Dimes Association and Forum Virium Helsinki launch information society co-operation between Finland and China

Helsinki 14 December 2006Dimes Association - Digital Media Service Innovations - Finland and Forum Virium Helsinki have signed a Finnish-Chinese agreement for wide-ranging information society co-operation with B-Star, the Shanghai Engineering Research Center for Broadband Technologies and Applications. The objective of the co-operation is the creation and testing of infrastructure and services for the future information society, while enhancing Finnish-Chinese practical joint venture research and business development. The initiative is co-ordinated by the Finland-China Innovation Center - FinChi - in Shanghai.

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B-Star is a national testbed for telecom technology and broadband services, managed by the Chinese Science and Technology Ministry and the Shanghai Government. The organisation deploys China's high-technology research and development programme; tests new technologies and services; and works to reduce bottlenecks for the implementation and industrialization of these services.

B-Star's testbed network currently has tens of thousands of users, with a planned user base exceeding 100.000 by 2008. Testbed network partners include China's leading telecom companies, universities and research institutes, in addition to international companies such as Nokia, Intel, Alcatel and OKI.

In its first phase, the co-operation between Dimes, Forum Virium Helsinki and B-Star will enable innovation-centric Finnish companies to test new digital services and content in B-Star's extensive testbed network. Subsequently, Chinese technology organisations will be able to benefit reciprocally from access to Living Labs test environments in Finland.

The European Network of Living Labs is a large-scale test environment for the development of new information and communication technology services, technologies and business; and the creation of new markets and sectors. Living Labs are test labs in which new innovations are studied in real-life urban environments. The network comprises 20 Living Labs from 16 countries.

"This co-operation is a significant initiative between leading information society organisations in Finland and China. By mutual access to state-of-the-art testbed networks in our respective countries, we are building the foundation for a new level of collaboration between China and European Union countries. Finland is a leader in the information society initiatives of the European Union, and this Finnish-Chinese co-operation supports our goal of promoting the commercial utilization of existing testbed networks as well as the continuous development of European Living Labs", stated Mr. Kimmo Ojuva, President, Dimes Association.

"Forum Virium is an active member of the European Network of Living Labs. The partnership with B-Star provides us with a superb opportunity of testing new ICT services and technologies as well as creating entirely new markets. We look forward to a close and successful collaboration in numerous areas, including the development and commercialization of next-generation network services and e-health projects", stated Mr. Jarmo Eskelinen, Director, Forum Virium Helsinki.

Digital Media Service Innovations - Finland (Dimes) is a nationwide initiative that fosters the development of Finnish technology expertise into services and business. The association offers an active, non-affiliated forum that brings together companies of all sizes and organisations in the public sector. Dimes supports the development of Finland's information society services and internationally competitive businesses. Additionally, the association promotes closer collaboration between industry players and represents Finland in technology organisations of the European Union. The association was founded in the spring of 2005 by Nokia, TietoEnator, Elisa, Finnet and YLE. Dimes currently has over 50 member companies.

Forum Virium Helsinki is a co-operation cluster focusing on the development of new customer-driven digital services and content. Forum Virium Helsinki was founded by the initiative of many significant players in the sector of digital services: the anchor companies of the cluster are Digita, Elisa, Nokia, TeliaSonera, Finnish Road Enterprise, TietoEnator, Veikkaus, WM-data, YIT-Group and Finnish Broadcasting Company. Partner companies are Hewlett Packard, IBM, MTV3, Siemens, SOK and Vaisala. The public sector is represented by the City of Helsinki, The Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (SITRA), the National Technology Agency of Finland (TEKES) and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). The overall goal of Forum Virium Helsinki is to accelerate the development of new services and content, by supporting Open Innovation activities and co-operation between the network partners.


Leslie Versweyveld

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