Finnish AI Region (FAIR)

The Finnish AI Region (FAIR) provides accessible expertise in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, high-performance computing, and cybersecurity for businesses. As one of 151 European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) under the EU’s Digital Europe program, FAIR aims to enhance the rapid deployment of AI in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It focuses on AI and related technologies to address the global shortage of expertise, the need for rapid workforce upskilling, and the development of supportive innovation frameworks. 

FAIR, funded by the European Commission, Business Finland, and the Helsinki Innovation Fund, is a consortium led by Helsinki City and includes 11 core partners: the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa, Aalto University, University of Helsinki, Haaga-Helia and Metropolia Universities of Applied Sciences, KIRAHub, IT Center of Science CSC, and European Innovation and Technology Institute EIT Digital. It also involves affiliate and associated partners like Google, Microsoft, Varian, ABB, the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence (FCAI), and Arcada University of Applied Sciences. Each partner contributes specific services to FAIR’s initiatives. 

Metropolia UAS significantly contributes to the FAIR project and its objectives by providing services from Helsinki XR Center and platforms like AIoT Garage and Robo Garage. 

Service offerings by Helsinki XR Center (HXRC): 

  • Match XR and contribution to other FAIR networking events 

HXRC hosts multiple networking events, including the key annual event Match XR during pre-Slush week. This event gathers leading figures in XR, AI, and emerging technologies for an expo, seminars, and matchmaking, offering a unique platform for collaboration. It’s the only free event in the region for SME participants and for the audience and fosters a vibrant community. Additionally, Metropolia supports other FAIR events like the “Tekoälyn hyödyntäminen Pk-yrityksessä” held at its Vantaa campus on May 22, 2024. 

  • Tailored XR training and experiments 

Helsinki XR Center provides a state-of-the-art showroom for the latest hardware and case studies for the implementation of XR in different sectors, and it is open to SMEs and companies. 

  • AI training workshop 

The “Generative AI for Creative Workflows” workshop aims to provide a comprehensive, accessible, and engaging exploration of AI technologies, including an understanding of how these technologies are developed, how they function, and their practical applications. It blends theoretical instruction with practical activities, suitable for all skill levels. Participants engage in creating multimedia projects, such as envisioning futuristic scenarios for Finland, designing products, producing AI-assisted films, curating fashion lines, creating documentaries, or developing marketing campaigns. This allows participants to directly apply AI tools in creative and innovative ways.

  • Training webinars 

FAIR hosts monthly training webinars on Tuesday afternoons, aimed at educating SMEs on AI, XR, cybersecurity, and high-performance computing. These sessions also address SME experiences and are often co-hosted with digital innovation hubs from Sweden, Estonia, Norway, and other EU countries. Metropolia’s researchers and experts contribute their expertise to these training webinars.

  • Proof of Concept projects 

Proof of Concepts (POCs) at Metropolia are categorized into three main areas: generative AI, conventional machine learning, and robotics. Generative AI POCs employ advanced technologies like Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG), chaining of Large Language Models (LLMs), and AI-enhanced workflow automation to boost innovation and efficiency. Traditional approaches are pursued through AIoT Garage and Robo Garage, focusing on machine learning and robotics POCs, respectively. These POCs are essential for businesses to test and experiment with new technologies before making significant investments, demonstrating AI’s practical applications across industries, and facilitating effective technology adoption. 

The skill and training platform offers a variety of content, including short courses, micro-degrees, workshops, and webinars provided by FAIR consortium partners, associated partners, as well as other European Digital Innovation hubs, and other prominent European educational institutions. Its training roadmap feature allows for the creation of customized study plans tailored to specific business needs, particularly in AI. This targeted approach equips employees to develop innovative AI solutions, fostering a skilled workforce that supports the EU’s dual transition ambitions. 

  • Maturity assessments 

Metropolia conducts Digital and AI Maturity Assessments to help organizations evaluate their digital and AI capabilities. These assessments are conducted through one-on-one meetings between company representatives and Metropolia’s experts, or companies can opt to conduct the AI Maturity Assessment independently using a web-based tool.  

In order to benefit from FAIR services, Finnish SMEs are invited for a free registration on FAIR’s website 

SMEs can also benefit from open and targeted events, by following the events on FAIR page and social media, as well as those of Helsinki XR Center. 

Articles about Finnish AI Region (FAIR)

HXRC Newsletter: October 2023

HXRC Newsletter: October 2023

In October’s newsletter we share updates about events and initiatives at the Helsinki XR Center, including the Exhibitor Open Call for Match XR 2023, the Generative AI themed FIVR meetup, our involvement in European research projects, and the creation of the Finnish National Metaverse Strategy, along with reminders about HXRC Network and the Guide to Buying XR.