Nokia headlines “giant” Finnish 5G research project into industrial “megatrends”
Nokia will provide the cellular plumbing for a new €18 million public-private research initiative into the application of 5G in the industrial space.
The project, which goes under the moniker 5G Vertical Integrated Industry for Massive Automation (5G VIIMA), is being billed as a “giant project to clarify… [the] potential” of industrial-grade 5G.
Nokia is among a number from the Finnish, Scandinavian, and Northern European tech scene, including Swiss-Swedish multinational ABB and Sweden-based operator Telia. Others are less known (see bottom); a scattering of international support is also involved.
Business Finland, the state funding agency for academic research, has put up €6 million as a kick-off; the overall budget will almost triple with R&D investments from associated company projects.
The University of Oulu is coordinating the two-year scheme. It is attached, also, to Finland’s 5G Test Network Ecosystem, a parallel public-private effort, established to offer test 5G infrastructure configurations for telecoms, industry, and academia to bolster local enterprise and innovation.
The project also forms part of the University of Oulu’s 6G Flagship, the flagship study of the Academy of Finland (see promotional video below).
Industrial 5G networks will be deployed at testing at four sites. These include a port and base station plant in Oulu, a port equipment test yard in Tampere, and an electrical network in Otaniemi, Espoo. (Check out the Nokia slide-deck here for more detail on the 5G sites and the broad scope of the project.)
Testing will rate the network requirements of a number of industrial applications against the network performance delivered by 5G, including for reliability, latency, automation, energy consumption, and sustainability. It will also consider network design, edge/cloud architevtures, data policies, and aspects of virtualisation, the group said.
Specifically, it said work will be carrued out to test how 5G can be used to animate “video analytics, sensor systems, autonomous devices, and new actuators”, as deployed in augmented and virtual reality setups in industrial environments, for example.
“These are the megatrends that will change societies significantly when 5G [becomes] the solution for critical infrastructure,” said the 5G VIIMA collective.
Olli Liinamaa, an R&D veteran at Nokia, and project lead for both the 5GTN and 5G VIIMA projects, commented: “The project aims to create and test solutions that provide real value in industrial use. At the same time, we also analyse the business environment, or the creation of value chains in case of industrial solutions and the management and ownership of the network and data.
Toni Mattila, porgramme director from Business Finland, said: “It is about development of smart industrial solutions for global markets in close cooperation with industry, academia and research organisations. Development of such data-driven digital value systems is of critical importance for the renewal of Finnish industries.”
Marjo Uusi-Pantti, project manager for 5G at Finnish transport and communications authority Traficom, said: “5G VIIMA is a great portfolio of 5G projects for various industrial applications. The project provides valuable information on new types of usage of mobile networks and their demands for practical 5G implementations. This will facilitate the implementation of systems and services in the future.”
Research parties include the University of Oulu, Aalto University, University of Tampere, Centria University of Applied Sciences, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Turku University of Applied Sciences, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
Private-sector participants are as follows: ABB, Attracs, Augumenta, Kalmar, Efora, FinCloud, Finwe, Fin-Terpuu, Herman Andersson, Kaitotek, MediaTek, Nokia, Oulun Satama, Pölkky, Realmax, Solita, StoraEnso, Telia, Tieto, Uros, Valmet Automation, and Valossa.