Finnish Metaverse ecosystem is the first in Europe to create a Metaverse Initiative

The Finnish Metaverse ecosystem is the first in Europe to create a Metaverse Initiative, and one of the first to do so globally. The objective is to play a key role in shaping the future of digital experiences, focusing on developing the Metaverse ethically and responsibly. This includes prioritizing privacy, user safety, and considering its overall societal impact.

In an era marked by unprecedented technological progression, the Metaverse emerges as a pivotal innovation set to pervade all forms of business, trade, and industry, as well as the daily lives of individuals.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping our approach to work and value creation. Just as mobile phones, PCs, and the Internet heralded new digitalization waves, the Metaverse is poised to do the same, offering vast potential to transform our interactions and engagement with the surrounding world.

Leveraging its rich heritage in innovation, robust technology infrastructure, and proficiency in new technologies, Finland has a pioneering role in Europe. In April 2023, Business Finland initiated a process that culminated in the launch of the “Metaverse Initiative by Finnish Ecosystem” at the Match XR event in Helsinki in the leadup to Slush 2023.

The initiative was created in close cooperation with 400+ members of the Finnish ecosystem and some of the most prominent Finnish large and SME companies, including major players like Nokia, KONE, Varjo, and Dispelix. The industry in Finland is projected to achieve a €30 billion volume by 2035, supported by an ecosystem estimated to encompass over 250 companies.

The next revolution stage of how people will interact with everything

The Metaverse, often regarded as a digital twin of reality, represents the next revolution of the Internet. Essentially an immersive virtual world, it comprises two fundamental elements: the immersiveness brought about by XR technologies and the virtuality inherent in its digitally created worlds. 
In the Metaverse, a suite of technologies converges to transform the way we work and interact, offering human-centric solutions for remote work, teleoperations, and AI-assisted environments. Digital twins and collaborative robotics streamline processes across diverse sectors including manufacturing, construction, and agriculture, enhancing productivity and efficiency while enabling appealing future careers and wellbeing at work for the workforce of the future. This technological integration enhances safety and bolsters sustainability in vital sectors such as energy and transportation, marking a significant leap in how industries operate.
The Metaverse presents substantial business potential, fostering innovation, growth, and new revenue streams across industries. Particularly, sectors like gaming, e-commerce, and advertising stand to gain immensely thanks to new monetization models and marketing opportunities. This digital frontier blurs the lines between physical and digital experiences, creating new business models and value propositions. 

“The Metaverse is still more of a vision than reality, as significant steps will be required in technology, standardization, usability, business, regulation, and content development. Finland wants to become an inspiring role model for the whole world. We want to ensure that the Metaverse has open standards and interfaces that provide sufficient independence and freedom and protect the ecosystem from being dominated by a single company or country,” says Jani Jokitalo, Account Manager, ICT and Digitalization at Business Finland.

The world is changing rapidly in many ways, and the Metaverse will challenge the requirements of wireless communications, mostly from connectivity. Our future society is data-driven, enabled by near-instant and unlimited wireless connectivity. 6G networks and technology play a key role in this development. We need speed, capacity, reliability, and low latency to enable our visions to come true. Finland has been the first in 6G and with the launch of this initiative it wants to take a leading position in the Metaverse discussions, too. 

“The Metaverse is a new dimension of the internet, and we need a strategy that reflects its potential and diversity. We are looking for partners who share our vision and want to create a Metaverse strategy that is harmonious and impactful. Together, we can build a better digital world for everyone,” continues Jani Vallirinne, Metaverse Strategy Lead, University of Oulu and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. 

Vision of Finnish Metaverse ecosystem for 2035

Finland, known for its technological expertise and innovation in mobile technology, gaming, and software, benefits from its legacy in photonics research and consumer electronics design, particularly in XR technologies. Its vibrant startup ecosystem, marked by cutting-edge innovation and entrepreneurship, offers technological sovereignty, business excellence, and extensive real-life test bed capabilities.

By 2035, the Finnish ecosystem aims to be at the forefront of Metaverse 2.0, setting a global benchmark for fully embracing this new wave of digitalization. As an enabler and architect of the Metaverse, the ecosystem wants to cultivate a fertile environment for startups and tech companies to flourish, spurring job opportunities and economic growth.

Medium to long-term actions

The implementation of the actions agreed in the initiative starts in 2024 with five ‘Metaverse in Action’ programs. Two horizontal activities underpin these programs: focusing on developing and standardizing the technical infrastructure and platforms for the Metaverse and nurturing emerging business opportunities and networks. The three vertical activities will promote the adoption of Metaverse technologies in Finnish industries, explore their use in preventive and general health care, and educate citizens about the Metaverse, laying the groundwork for new skills and generational engagement.

The way for the future is collaboration 

The Metaverse, as a burgeoning frontier of technology, will require substantial investment, research, and development. Finland’s robust tradition of innovation, combining efforts of academia, government, and industry, emphasizes the need for national and international collaboration within the value network to enrich the global understanding of the Metaverse. The Finnish ecosystem is committed to actively building an inclusive, accessible, ethical, and sustainable Metaverse for everyone.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE STRATEGY 

Metaverse Initiative by the Finnish Ecosystem Presentation (PDF) 
Finnish Metaverse Ecosystem Players (PDF)
Homepage: The Metaverse Strategy for Finland 

ABOUT

Business Finland is the Finnish government organization for innovation funding and trade, travel, and investment promotion. Business Finland’s over 760 experts work in over 40 offices globally and in 16 regional offices around Finland. Business Finland is part of the Team Finland network.

The University of Oulu is one of Finland’s biggest and most multidisciplinary universities. We work as part of the international science community and create new knowledge and innovations that help to solve global challenges. The University of Oulu is ranked in the top 3% of the world´s universities. It´s the home of the world’s first 6G research program. 6G Flagship´s goal is to create the essential 6G technological components, the tools, and the equipment to build a 6G Test Network, develop chosen vertical applications for 6G to accelerate societal digitization and continue to be a recognised vision leader and sought-after research partner in worldwide 6G research.

VTT is a visionary research, development and innovation partner. We drive sustainable growth and tackle the biggest global challenges of our time, and turn them into growth opportunities. We go beyond the obvious to help the society and companies to grow through technological innovations. We have 80 years of experience of top-level research and science-based results. VTT is at the sweet spot where innovation and business come together. VTT – beyond the obvious.

More information:

Jani Vallirinne, Metaverse Strategy Lead, University of Oulu and VTT Technical Research of Finland
jani.vallirinne@vvt.fi
+358 45 1248 795

Contact information

Salla Salovaara
Head of International PR & Media Salla Salovaara
Jani Jokitalo
Account Manager Jani Jokitalo