A concrete step for the building of Smart Technology Hub was made on 10th of September 2019 when the Groundbreaking Ceremony took place in Vaskiluoto, Vaasa. Over 120 guests were gathered to witness the foundation being laid. During the ceremony, speeches were held by Wärtsilä’s president and CEO Jaakko Eskola, Ilona Lundström, Director General at Ministry of Economic affairs and Employment in Finland, Tomas Häyry, Mayor, City of Vaasa and Hannu Isotalo, Chairman of the board, Luja Group.
“This is a historical moment and a giant leap for Wärtsilä. We base our future on enabling a sustainable society and that is what the Smart Technology Hub is all about” said Jaakko Eskola during his speech. Jaakko also highlighted the importance of the word ecosystem. “Together with our partners we will build a new ecosystem and operating model in which co-operation brings new innovations to the market. The Smart Partner Campus will be built as a part of the Hub, but it will be a global actor. It invites other operators in the sectors and researchers to collaborate and co-create”.
Ilona Lundström, Director General at Ministry of Economic affairs and Employment in Finland, regarded Wärtsilä as a forerunner in innovation. “I have followed the story of Wärtsilä and this innovation project. We are making history today. We are building a new innovation paradigm and above all, I find it inspiring that the Smart Technology Hub is a generational shift in innovation”, she said.
Hannu Isotalo, chairman of Hub’s construction company Lujatalo regarded the large amount of people witnessing the traditional Groundbreaking Ceremony as a sign on how remarkable this project is globally. “Transformation is important to Lujatalo and that is a common value that we share with Wärtsilä. We are proud to be part of this significant project”, he said.
Tomas Häyry, Mayor of Vaasa used his opportunity to congratulate Wärtsilä about being a driver of change for the business in Vaasa region. “The Smart Technology Hub has spun us further in creating a better future. When business thrives, the city and region thrive as well”, said Häyry.
After the speeches it was time for the official ceremony where a time capsule containing personnel’s greetings and local newspapers was laid into the foundation of the future Hub. Vesa Riihimäki, Managing Director of Wärtsilä Finland and Tapani Karinkanta, Program Director for the Smart Technology Hub were sure to close the time capsule properly before Jaakko Eskola got the honour to lay the first shovel of cement on the capsule.