Imagine establishes European operations in Finland
Australian intelligent materials company Imagine has chosen Finland as the location of its R&D-oriented European head office.
Imagine specialises in the manufacturing of graphene, a material that could revolutionise several industries and solutions. The company built the world’s first commercial graphene manufacturing plant in Australia in 2014 and has since applied the super-material to conductive coatings and leak detection geotextiles.
“We’re among the first companies in the world to commercialise graphene,” states Jaakko Kaidesoja, the newly-appointed managing director of Imagine Intelligent Materials Finland, “Our coatings can be fitted with sensor systems and analytics tools. This way we can produce intelligent surfaces, which provide information in real time.”
Chris Gilbey, CEO at Imagine Intelligent Materials, visited the Slush technology conference in Helsinki last year and met Kaidesoja, who was excited about the technology. Gilbey made a follow-up trip to Finland last spring and was impressed by the Finnish technology ecosystem.
“I met with heads of R&D and strategy for a number of Finnish companies and the responses were amazing. [It] seemed like we were at the right time, right place, right opportunity,” says Gilbey. “I have a belief that if you want to build a business based on excellence, you are better off starting with excellence.”
The company will focus primarily on product development in Finland, and use its base here and as a leaping off point from the European market. Business Finland played an important role in bringing Imagine to Finland.
“Imagine’s decision to focus on product development in Finland is a good example of the attractiveness of our ecosystem,” says senior advisor Janne Kari from Business Finland’s Invest in Finland unit. “Finding skilled subcontractors for business product development and the ability of companies to cooperate and form ecosystems is key. This has risen to our core strength in international comparison.”
Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is part of Business Finland.