Innovation projects

All ongoing innovation projects

Here you find all ongoing innovation projects.
Aalto deep tech



Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) support the acceleration of existing microelectronic systems trends including edge computing, robotics & automation, Industry 4.0, mobility, biometrics, and augmented/virtual reality. In these applications, the performance of the current MEMS devices needs to be improved vastly in the field of latency, accuracy, sensitivity, energy efficiency, fail- operational level reliability and miniaturization. However, shortcomings in the current approaches to MEMS design limit the prospects. At the MEMS component level, sensing is achieved by static or resonant motion in mutual or perpendicular directions as the motion being measured. Currently, this directional behaviour require complex designs that adds to costs in manufacturability, increased device sizes and waste.
This project focuses on a disruptive new approach to fabricating MEMS components. The technology, called 3DPiezoMEMS, addresses the problem of simultaneous in- and out-of-plane element motion. This is enabled by depositing piezoelectric aluminium nitride (AlN) on the vertical and horizonal surfaces of a MEMS element, giving the design fully unhindered 3D-motion. Having fully integrated 3D-motion reduces MEMS element complexity, reducing overall the costs and size of MEMS devices. In addition, the use of PiezoMEMS brings significant power reduction for the actuation and sensing due to the intrinsic mechanical-electrical coupling behaviour of piezoelectric materials. 

Contact: Pekka Kettunen, Innovation Advisor (ELEC)



Hyperspectral imaging technologies are expected to be used in our daily life, for example, for agriculture, food industry, surveillance, safety, environment and medicine applications. This A- GATE project aims to prepare the commercialisation of our newly-invented miniaturized spectrometers. The project will research the first-of-its-kind low-cost high-efficiency miniaturized hyperspectral imaging array sensors, and then bring industrial utilization and market exploitation to the researched hyperspectral imaging sensors for commercialisation preparation. 

Contact: Pekka Kettunen, Innovation Advisor (ELEC)



Forests are a multifunctional resource of high economic and social value. Current forest plans based on simulations of forest management guidelines leave much of the forest's potential untapped. Our solution - AIFORE - is a huge step in the digitalisation of forest planning. Combining the latest research in machine learning and forestry, we create the world's first artificial intelligence, high-scalability forest management optimization tool.

Our target customers are forest owners, forest funds, insurance companies and banks. According to preliminary results, we will be able to increase the value of forest assets by up to 50% and average annual income by up to 14%. AIFORE helps B2B and B2C clients make efficient use of their forest assets. Even a 1% increase in efficiency would increase revenue from wood sales by € 22 million, creating multiplier effects on employment, the competitiveness of the forest industry and tax revenues. AIFORE is also able to take into account risk factors (eg forest fires, storm damage, insect damage and price fluctuations), reducing the risk of forest investment by up to 20%. AIFORE is helping to combat climate change by also producing an optimal forest plan to increase carbon sinks and protect biodiversity.

Our project targets the $ 8 billion forestry software market, which is projected to grow at an annual rate of 22% (2020 - 2024). Our business is supported by four market trends: digitalisation, bioeconomy, ESG investment and increased forest ownership by funds. Our market covers 58% of the world's forests and we are able to optimize forest management in, for example, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Canada, the United States, Russia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

The objectives of our project are 1) further development of our algorithm, 2) testing of POC (proof-of-concept) with real customer data, 3) implementation of market research and confirmation of product demand, and 4) registration of intellectual property rights for our optimization algorithm.

Contact Juha Siivola, Innovation Advisor (SCI)



The ALDEL project focuses on studying nanostructured erbium-doped films in silicon nitride slot waveguides for photonic applications.  The devices we aim to create in the project can send the information in an optical form on the integrated silicon platform.  The key benefits of our devices include small footprint, high power efficiency, and compatibility with modern microelectronics systems. Potential applications are optical transceivers, integrated ultrafast mode-locked lasers, navigation devices, point of care devices, sensing, etc.

