VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is a state owned and controlled non-profit limited liability company established by law and operating under the ownership steering of the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy. VTT is ranked among the leading European research and technology organisations is the largest public applied research activity in Northern Europe with a staff of 2600 and turnover of €279M. VTT has vast experience of two decades working in over 1000 EU projects as a partner and as a coordinator.

List of equipment
  • Mobile robots: (modular platform from PRobot, MD15 heavy duty platform, turtlebot, several house-made platforms for industry)
  • Collaborative robots: Universal robots UR5, Kinova Jaco arm
  • Industrial robots: KUKA KR110-150 and KR2500, ABB IRB120 and IRB4600, Comau NM45, Schunk powerball
  • Several 3D sensors and cameras, grippers, safety certified sensors (SICK scanners, SafetyEYE)
  • State of the art production, virtual/augmented reality, 3D printing and MEMs labs.
  • Several service robots such as Pepper, Nao, Double-Robot
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List of services
Future investments

VTT Robotics Competence Centre is a self-sustained centre working in close collaboration with industries. The volume of the research and innovation projects on robotics is more than 10 M€ annually. Public funding is applied from TEKES (the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation), Finnish Academy, regional government and European Commission. National investment on robotics is growing, e.g. Finnish national digitalisation activities1 and the government’s Strategic Governmental Program for Growth2 is striving for ‘Increase the use and development of robots in Finland.

VTT Robotics CC is currently focusing on machines manufacturing industries. Development work and investments will be made to integrate the VTT Robotics CC to larger industrial digitalisation initiatives. The aim is to give manufacturing in Finland a significant boost by applying digitalisation, automation and robotics and introducing revolutionary service and business models. It is fully supported by the VTT’s strategy on Industrial Renewal3. In addition, VTT Robotics CC will be an essential part of the ‘IoT Factory DIH’ which is one of four potential Finnish Digital Innovation Hubs that will be created according to the Digitalising European Industry (DEI) strategy.

Regional ecosystem and business plan

VTT Robotics CC operates in Tampere, Oulu and Espoo regions in Finland. The activities are concentrated in the Tampere region which is the centre of Finnish intelligent machines and manufacturing industry, e.g. mobile machinery, machines for mining and construction and flexible manufacturing systems. In this field eight globally operating world market leaders have chosen Tampere region (Cargotec, Sandvik, Metso Minerals, John Deere, Bronto Skylift, Avant Tecno, Agco Sisu Power and Fastems). Additionally a vast number of other manufacturing companies, including SME’s, are operating in Tampere area.

VTT Robotics CC is part of SMACC Smart Machines and Manufacturing Competence Centre which offers agile co-creation models for growth companies. SMACC is cooperating with about 100 companies and the current annual research and education turnover is about 40M€. Target is to create new projects worth of 10M€, the main funding sources being local (city of Tampere, Union of Tampere Region), domestic (Tekes) and EU. Also contract work and VTT’s own funding will have their roles in funding portfolio. In addition, the ecosystem of Tampere has many active players accelerating innovation. There include e.g. DIMECC (Digital, Internet, Materials & Engineering Co-Creation eco-system), DEMOLA (Agile multidisciplinary co-creation of demonstrations by students and companies), PROTOMO (Lean start-up creation by professionals, researchers), NEW FACTORY (Testing and co-creation with user communities and living lab environments and FIRST CUSTOMER (Co-innovation of start-ups and their potential customers and partners companies). The regional actors and strategies support heavily the focus on machines and manufacturing. For example, Tampere Region has been one of the founding members of the ‘Vanguard Initiative for New Growth by Smart Specialisation’ with the focus on Digital and Virtual Factory Pilot.

Through its various offices in Finland VTT actively scout the regional SMEs and support them in applying funding from TEKES. TEKES have dedicates funding instruments for SMEs seeking to experiment with robots in their production process. With L4MS demonstration facility, Robotics CC of VTT will further expand its portfolio of services offered to companies. A large number of Finnish SMEs depends on machine manufacturing industries: mining, forestry, farming, cargo, sky lifts, etc. The production exclusively relies on high skilled manual work for the assembly of machines. The transportation of assembly parts is an expensive component of manufacturing and industries try to reduce the cost by offshoring and global outsourcing of the manufacturing jobs. With aging workforce and globalization the situation is bound to get worse. The competitiveness of these companies can be significantly improved by automating intra-factory logistics.