Innovation Expert Sanni Siltanen leads autonomous mobility technology companies to the international top.
Sensor manufacturing, electric charging service, algorithm development and various devices and environments of the manufacturing industry join forces in the hands of Senior Ecosystem Lead Sanni Siltanen. “Technological know-how for autonomous mobility and smart spaces is at a very high level in Finland. Internationally significant factors are traditional car manufacturing countries like Germany, but also electric car companies starting from a clean slate, and companies which already use mobile robots especially in Asia. However, the field is still alive and changing, and now is the right time for Finns to take their own slice of the international market,” says Siltanen.
The companies in the VAMOS ecosystem (Ecosystem for Autonomous Mobility in Smart Spaces) led by Siltanen have set themselves the goal of becoming the dominant country in the technology area by 2029. “Companies need to unite their forces in order to be able to form a broad joint offering. Small, individual block providers will not succeed in international competition, but must form larger entities. For this, we have a good set of companies in the ecosystem that look at the same topic from a slightly different direction, from small companies to large industrial companies,” describes Siltanen.
In addition, by joining forces, visibility can be multiplied, and good contacts can be made.
Builds bridges between companies and research
Sanni Siltanen specializes in extended reality (XR), the research and development of which she started working at VTT in 2001 and which she applied to industry in KONE’s research and product development tasks. The terms augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and combined reality (MR) often flash in Siltanen’s speech.
In her doctoral thesis at Aalto University, she dealt with the co-development of augmented reality. She sees the current job as a natural continuation of this special expertise.
“I have studied understanding the world through a camera in AR, i.e. how to observe the environment. There I have moved virtual objects, which now, when moving to autonomous mobility, change to real-world objects. On the other hand, when developing technologies related to the movement of robots, machines or cars, there are many things that should be simulated and tested virtually, i.e. using VR or MR, for example,” says Siltanen.
Siltanen becomes a bridge builder in her current workplace, because DIMECC is a joint development company owned by industrial companies and research institutes, whose mission is to speed up the introduction of new technologies. “I am interested in the cooperation between companies and universities, and I want to act as a bridge in it. This is realized both in my current work and in my role as associate professor at Tampere University, in the field of augmented reality in industry, i.e. industrial XR.”
The ecosystem is currently preparing co-creative research, product development and innovation projects.
“With the help of co-creation projects, it is possible to build bigger entities than a single company could. It is also possible to share the risk related to the research part. In this way, we are able to develop an offering that wins in international competition.”