Wärtsilä’s Smart Technology Hub in Vaasa will be a state-of-the-art centre of research, product development and production for Wärtsilä and its customers and suppliers, start-ups, universities and other institutions. We asked Hannu Mäntymaa, Director, R&D and Engineering at Wärtsilä, a few questions about the significance of the new industry hotspot.
1. What does Smart Technology Hub mean to Wärtsilä and its customers?
The Hub will enable Wärtsilä, together with its partners, to lead the transformation towards a 100% renewable energy future and a smart marine ecosystem. It will be the place to be, a so-called ’honey pot’, to innovate solutions that can solve the challenges, such as climate change and business opportunities, our customers and industries are in the middle of. The Hub is a platform for innovation, and it will be connected to other Wärtsilä centres of excellence globally so that they can share best practices, innovative solutions and technical support.
2. Why is collaboration so important to innovation and R&D?
Collaboration, or co-creation as we like to call it, is the only way to stay in a marketshaping leadership position in a rapidly changing world. Collaboration improves the speed of innovation by bringing together diverse views and competences. By collaborating, we are able to combine different ideas that can lead to new disruptive innovations and technological solutions. Collaboration also adds inspiration and energy to R&D with faster idea generation, learning, employee engagement and the ability to test and bring ideas forward.
3. What are the biggest challenges (now and in the future) the great minds at the Hub will be tackling?
Our co-creation and R&D are inspired by Wärtsilä’s purpose: enabling sustainable societies with smart technology. And since climate change, energy efficiency and flexibility as well as safe and reliable operations are challenges and opportunities our industries are facing, we believe our broad portfolio of products, open innovation culture with our partners, new digital technologies, competences and solutions will be our winning formula to enable sustainable societies and create extraordinary value to customers.