Contact: Pekka Kettunen, Innovation Advisor (ELEC)



The basic problem with superhydrophobic surfaces is that their function is based on nanostructures, which are essentially very weak mechanically. For this reason, superhydrophobic surfaces have hitherto been laboratory curiosities or niche products.The ARMOR concept makes it possible to combine the mechanical and superhydrophobic properties of a surface. We have already demonstrated that the solution is material-independent: it works with several material combinations, such as silicon, metals and glass.

Contact: Ilkka Hyytiäinen, Innovation Advisor (SCI)



A huge automotive batteries boom is imminent in electric transportation. Besides that, various electricity grid, commercial and industrial, as well as residential needs drive a rapid growth of stationary batteries. The best way to get the most value out of a battery is to use it for multiple purposes efficiently. However, optimizing revenues from such multi-use is a difficult, continually repeating task. It is difficult because of uncertainties, various timescales, and numerous constraints plus alternative costs and incomes involved. Today, many batteries are used based on fixed plans and limited to a single service. This does not utilize the full potential of the battery, and natural resources consumed in producing the batteries are partly wasted. Our solution applies a novel combination of modelling and artificial intelligence to optimizing the usage plan of a battery for the day ahead. Our solution takes into account on one hand the requirements of the various markets or usages, and on the other hand the non-linear properties of the battery itself. 

Contact: Pekka Kettunen, Innovation Advisor (ELEC)



The replacement of oil-based materials with sustainable, recyclable biomaterials is a growing challenge in many areas of business. Also, there is a large need for acoustic treatment of indoor spaces, such as open-plan offices, learning environments, as well as private apartments where increasing amounts of high-quality media content is being created. The Circular Panels R2B-project aims to provide a solution to these problems by producing fully bio-based recyclable indoor acoustic panels that have a surface optimized for acoustic applications and that have design properties that make them competitive as decorative elements.

Contact: Panu Kuosmanen, Innovation Advisor (ENG)



This R2B project focusses on algorithmic research for Automation tools assisting in the User interface design process. DESIGN.AI is an AI-based Assistant for UI designers. It revolutionizes the productivity and creativity of designers. It enables new paradigms for the design process to create self-adapting UIs leading to a substantially enhanced experience for all stakeholders.

Contact: Sami Ala-Luukko, Innovation Advisor (ELEC)



eParkly provides a better parking experience for drivers by identifying available parking spaces and enabling a demand-driven market for parking space pricing. eParkly provides a demand-driven marketplace for parking providers. Parking spaces can be private, provided by parking companies or on the street.

Contact Juha Siivola, Innovation Advisor (SCI)



The Façades project aims at developing the missing components for enabling AR-based real-estate listing and advertising in outdoor environments and finding the most suitable commercialization path. Technically, we will focus on AI-based outdoor 3D localization, including building façade detection, parsing and localization using the data collected from smartphones, e.g., video, GPS and motion data. With our inventions, it will become possible to precisely locate a property in a multistorey building (i.e., identifying the windows and balconies belonging to the property), and to automatically create insights into the property (e.g., orientation, illumination) and its surroundings (e.g., nearby services). To evaluate our business ideas, we will follow the human-centered design process to create two mobile AR applications based on our inventions and will conduct pilot studies together with Finnish real-estate agents. These AR applications are expected to assist real-estate agents in creating digital listings and advertisements and home seekers in searching and viewing the properties of interest on the spot.

Contact: Sami Ala-Luukko, Innovation Advisor (ELEC)



H-Cel is a process technology capable of producing cellulose nanocrystals with a gaseous reagent at a very high (> 95%) consistency. In this way, many problems related to the production and processing of nanocellulose can be solved. Existing technologies are based on the use of a liquid acid, in which case the product obtained from the process is usually at a consistency of 1-10%. As a result of such low consistency, the cost of drying and transporting nanocellulose has risen to unsustainable levels. The purification of nanocellulose in these processes is also cumbersome and the recycling of liquid acid is not made profitable. H-Cel solves all these problems: the product is washed with a simple rinse and the recycling of gaseous acid makes the process environmentally friendly.

