We at 6G Finland were proud to announce our coalition last week. Even though we already turned our attention to the next steps, we took a moment to gather comments from Prime Minister Sanna Marin of Finland and our founding members about the significance of the foundation of 6G Finland.
Prime Minister Marin talked about 6G Finland in Japan
Last week, Prime Minister Sanna Marin visited Japan where she spoke at a high-level seminar exploring the impacts of digitalisation on society. In addition to human-centred approach, equality, and green transition, she highlighted the importance of cooperation of which she used the development of 5G and 6G as examples in her speech.
Prime Minister Marin talked about the willingness of Finnish research communities to enhance international cooperation, and about the launch of 6G Finland. One of 6G Finland’s goals is to build new international partnerships.
Cooperation needed also nationally
6G Finland also wants to intensify national 6G efforts. Our Industry Chairman, Dr. Mikko Uusitalo well explained the reasons for it: “6G development and discussion is currently accelerating globally. For Finland, this is an excellent moment to strengthen 6G cooperation nationally, and to be even stronger player as a Finnish team in 6G development globally.”
Industry Chairman Uusitalo, also Head of Research Department at Nokia Bell Labs and Project Lead of European 6G flagship research program Hexa-X, reminds of the lessons from the past: “Due to our long and successful history in the telecom industry in Finland, we know exceptionally well how vital it is to build partnerships already from the beginning of new generation technology. As Hexa-X is a good example of it at European level, 6G Finland can form a good basis for Finland to channel joint influence on and from Hexa-X and other international initiatives.”
The idea of the foundation of 6G Finland started to grow when the representatives of founding member organisations discussed the current situation of 6G research and development nationally and internationally. All of them emphasized the importance of joint discussion and collaboration, as any country or organisation cannot develop 6G by itself.
Varied range of topics on 6G Finland’s table
6G Finland aims at increasing Finland’s competitiveness in 6G, so the range of topics can vary a lot. The interaction between different stakeholders must broaden and increase as well.
Board Member of 6G Finland and Vice Rector of University of Oulu, Prof. Arto Maaninen sees the work of 6G Finland as a possibility to create and build new connections: “The development of wireless mobile technologies has not been a hot topic outside telecom communities in previous generations. Now the situation is different. Based on all the efforts for 6G already done in Oulu and elsewhere in Finland, 6G Finland can surely bring very valuable contributions to the discussion, and build new connections with new stakeholders, as we want 6G to be inclusive.”
6G Finland’s Board Member, Prof. Riku Jäntti, Head of the Department of Communications and Networking at Aalto University, points it out clearer: “I see 6G Finland as a means to promote the strong Finnish mobile technology knowhow as well as platform to facilitate discussions between the academia, industry, and political decision-makers.”
Board Member, Prof. Mikko Valkama, Head of Unit of Electrical Engineering at University of Tampere, shares the view of Prof. Jäntti and continues:
“Leading the mobile communications technology development is in our DNA in Finland. 6G will be integrating together super-resolution radio positioning and radio-based sensing, in addition to the next-generation wireless data communication – all in the same network. We are very excited in Tampere to be part of this leading activity, shaping the future towards 6G era.”
We see 6G will mean a huge change to wireless mobile networks, but also to societies and everyday life. 6G Finland’s Board Member, Prof. Sasu Tarkoma, Dean of the Faculty of Science at University of Helsinki highlights, among other topics, the development of smart cities and industrial digitalisation:
“6G Finland will take national cooperation to a new level. The University of Helsinki will develop the 6G network architecture and applications especially when it comes to programmability, energy efficiency, and sustainability. 6G will enable a very fine network of sensors for smart-city and industry applications. This will create the basis for new and sustainable smart-city solutions and industrial digitalization.”
Board Member, Prof. Olli Pyrhönen, Dean of LUT School of Energy Systems at Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, echoes Prof. Tarkoma and stresses sustainable energy and industry renewal even more:
“ LUT University sees great potential in 6G Finland and is looking forward to collaborative research and development on the 6G technology and applications in the energy systems vertical. Our own research strategy includes sustainable energy and industry renewal among others. In both areas, embedded intelligence and high-performance communications are a key enabler for next generation solutions and applications. Green electrification and smart grid technologies are generating challenges, which require capabilities beyond present 5G technology. Fast and reliable communication, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and edge computing bundled seamlessly together within 6G offer new opportunities to develop better, faster and more sustainable industrial processes and technologies.”
6G Finland is a coalition founded by the most relevant Finnish research institutes and companies doing 6G research and development. 6G Finland aims at advancing Finland’s competitiveness in 6G. The founding members of 6G Finland are Aalto University, Nokia Bell Labs, University of Helsinki, University of Oulu, University of Tampere, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finnish Defence Research Agency and BusinessOulu. 6G Finland operates as a network to which new members are invited on a content basis.