Collaborative Innovation Path

Business Opportunities with Nordic Industries

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Rapid Tampere: Collaborative Innovation Path

Vertical, together with Eversheds Sutherland, supported by Business Tampere, is looking for outstanding teams to work together with industrial companies in the Tampere region. We want to find new solutions in a pure co-creational fashion, boosting not only your business but the business of the industrial companies and the livelihood of the Tampere region as a whole.

This Fall Vertical and Eversheds Sutherland run a Venture Client program with industrial companies of the region. The application period is open until October 31st. The 6-12 most fitting applicants per client will be invited to our selection days during the 3rd week of November, held in Tampere, Finland.

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Key Dates

Week 39, 2019

October 3, 2019
Application period opens

October 31, 2019
Application period closes

November 13-15, 2019
Selection Days

Rapid Tampere calls for solutions in the following areas:

Collaboration on Extending Human Capacity with Valmet

Valmet is looking for innovative solutions that help increase human capability in heavy working environments. By bringing in solutions such as exoskeletons or robotics, we want to make physical work easier, as well as reduce physical stress on the body.

The end-users of these solutions would be industrial workers, doing manual work which involves heavy lifting.

Our ideal match is a solution that either enhances human physique, or replaces the need for lifting in the first place.

We are looking for solutions that are:

  • Cutting-edge robotics and easy to deploy
  • Proven to work in at least indoors facilities

Bonus attributes, not required:

  • Solutions that enable both manual and remote control

Our ideal startup has skills in

  • Robotics
  • Safety
  • Customer centricity

Our ideal startup:

  • Has a ready PoC or MVP
  • If exoskeleton solution, understands human safety and wellbeing

Why work with Valmet:

  • Potential for wide deployment of product – both for Valmet and Valmet customers
  • We do not want to manufacture robotic solutions ourselves, but are willing to partner with an innovative startup

Apply if you have solutions to one of the following:

  • Robotics
  • Wearable robotics
  • Exoskeletons
  • Health & wellbeing monitoring


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Collaboration on Man Meets Machine with Kalmar

Kalmar wants to improve safety in automated environments. By bringing innovative, human-centric design to the early stages of automation solution planning, we can create a safer working environment for people around the globe.

The end-users of the products we are creating are cargo-handling equipment operators, remote operators and people entering the cargo handling terminals.

Our ideal match is a solution highly usable for situational awareness of the machine driver, as well as other people at ports and terminals, in order to avoid accidents.


We are looking for solutions that are:

  • Integratable with our current systems
  • Scalable across our different departments and locations

Bonus attributes, not required:

  • Profitable
  • Unique solutions

Our ideal startup has skills in:

  • Concept design
  • Human behaviour
  • Safety
  • Human-centric technology development

Our ideal startup:

  • Is born global
  • Has a ready concept or PoC
  • Can take a PoC from paper to real environment


Why work with Kalmar:

  • Big market – every 4th container in the world is handled by Kalmar equipment
  • The leader in container terminal automation
  • Kalmar promotes openness in the industry – excellent reference case
  • In the case of a successful project, continuation in forms of joint R&D, a long-term partnership or a purchase agreement


Apply if you have applicable solutions to one of the following:

  • How to improve situational awareness of the machine driver in ports and terminals in order to avoid accidents. 
  • Safety regulations and responsibilities of humans should be considered in design. 
  • What kind of new possibilities we can get with the help of M2M, H2M and M2H communication.

Longer-term goals:

  • Safety in mixed traffic cases: manual traffic and pedestrians crossing the path of automated machines


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Data Enrichment to Understand Customer Needs with Caruna

Caruna wants to get a closer understanding of what their customers want. By bringing in new streams of data from for example retail, we want to create more holistic yet accurate customer segments, providing better services for customers around Finland.

The end-users of Caruna’s grid are consumers in South, Southwest and West Finland, as well as the city of Joensuu, the sub-region of Koillismaa and Satakunta.

Our ideal match is a solution that enables bringing in data from new streams, as well as helps us understand and predict consumer needs.


We are looking for solutions that are:

  • Integratable with our current systems
  • Scalable across our entire business

Bonus attributes, not required:

  • Profitable
  • Unique solutions

Our ideal startup has skills in

  • Deep level consumer engagement
  • Human behaviour
  • Data analytics

Our ideal startup:

  • Has a ready PoC or validated concept
  • Has capacity to discover new data streams
  • Can apply PoC to practice
  • Can provide service after deployment


Why work with Caruna:

  • Unique partner in electricity distribution – operates a network of 680 000 consumers
  • Scalability of the pilot project – from testing in a small area to deploying nationwide
  • In the case of a successful project, a possibility for a long-lasting service/consulting agreement


Apply if you have solutions to one of the following:

  • Discovering new data streams
  • Solutions to help understand consumer behaviour
  • Data-based predictions
  • Segmenting consumers based on criteria such as age, wealth, consumption and values


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Sensors of Tomorrow with Sandvik

Sandvik wants to explore robust and durable solutions in the casing of sensors. The casings would need to withstand high heat, vibration and moisture.

The end-users of the solution would be Sandvik’s wide customer base.

Our ideal match would have an, at least theoretically, ready solution that can be tested in our facilities, then adjusted for size and fitting.