Nanocellulose has been advertised in many ways as a savior for the forest industry and as a raw material for new, more environmentally friendly products. At the moment, however, the problem is the high price. For example, the production of biodegradable composites to replace plastic with nanocellulose is far too expensive. H-Cel focuses specifically on the decisive calculation of nanocellulose production costs. The scalability and commercialization of H-Cel technology will increase the competitiveness of Finnish industry in the production and application of nanocellulose to new products. At the same time, it is a statement in favor of new, more environmentally friendly technology.

Contact: Janne Raula, Innovation advisor (CHEM)



Aalto University's thinTouch project aims to develop a completely new technology for the treatment of a specific brain disease. The invention originated from the Biodesign Finland project, the purpose of which is to identify the needs of healthcare and to develop solutions based on these researches. hentoTouch combines research from different fields of science, creating a completely new concept for the treatment of that disease. The form of treatment is alleviating a huge global health problem that is also currently placing a significant financial burden on health care as well as limited productivity. The aim of the project is to create a solution that offers the opportunity for better treatment results and thus an improved quality of life for patients, as well as significant savings in public funds. In addition, the project will bring Finland to the forefront of the international treatment of this brain disease.

Contact: Ilkka Hyytiäinen, Innovation Advisor (SCI)



Immunate develops microscopy technology with the goal of significantly enhancing the adoptability of 3D cell culture in research and industry. Transitioning from conventional 2D culture to the 3D culture is expected to open new horizons for research and industrial processes, particularly, in the area of cancer-treatment development. Specifically, we aim to significantly enhance repeatability of 3D culture samples, and the applicability of 3D culture in cancer-drug discovery, screening of cancer-drug efficacy, and personalized cancer medicine. The technological realization is based on a software, and a device that can be provided as stand-alone, or as microscope add-on. Immunate is currently a research to business (R2B) project of Business Finland, and it is led by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki with spinoff ambitions in Q1/2023.

Contact: Pekka Kettunen, Innovation Advisor (ELEC)



NPHarvest at its core is a research project aiming to enable efficient and profitable nutrient recycling from waste flows to the (fertilizer) market. Our technological development is at pilot scale and we're currently working on commercializing our technology. The technology is based on energy efficient hydrophobic membrane stripping for ammonia and ballasted sedimentation of phosphorus with lime.

Contact: Panu Kuosmanen, Senior Innovation Advisor (ENG)



The project is preparing the commercialization of a brain imaging technology developed at Aalto University related to the MEG-MRI combination device. Its aim is to demonstrate the commercial potential of the method, to select the primary market areas and to select the best possible business model for the commercialization of the method. The research part of the project aims to ensure and verify the unparalleled diagnostic accuracy and suitability of the method for treatment planning in important areas of application (epilepsy, brain tumors, Alzheimer's disease). The commercialization part of the project will result in a comprehensive business plan and contacts with potential customers and investors.

Contact: Patrik Hollos, Innovation Advisor (SCI)



Depression (Major depressive disorder, MDD) is the leading cause of disability globally and the largest burden of illness among mental health problems. The cost of depression in the United States is> $ 200 billion and in Europe> € 100 billion. ~ 7% of the adult population suffers from depression each year and about half of depression cases go untreated. The main treatments are antidepressants (limited efficacy, variable response, side effects) and various therapies (limited efficacy, high cost, poor availability). Above all, current therapies do not alleviate the cognitive symptoms of depression. Digital Therapeutics (DTx) is a new form of healthcare technology and offers an affordable, highly scalable and widely available solution to global healthcare challenges such as depression. DTx methods based on cognitive psychotherapy already exist for the treatment of depression. We have developed a new type of action computer game that offers a new DTx treatment for depression. Our game innovation alleviates the symptoms of depression, but also seeks to strengthen cognitive performance and thus correct cognitive deficits associated with depression. Our “game of depression” is a unique, challenging and fun action game developed “game above” instead of being based on playful psychological tests. Preliminary research suggests that as early as 8 to 12 weeks of gaming intervention may lead to a clinically significant response to treatment. In this project, we will identify the gaming DTx business models and the freedom of action for our gaming solution. We are producing a proof-of-concept version of the game that will be tested in a clinical trial to determine its effectiveness and safety. The clinical data thus collected will form the basis for the subsequent commercialization of research results and advance national opportunities to play a leading role in the new digital therapies business.

