Finland’s Economic Affairs Minister Visits Virginia Tech to Discuss Future Collaborations with CCI
November 16, 2021
The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) welcomed Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä, his delegation from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ambassador of Finland to the U.S. and Embassy officials, and a Finnish 6G Flagship representative on Nov.15 at the Virginia Tech Research Center to discuss potential future international collaborations between CCI and Finnish universities to develop secure next generation wireless communications technologies.
“CCI's researchers play a leading role in the vision for the next generation of communication networks,” said Luiz DaSilva, CCI executive director. “By establishing a collaboration with 6G Flagship coordinated by University of Oulu, and other universities in Finland, we join forces with the first large-scale initiative in the world to have invested in research and innovation in 6G technologies. Together, CCI and Finnish 6G research community will have a global impact on how to ensure security and privacy in network technologies for the next decade or more.”
Wireless communications play a key role in our global society, and as these networks have become a core part of our critical infrastructure, requirements for mobile technologies have steadily increased. The sixth generation of wireless communications networks, usually referred to as 6G or NextG, is expected to revolutionize a number of industries, from manufacturing to transportation.
Finland launched 6G Flagship, the first large research, development, and innovation (RDI) initiative in 6G in the world in 2018. The international collaboration between CCI and Finland would provide a strong foundation to promote a sustainable, inclusive, safe, and human-centric vision of 6G. Cooperation between the two entities may focus on priority topics such as global 6G vision work and technology recognizing cybersecurity as a core requirement for 6G networks.
“This is an extremely fast-advancing technology, and to remain at the cutting edge, small countries like Finland need to build networks with the leading international research institutes,” said Minister Lintilä, who was joined by Under-Secretary of State Petri Peltonen of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, and by H.E. Mikko Hautala, Ambassador of Finland to the U.S.
Virginia and Finland have both emerged as leading centers of excellence in 6G technology, forming a strong basis for cooperation, Minister Lintilä noted about his visit to CCI.
“In the face of rapid technological development and increasing global competition, it pays to work together with international partners. What I saw at the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative today was very impressive and very much in line with what is being done at the Oulu 6G Flagship initiative,” Minister Lintilä said.
Funded by the state, CCI brings together 41 institutions of higher education and more than 300 researchers from across Virginia to collaborate on research, workforce development, and innovation at the intersection of security, autonomous systems, and intelligence.
The 6G Flagship is coordinated by the University of Oulu, and funded by the Academy of Finland and the University of Oulu for 2018−2026. Other potential collaborations with CCI include Aalto University, University of Helsinki, and University of Tampere. Together, there are more than 400 researchers in these Finnish universities working on 6G technologies.
The officials met at the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington, Virginia, which is home to the CCI headquarters.