"Innovations start from vision, not technology"

“In order to succeed companies must be led by visionaries. All innovations start from a big idea, not technology”, says Professor Alexander Manu who visited Helsinki to brainstorm on the next big thing for Finland. Professor Manu claims that all big leaders, like Steve Jobs, are philosophers. These leaders can understand the basic human desires and they are bold enough to lead their company to markets that do not yet exist – they create the market. 

Professor Manu was the keynote speaker at the Results Day of EIT Helsinki on Wednesday 9 October hosted by Director Marko Turpeinen from EIT ICT Labs Helsinki. Manu's inspirational keynote was also attended by representatives of the city of Espoo, the Mayor Jukka Mäkelä and director Tuula Antola (top image).

Provocative author, speaker and leading practitioner in the field of strategic foresight, Alexander Manu surveyed in his speech how organisations transform ideas into platforms for engagement and participation, or what he calls “a new behavior space”. Manu continued that life is about seeking pleasure in any form, by all means. Products that fulfill the human desires and create a new behaviour succeed. Google is about fulfilling our desire to know and understand, Facebook our desire to leave a mark. Innovation is the creation of new behavior.

Showcasing innovations and start-ups 

Petri Liuha, action line leader for Smart Spaces, introduced the audience to an innovation on intelligent lighting and many retail applications like augmented reality in shops guiding the customer to easily find the products they are looking for.  Janina Fagerlund, a student at the EIT ICT Labs Master School, introduced her first start-up that she set up with her fellow students. Their Jukeboss application was also demonstrated on the Co-location Centre together with 20 other demos and start-ups ranging from cloud, networking, and health & wellbeing to smart spaces. 

One of the start-ups demonstrating on Wednesday was ELL-I, an open source hardware and software platform for intelligent Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) devices. An ELL-I Power-over-Ethernet node provides electrical power, distributed applications, and Ethernet communications at an affordable price. It allows a new class of fixed and embedded devices to be created, such as LED lights, active loudspeakers, safety systems, sensors, and actuators. “We are looking for SW developers who would be working with us to build the product further and also to develop their own products based on this platform. EIT events, like the Results Day, offer us a great possibility to meet potential collaborators”, says Teemu Hakala from ELL-i. The cooperative is being coached by the EIT ICT Labs Business Accelerator and use the Helsinki CLC as their home base. 

More information 

See presentation videos 


Presentation slides: 

Keynote: The business of innovation in behaviour space by Alexander Manu 

EIT ICT Labs bringing innovations to market by Marko Turpeinen 

Business opportunities in smart spaces by Petri Liuha

Business in the Cloud by Tua Huomo  








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