Contact Patrik Hollos, Innovation Advisor (SCI)



Millimeter wave imaging is used to search for hidden objects in security screening applications. Millimeter waves penetrate ordinary clothing well and the short wavelength allows adequate resolution for personal inspection applications. The technique can detect both metallic and non-metallic objects. The MilliScan project is developing an imaging method that is much simpler to implement: the technology is based on a dispersive hologram connected to a high-speed integrated millimeter-wave transceiver and neural network. The neural network interprets complex reflection as images in real time.

The technology enables remarkably light mechanical implementation without moving parts, demanding installation work, or long start-up time. In the past, millimeter wave imaging has been used only in the most critical destinations, such as airports. The cost benefit of the new technology is significant, and the commercial outcome of the project is expected to find new markets where millimeter-wave imaging could not previously be introduced due to cost, size, or frequent maintenance required.

Contact: Pekka Kettunen, Innovation Advisor (ELEC)



The project is preparing the commercialization of transcranial magnetic stimulation technology, or TMS technology, which is under intensive research and development at Aalto University. TMS is a non-invasive way to activate nerve cells by inducing electrical currents at a desired point in the brain. TMS is already widely used in research, diagnosis and therapy around the world. By commercializing the technology, we aim to bring a new, revolutionary multi-site TMS (mTMS) to other research teams and clinics.

Contact: Patrik Hollos, Innovation Advisor (SCI)



Compressed air systems are widely used in industry due to, among other things, their ease of use, operational safety and environmental friendliness, and compressed air can be considered one of the basic commodities essential for most industries. However, compressed air is the most expensive energy in industry - in large EU countries, industry uses up to 7-12% of all its electricity to produce compressed air. The project investigates the utilization of waste heat to produce compressed air.

Contact: Pekka Kettunen, Innovation Advisor (ELEC)



The Nosore R2B project investigates the suitability of a measurement sheet based on smart textiles for assessing the risk of pressure ulcers and thus for the prevention of weight wounds.

Contact Ilkka Hyytiäinen, Innovation Advisor (SCI)



Heat flows as a result of contact between materials with different temperatures. Thermal insulation prevents heat exchange between materials where needed. This makes insulation materials widely important in daily life use for example in electronics, buildings, packaging, etc. There are common insulation materials on the market such as mineral fibers, polystyrene, natural fibers, or rigid foam boards. But majority of these products are fossil-fuel-based, non-biodegradable, or inefficient in controlling temperature. This project introduces a new type of insulation materials as a perfect candidate for self-regulating thermo-packaging. Our insulation is composed of bio-feedstocks and phase change materials (PCM) that can help achieving a more energy-efficient temperature-control via leakage-free phase change processes. Our PCM Insulation (PCMI) can absorb and release extra thermal energy while keeping the temperature constant. PCMI is eco-friendly and reduces carbon footprint compared to traditional insulation packaging such as polystyrene or polyurethane foams. PCMI offers effective thermal protection with a lightweight bio-based origin, significantly preventing temperature fluctuations for example during goods transport and delivery.

Contact: Panu Kuosmanen, Innovation Advisor (ENG)



The project will develop biomaterial for a network used to correct pelvic organ deposition in women, as well as a business model to commercialize the invention.

