Wärtsilä selects its first cooperation partners for Smart Partner Campus

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Last November, Wärtsilä presented an invitation to companies and researchers within the industry to join the development of an operating model for the Smart Partner Campus, which will be built in Vaasa, Finland. The cooperation partnership raised a lot of interest both in Finland and abroad, and over 200 operators applied through the open innovation platform. Wärtsilä has now chosen the first cooperation partners among these operators. The names were published in connection to the EnergyWeek arranged in Vaasa.

The first phase in the Smart Partner Campus concept will be designed together with Danfoss, Demos Helsinki Oy, NLC Ferry Ab Oy, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Vaasan Sähkö Oy, and University of Vaasa.

“The cooperation partners we have now selected, are partners who are committed especially to designing a new operating model and creating a so called playbook. Our aim is to create a global and flexible enough concept, in which as many innovators as possible can participate for various periods of time. This means that new partners will be joining regularly as the project proceeds. We believe that this model will bring the best and different kind of experts to the same table to boost the innovation and discovery of new things,” said Hannu Mäntymaa, Director, R&D and Engineering in Wärtsilä.

The selection focused on finding different kinds of partners and global companies, but in this first phase it was important to also involve local operators, since building a strong ecosystem is an important part of the entire Smart Technology Hub ideology.

“The University of Vaasa has participated closely in the project from the start, and they are firmly committed to developing a functional concept. Demos Helsinki has a lot of experience in both building different kinds of communities, and in how they function. Royal Caribbean Cruises and Danfoss are global operators that, together with Vaasan Sähkö, bring an outstanding addition to the development of smart shipping and smart energy production. On the other hand, Kvarken Link’s new ferry that NLC Ferry operates in the Kvarken traffic, and the vicinity of the harbour, create unique possibilities for building an environmentally friendly ecosystem. I am extremely pleased with this set formed by the first cooperation partners,” said Vesa Riihimäki, Managing Director at Wärtsilä Finland.

Wärtsilä announced last August that it was building a Smart Technology Hub, a new centre of research, product development and manufacturing, in Vaasa, Finland, by the end of 2020. At the same time, a flexible smart marine and smart energy platform called Smart Partner Campus is being built inside the Smart Technology Hub. The Smart Partner Campus will focus on doing research and product development together with companies, start-ups and researchers within the industry, as well as with Wärtsilä’s partners, customers and suppliers.