Finland well positioned as Industrial Internet grows in China

The Industrial Internet (IIoT) is gaining ground in China, where local companies are putting a higher emphasis on digitalization. Finnish companies have a lot to offer for China’s billion-dollar IIoT market.

Business Finland’s predecessors Finpro and Tekes have been active in China for years. Therefore, it’s hardly a surprise that the people at the Business Finland Industrial Internet program have a thorough understanding of China and its digital needs.

In fact, they have been consolidating their knowledge already for a couple of years, while steadily introducing IIoT and its potential to their Chinese counterparts.

Finally, the time appears to be right.

“We have focused on IIoT and China since 2015,” says Reijo Smolander, Program Director at Business Finland’s Industrial Internet program. “Nowadays, local companies know well that IIoT is fundamentally changing the landscape of global manufacturing. It’s becoming a cornerstone of industrial processes in every imaginable industry – and even more. Finnish companies are optimal partners in this transformation.”

It’s clear what Smolander means with more. IIoT not only improves process efficiency, it also creates a realm of opportunities with new services and business models.

The Chinese Government is also active in the sector. It has recently launched its Made in China 2025 Plan, which aims at improving the efficiency of the country’s manufacturing industry. Obviously, implementing such a plan will mean a growing emphasis on digitalization across Chinese manufacturing companies.

”China wants to guarantee the competitiveness of its manufacturing sector,” Smolander summarizes. “Taking advantage of IIoT is a natural way to keep up with the global competition.”

Taking off to China

The current development has encouraged Business Finland’s Industrial Internet program to arrange concrete ways for Finnish companies to seize the opportunity. In December 2017, the contingent of BaseN, Distence, Prosys OPC, Quuppa and Qt Company joined a Trade Mission to China.

Evidently, the thorough matchmaking between the participants and Chinese companies paid off.

“I am very impressed with the flow of the agenda and the level of leads,” one of the participants said afterwards. “The agenda was intensive and no time was wasted, yet this didn’t drain my energy to keep going from one meeting to another.”

“I met several Chinese companies, which showed great interest in our products and IIoT solutions,” another attendee summarized. “Now, I am following up the leads and am positive that our company will benefit from this trade mission.”

Due to the success of the first Trade Mission, the Industrial Internet program has decided to schedule a second Trade Mission for June 2018. Meanwhile, a group of Chinese companies will similarly visit Finland in May 2018.

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