Contact: Ilkka Hyytiäinen, Innovation Advisor (SCI)



The visual sensebuilding tools (Visentool) R2B project develops the concepts, designs, and prototypes of the facilitating application and symbolically explicit artifact sets for visual sensebuilding. During the R2B project, the team with the support of advisors will actively test and develop the method, the artifacts, and the facilitation app with real end users of diverse backgrounds. Founded on the most recent design research and cognitive and social neuroscience, the artifact's sizes, shapes, and colors will be designed to inspire intuitive and playful sensebuilding. The concept and pilot design will be done for the digital facilitator application, and the use of various AI algorithms will be explored. The project aims to establish the readiness for commercialization, produce supportive research for proof of concept and relevance, and prepare the founding of a start-up and a first risk funding round. We have an exceptionally experienced multidisciplinary research and a business-focused team composed of Aalto University faculty from the School of Science, School of Art and Design, and the Innovation support unit, partner companies, and start-up advisors, with strong expertise in artifact design, work design, software development, plastic molding, neuroscience, marketing, scaling start-ups, and organization and strategic management.

Contact: Ilkka Hyytiäinen, Innovation Advisor (SCI)



The importance of information technology is ubiquitous in today’s society. Enormous amounts of data are being transmitted around the globe, and this data transmission is carried out mostly via fiber optic networks. Regarding the ever-increasing importance of data centers, the applications such as video streaming, virtual meetings, AI etc. are drastically increasing the required capacity of data centers. The needs for high bandwidth, low latency and low power consumption, and small footprint are becoming of utmost importance, which are difficult to meet in today’s data centers. Key components in data centers are optical transceivers, which detect, modulate, and generate light. However, the requirements of future data centers cannot be met without the development of new types of optical transceivers. Their size and power consumption need to be drastically reduced. In this project, we will investigate new types of high-speed transceivers based on Siphotonics, which have potential to meet the needs of future data centers.

Contact: Pekka Kettunen, Innovation Advisor (ELEC)



The aim of the Twinbase project is to commercialize Aalto University's research results in the subject area of digital twins. At the center of the project is a platform customized for the management of digital twins, which we call Twinbase. The platform enables vendor-independent management of digital twins based on standardized ways of describing digital twins. There are several different standards and specifications suitable for describing, and we call their use the digital twin description document method. However, the twin description document method is not yet established, so twin documents are studied both methodically as well as through application to practical digital twins. The applicability of ontologies and identity technologies to the twin document method is also studied and developed, and user interface research is carried out to present the information and functionalities offered by the document method in an optimal way. The project maps pilot customers and ensures the platform's suitability for managing their digital twins. The goal of the project is to prove the usability of the method in practical tests and create a basis for starting business around the platform.

Contact: Panu Kuosmanen, Innovation Advisor (ENG)



Urisens is a healthcare technology solution that solves a significant need in elderly and long term care (LTC), screening vital urine parameters renal function and hydration. It takes usually a minimum of 3 days for the caregiver to notice the worsening health for long-term bed patients. The clinician suspects of various clinical conditions, including dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and infections. Getting the results of lab tests take another day. 4 days passed; still the clinician does not have enough data for diagnosis. The symptoms gets worse and treatment is late.

With Urisens, data collection happens wirelessly and immediately, using a low cost printed sensor system embedded in a diaper. Urinary data and artificial intelligence (AI) assisted analysis generates clinically useful information rapidly, reducing caregiver time spent on patient and other clinical resources. The joint parties are Aalto University and VTT. Urisens applied technology is built on a strong research foundation backed by a multidisciplinary team consisting of clinical experts, researchers, engineers and industry experts.  The team has solid experience in health technology research and business development.

Contact: Patrik Hollos, Innovation Advisor (SCI)



Mechanically and chemically modified wood Wuud, is an outstanding solution for exterior and interior claddings. A ready to install cladding product that combines new surface textures and aesthetics, a natural color scale that is well suited for modern architecture, a 50-year service free lifespan and fire proofing.

Contact: Janne Raula, Innovation Advisor (CHEM)

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