files/PDF/savilahti_project.pdf)
Examples of our services:
- Joint stand and presentation with city of Kuopio at "Future of 5G" -seminar. https://tapahtumat.almatalent.fi/future-of-5g. In this event DigiCenterNS was one of the seminar partners.
- Nokia 5G seminar https://www.digicenterns.fi/tapahtuma/nokia-5g-seminaari-ke-27-11-2019-klo-10-12-microkatu-kuopio/ followed with a meeting between Nokia and city of Kuopio.
- Incoming seminar related to Open data: https://www.digicenterns.fi/tapahtuma/saako-avoimesta-datasta-liiketoimintaa-seminaari/
- Providing discussion forum for data economy ecosystem.
For these seminars and events DigiCenterNS has invited local SMEs to join to local ecosystem.More details: https://tapahtumat.almatalent.fi/future-of-5g
Technology support: AI
NewIcon Oy (https://newicon.fi/) is a health tech company specialising in pharmacy automation systems based on advanced software and robotics. Hospitals and pharmacies everywhere in the world value Finnish health technology which enhances safety, efficiency, and rational pharmaceutical services. Patient safety is the top priority. Occupational safety, cost savings generated by improved efficiency, and easier work routines also create significant value for customers.
Customer needed more efficient production line. There were problems in which drug packages could be overlapping each other on the production line and identification of each package is challenging.
Provided solution to meet the needs:
DigiCenterNS team provided a technology pilot in which different kinds of medicine packages were automatically counted and identified by smart machine vision based system. There were problems in which medicide packages could be overlapping each other, which makes the counting of the amount of medicine packages as well as their identification a challenging task. DigiCenterNS managed to solve this problem with the help of advanced AI-based machine vision system.
First MVP-version (minimum viable product) is ready and DigiCenterNS is currently negotiating for follow-up project in which DigiCenterNS will produce the most advanced AI-based machine vision system in the world for NewIcon.More details: https://www.digicenterns.fi/tulokset/
Ecosystem development: Hackathons
DigiCenterNS arrange hackathons to network students, researchers and local companies. This way DigiCenterNS also helps local companies to get solution for their challenges.More details: https://www.bcpohjois-savo.fi/tapahtuma/havuja-hack-31-1-2-2-2020/
(part of) Public organization (part of RTO, or university)
Number of employees
- European Regional Development Fund
- Partner resources
Number of customers annually
Type of customers
- Start-up companies
- SMEs (<250 employees)
- MidCaps (between €2-10 billion turnover)
- Research organisations
Research & Technology organization
University of Eastern Finland
City of Kuopio
Savo Consortium for Education
Kuopio Region Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce
The Regional Council of Pohjois-Savo
Navitas Business Services
Economic development agency
Savon Yrittäjät/Savo Enterpreneurs
Networked, cluster organization
Business Center Pohjois-Savo
Kuopio Water Cluster
Networked, cluster organization
- Broadband and other communication networks (e.g. 5G)
- Cyber physical systems (e.g. embedded systems)
- Robotics and autonomous systems
- Internet of Things (e.g. connected devices, sensors and actuators networks)
- Artificial Intelligence and cognitive systems
- Interaction technologies (e.g. human-machine Interaction, motion recognition and language technologies)
- Data mining, big data, database management
- Augmented and virtual reality, visualization
- Additive manufacturing (3D printing)
- ICT management, logistics and business systems