We are looking for solutions that are:

  • Proven to withstand different kinds of stress
  • Easily attachable to our products
  • Scalable in size

Bonus attributes, not required:

  • Production readiness

Our ideal startup has skills in

  • Robust materials
  • Retrofitting application

Our ideal startup:

  • Has a ready product
  • Is willing to tailor their product

Why work with Sandvik:

  • A globally operating company with a large client base

Apply if you have solutions to one of the following:

  • Durable materials
  • Attaching and retrofitting to old products


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If your company has a solution matching one of these topics,
and the will to take it a step further with an established industry player, you are the one we are looking for.


Depending on the challenge areas and needs, the outcomes of our collaboration projects differ.
Here is a sample range from smaller to big.


of technology to evaluate a future fit.

Collaboration project proposal based on evaluation of demo.

Pilot plan(s) & pilot

including facilitation of project team

Yes/no decision on continuation after first pilot validation.

Concrete joint development project

with project team facilitation and business case design support, creating a beta-product as a collaboration between two parties.

Evaluation of joint development project results, leading to a potential commercial project. Commercialization of the solution.


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The Process

The Venture Client program under Rapid Tampere is divided into 5 distinct phases.

Each phase has clear deliverables, enabling a successful outcome of the overall program. The way each phase is carried out depends on the selected program option.

Innovation Readiness

Сorporations & Vertical

We align the readiness level for collaborative innovation, to match our delivery to your experience and readiness.

Approach Phase

Сorporations & Vertical

The specific targets, strategic goals and type of challenges that will be addressed in the Venture Client activities are set.

Campaign Phase

Сorporations, Startups & Vertical

We carry out a campaign to collect collaboration proposals from the startup companies with the best fit globally.

Shortlist Phase

Corporations, Startups & Vertical

The collaboration proposals are assessed, and the best solutions are selected for the collaboration phase during our selection days.

Collaboration Phase

Corporations, Startups & Vertical

Based on the selected program option, we build a collaboration plan, pilot or joint development project with 1-3 companies that have strong strategic relevance for your business.



Lars Melakoski

Project Lead

Jouni Myllymäki

Senior Business Advisor
Business Tampere

Tommi Uitti

Startup Community Manager
Startup Tampere

Program Partners

Growth, internationalisation, investments, exports, premises, networking, digitalisation and innovations.

We offer practical advice and concrete support, open doors and ensure that your company’s road to success is as smooth as possible.

Business Tampere is the Tampere region economic development agency, covering the municipalities in the city region: Tampere, Kangasala, Lempäälä, Nokia, Orivesi, Pirkkala, Vesilahti and Ylöjärvi.

Business Tampere selected Vertical and Eversheds Sutherland to kick-start innovation activities within the industrial sector of the Tampere Business Region. The year 2019 Business Tampere is financially supporting the program, providing facilities and helping establish a solid foundation for continuous innovation activities in the region.

Let’s create a new Tampere Region. Together.

Tampere startup ecosystem connects the region’s several hundred startups with investors, startup communities, higher education institutes and services that cover a startups’ whole lifespan. Startup Tampere exists to make running a startup easier together with a network of people. As part of Business Tampere, we offer support for your business, helping it grow faster and scale-up. The strong support from Business Tampere startup team, as well as the startup mentors of the Tampere Region, international investor contacts and the tightly knit startup community, speed up the growth and success of your company.






Sandvik is a high-tech and global engineering Group in mining and rock excavation, metal-cutting and materials technology with about 42,000 employees with a strong commitment to enhancing customer productivity, profitability and safety.

Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. Valmet’s vision is to become the global champion in serving its customers. Our 13,000 professionals around the world work close to our customers and are committed to moving our customers’ performance forward – every day.


Caruna distributes electricity and maintains, repairs and builds a weatherproof electricity network for its 680,000 customers in South, Southwest and West Finland, as well as in the city of Joensuu, the sub-region of Koillismaa and Satakunta. In order to guarantee a reliable electricity supply to its customers under all circumstances, Caruna supervises its network 24/7. A weatherproof smart electricity network also provides a well-functioning energy system for the future when digital services increase, the traffic is electrified, and the consumer becomes a producer of energy.

Kalmar offers the widest range of cargo handling solutions and services to ports, terminals, distribution centres and to heavy industry. Kalmar is the industry forerunner in terminal automation and in energy-efficient container handling, with one in four container movements around the globe being handled by a Kalmar solution. Through its extensive product portfolio, global service network and ability to enable a seamless integration of different terminal processes, Kalmar improves the efficiency of every move.

Kalmar is part of Cargotec. Cargotec’s (Nasdaq Helsinki: CGCBV) sales in 2018 totalled approximately EUR 3.3 billion and it employs around 12,000 people.



This list of questions will be updated throughout the whole application period.

When and How to apply?

The application period is open until October 31st through the “Apply Now” buttons on this page.

Who can apply?

Any startups, or other fast-paced innovation partners, bringing disruptive innovations that can provide solutions that could transform the business of the Tampere industrial sector can apply for the program.

Does my product or technology have to fit the client’s current offering?

No, it doesn’t have to. The co-creation process is designed in such a way that you will be able to explore the opportunity of adapting your product or technology to the challenges have been outlined.

Where and when will the Selection Days take place?

The 6-12 most promising startups per track will be invited for the Selection Days taking place in Tampere, Finland during 13.-15.11.

Can startups outside of Finland apply?

Absolutely. We and our clients have worked with startups on co-creation projects from all over the world.

How many startups will you select?

At the end of the selection process, we will invite 1-2 startups per track to participate in the programme.