FIMA Challenge Day brought together SMEs, start-ups, research teams and FIMA member companies. A shared goal: to make intelligent work machines even smarter.
FIMA Challenge Day was organised in April by Business Tampere and FIMA (Forum for Intelligent Machines ry). They invited SMEs, start-ups and research teams to pitch their expertise and ideas in the field of intelligent work machines. The aim was to find solutions for challenges met by the FIMA member companies when developing even more intelligent work machines. For example in Novatron, an expert in digitalized earthmoving solutions, a decision to participate in the event was an easy one to make.
– I think it was extremely important to seize this opportunity to connect with the various pitching companies and teams. 18 sharp presentations during the afternoon – that is an amount hard to fit into your daily schedule in any other way so efficiently, says CSO Petri Moisio of Novatron.
– One of the challenges was very similar to what we had been dealing with in our technological development, and all the main themes of the event were interesting as well, says Technology Management Director Matti Saarikko of Patria Land.
The invitation to FIMA Challenge Day was made well in advance and it included three challenges jointly formed by the FIMA member companies. The challenges were about routing autonomous vehicles, load handling, and data collection and analysis. The potential participants were asked for ideas and solutions based on AI, machine vision, machine learning, data analytics, wireless data transfer and autonomous driving.
– Promoting the event went smoothly, because there were so many notable companies in the FIMA Day audience, thanks to FIMA. FIMA is a perfect partner to implement such an event, being a research-oriented expert in joint projects, says Senior Business Advisor Jouni Myllymäki of Business Tampere.
– We received a total of 35 presentations for pre-screening, and the FIMA members selected 18 of them to be invited to the event. We arranged the preselection in order to ensure time efficiency for all parties, continues Business Advisor Heini Wallander of Business Tampere.
A pre-event pitching coach was available for the presenters who wanted to clarify their message and polish their presentation. Thorough preparation and practice paid off on stage where the pitchers had only four minutes each to to get the main message to the audience. There was a total of around 55 persons present, 15 from FIMA member companies, the rest from the pitching teams and companies.
– When pitching in the events like FIMA Challenge Day, one should always keep in mind that while you are mainly talking to the organising companies, you might as well find some perfect business matches among the other pitching teams, mentions Myllymäki.
After each pitch there was a couple of minutes for questions and for the FIMA companies to write feedback, further questions and contact requests to be dealt with later. Face-to-face conversations took place during the coffee break and after the pitching session.
– For us, this was an interesting way of making new connections efficiently, says Saarikko of Patria Land.
Did new partnerships arise from the event? A couple of weeks after FIMA Challenge Day Patria Land is going to continue discussions with two potential candidates about solutions for the FIMA Day challenge. In addition, Patria also picked out contacts that will probably be useful in other fields of development. Saarikko considers this a satisfying result.
– We participated in the event, shall we say, in order to find new eyes to examine our challenges from fresh angles, Saarikko summarizes.
Novatron was also able to find some potential partners, with which they are now thinking about initiating small-scale demo projects. For a larger company, agile testing with SMEs and start-ups is an excellent method to look into the options provided by the newest technologies. Novatron’s field, machine control systems for mobile machinery, is changing and developing rapidly.
– In this regard, the Tampere Region is one of the best places to be. The Tampere University of Technology provides world-class research services and capable students, and the start-up scene is sprouting, Moisio says.
– Business Tampere helps companies to develop their technologies. That is the main reason to organise events like FIMA Challenge, where companies large and small will meet, says Myllymäki.
– We can also help to process the results further, into pilots and projects. Our aim is to boost new business openings and opportunities for all participants, says Wallander.
FIMA Forum for Intelligent Machines ry is an association and network for mobile work machine manufacturers, specialist companies, system integrators and research institutes. It promotes and outlines research and product development with a mission to transform Finland into world’s leading developer and applier of innovative, intelligent work machine solutions.
Business Tampere and its partners are organising cross-pollinating match making events, such as industrial hackathons, workshops and pitching events for start-ups in the Tampere Region. These events bring together experts from large companies, SMEs start-ups, research and educational organisations to generate ideas, concepts and innovations.
Business Tampere contributes to the further development of the event results to ensure maximum business benefits: more productivity, growth, and competitiveness, and closer cooperation among all actors. Match making events are a part of the AIKO Renewing Industry project (2017–5/2019).