A collaboration among research institutes and industry has the goal of commercializing Finnish expertise in national and international markets, according to Pekka Tuomaala, project leader and principal scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The Smart Clothing 2.0 project led by VTT was formed to create business opportunities for Finnish smart clothing and services. Research institutes and companies are working together to develop completely new products for international markets.
The collaboration will match end user needs to new ideas for products and services. The functionality of those ideas will then be tested and assessed by VTT, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and the Emergency Services College.
The project has five Finnish business participants, each developing smart clothes and services for their own company. Suunto’s project includes several service concepts for exercise and leisure activities. Inkron will produce printed electronics solutions for textiles. Savox is planning new functionalities, for example, for the needs of fire and rescue services. Reima encourages children to move using smart clothing concepts. Wind Controller develops smart clothing solutions and services for the needs of wind turbine fitters and maintenance personnel working in many types of extreme conditions.
Finnish funding agency Tekes is the funding lead on the project. It is joined by escalator manufacturer KONE Corp., insurance company LähiTapiola, workwear provider Image Wear, and textile manufacturer Finlayson. Smart Clothing 2.0 will run until December 2018.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. is a research and technology company in the Nordic countries that develops new technological solutions.