August 18, 2020

Finnish SMEs to build business from shared data

A handful of data.
Data has become the world’s most valuable raw material, views Jyrki Katainen, the president of Sitra.
Laura Toropainen / Sitra

The Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra) has launched a programme to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to forge new business models by sharing data, the world’s most valuable raw material, in a fair, responsible and transparent manner.

The 22 participating businesses from a range of sectors are engaged in building fairer data markets that enable companies using data responsibly and open-mindedly to succeed with smart services.

“The data economy and ecosystems need new kinds of business models so that data can be used to create new services that make Finns’ day-to-day lives easier,” stated Anna Wäyrynen, a senior project lead at Sitra.

“New business and value is generated in accordance with the principles of a fair data economy for the entire data-related network of the participating company: customers, the company itself and the company’s partners.”

The objective of the pilot programme is to test data-economy tools in practice and develop data-based business models in co-operation with the participating companies and implementation partners. The programme is later to be refined into a product and distributed for use both in Finland and Europe.

The European Union’s data market is expected to grow to over one billion euros by 2025, according to the European Commission. Sitra in 2019 reported that 46 per cent of Finnish SMEs have reservations about the opportunities presented by the data economy, with many citing lack of expertise as an obstacle to utilising data.

Jyrki Katainen, the president of Sitra, stated that data has become the most valuable raw material on Earth.

“We want to help Finnish SMEs not only [to] adapt to the changed operating environment, but also to evolve into trailblazers of innovations that use data in a fair way,” he outlined.

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