Deep technology startups create radical innovations that will revolutionise different fields

Now is the time for radical changes. Climate change, the need for securing sufficient resources, and the need to ensure health are speeding up and clearing the way for solutions that will change the world. We are once again facing a technological transformation. It is based on breakthroughs in science, changing our economy and lives more thoroughly than the digitalisation of the last decades. This transformation offers opportunities in nearly every field, from food production to the construction industry and from healthcare to the process industry.

Unique and revolutionary solutions for global problems can be found in startups commercialising deep technology, that is, breakthroughs in both science and technology. This is why traditional companies interested in fast and sustainable growth should start working together with these startups.

A few years ago, I suggested that Finland should start solving challenges and become a global leader in these fields in particular: biotechnical food production, quantum technology, small nuclear reactors, chemical recycling of plastics and the optimisation of material usage. In my pocket book Discovering Exponential Hope, I continued to map out the path of exponential hope by focusing on a fast-growing form of business: deep technology startups.

We have a good number of these interesting startups. Scaling them up to become world-class operators will require cooperation with companies. Finnish startups ought to be supported in order for their production to grow into world-class businesses. This is how we can create new industries and international business in Finland through startups.

The unique expertise Finland has gained over the decades will enable world-class breakthroughs. Our startups, which support sustainable growth, can rise up from these deep technology fields in particular: new materials, nanoelectronics, and health technology. In these fields, we could solve the world’s resource shortage, create a carbon-neutral society and improve people’s lives. Our strongest areas are connected with the expertise of the other Nordic countries and the Baltic states. We also have an opportunity to make use of this (perhaps even unfair) northern competitive advantage by acting quickly.

The jump from laboratory to factory production can cost tens of millions of euros. This is why quickly scaling solutions up to a global level will require cooperation between deep technology startups and large companies. By abstaining from the ever-accelerating development of deep technology, a company may quickly be displaced from the market.

The road to the top of the economy is paved by deep technology startups, and the transformation offers new opportunities for the forest industry as well. I recommend that companies in the forest industry take the opportunities provided by deep technology immediately. The fastest ones win the race.

Antti Vasara