Vake drives change through selected themes in line with its mission and vision. These themes seek to form a cornerstone for future wellbeing and economy in Finland. Vake’s current themes are existing technologies and phenomena that are experiencing rapid development, will have a significant impact and in which Finland has concentrated expertise.

Vake’s operations are channelled through selected themes and programmes detailed below. The strength of a theme-based approach is that it offers a holistic perspective into the key sectors of the future: Within each theme, Vake explores a range of focus areas where strong Finnish expertise already exists as well as the key enablers in these fields of expertise for further development. Vake then makes the decision which areas or enablers would most benefit from the backing of Vake to promote the development of the field in general in Finland.

The first theme

The first theme that Vake selected in 2019 is Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI has often been referred to as the “new electricity” of the 2000s, and it is anticipated that AI will expand into all dimensions and levels of business and industry. Vake has identified healthcare, education and industrial renewal as having most potential from the use of AI. The essential enablers under this theme are data and data infrastructure, Finnish language AI, funding and the regulatory environment.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The themes form longstanding frameworks for sustained development with a timespan of a decade – or even longer – to ensure the effectiveness of investment and development work. The programmes operating under the various themes are typically shorter in duration, usually a few years.

How does Vake select the themes?

Evaluation – is the theme right for Vake?

1. Major impact

The theme must have a lasting major impact on society, the environment and economy.

2. Stage of rapid growth

The theme is at a stage in development where things have progressed from theory to practical application and from hypothetical visions to rapid execution.

3. Finnish knowhow

Finland has existing expertise and ecosystems relevant to the theme: research, public and private sector contributions with strong international links.

4. Long-term benefits

Breakthroughs in the theme require a new approach and it aims at commercially viable products.

5. Technologically ambitious

Achieving the targeted outcomes, the themes are technologically demanding and require highly specialised expertise.

6. Multidisciplinary and multiprofessional

Successful execution of the theme requires creative mixes of knowledge and skills that are seldom seen in any single sector or field of science.

7. Deliverable

People with the right skills are able to envision the complete development path, take immediate action and deliver results within an ambitious timescale.