Nordic Trade Mission: Day 1

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Finland tours offer insight into industry transformation through 5G, nuclear waste management and more

The familiar comfort of the rainy Finnish sky greeted the trade Innovation pole delegates on our first day of the Washington State trade mission to the Nordic region. The day began with a briefing from US Ambassador to Finland Douglas Hickey and his team.

We toured the Nokia Experience Center, learning about work to bring internet conductivity to the US and global efforts to advance 5G technology. It was exciting to see the potential applications of 5G networks across a diverse set of industries. Here in Washington, our EDGE 5G clusterled by the 5G Open Innovation Labhas field labs in agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, energy, transportation and logistics.

The rest of the day was spent on the campus of the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland. Members of our delegation learned about VTT’s efforts in nuclear waste management and their Smart City innovation cluster, and explored opportunities for collaboration.

Governor Jay Inslee and members of the Ministry of Commerce’s Nordic Trade Mission delegation meet with leaders of the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland

Innovation Cluster leaders joined Governor Jay Inslee to learn about Finland’s approach to nuclear power and waste management, and discuss how Washington State could apply this technology to the cleanup effort at the Hanford nuclear site. The conversation was particularly relevant to Washington’s VERTical cluster, led by the Port of Benton. VERTical is working to create a global supply chain for Advanced Module Reactors (AMR), and Finland is leading the world in the circular use of AMR waste, as well as the development of reactors as generators heat.

Our delegates also sat down with the Smart Cities cluster and members of the VTT Future Lab to hear from businesses of varying sizes expressing the value of the cluster’s involvement in terms of building credibility and attracting customers organically, eliminating the need international travel for business recruitment. The cluster also helps each company to access international markets through collective marketing campaigns, generating interest in the country.

The most unique thing about the Smart Cities Innovation Cluster is that it promotes collaboration between members, helping to spark new ideas for innovation.

Our delegates also sat down with the Smart Cities cluster and members of the VTT Future Lab to hear from businesses of varying sizes expressing the value of the cluster’s involvement in terms of building credibility and attracting customers organically, eliminating the need international travel for business recruitment. The cluster also helps each company to access international markets through collective marketing campaigns, generating interest in the country.

The most unique thing about the Smart Cities Innovation Cluster is that it promotes collaboration between members, helping to spark new ideas for innovation.

United States Ambassador to Finland Douglas Hickey greets Governor Jay Inslee and members of a Washington State business delegation in September 2022

U.S. Ambassador to Finland Douglas Hickey greets Governor Jay Inslee and members of a Washington State business delegation during a networking reception with leading Finnish companies, academic institutions , economic development partners and embassy staff.

As one company put it, “Together we are stronger. Even the biggest company cannot solve an industry-wide problem on its own. »

The day ended with a reception graciously hosted by Ambassador Hickey, along with the entire Washington State delegation to network with leading Finnish companies, academic institutions, economic development partners, staff from the embassy and the resident dog, Bongo.

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