Nokia Research Centre (NRC) and Tampere University of Technology (TUT) are creating a new framework to tighten open and innovative collaboration in their research activities. Through this initiative TUT will become the first and ­central collaboration partner in the planned Nokia Innovation Centre Tampere, Finland.

Due to open in September 2007, the centre aims to create a model for research based on open innovation, where information flows freely between collaborators. Past experience indicates that creating common research facilities where researchers from both parties can work together lowers the barrier to collaboration with genuine collaboration being the central target.

When launched, approximately 70 researchers will work together on a weekly basis. Both parties deem it essential that the centre’s work has the potential for market impact while also contributing to the state of the art by producing high quality technical publications. Part of the research will be funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology. It is envisaged that other research institutions, as well as compatible commercial companies in the Tampere area may eventually participate in the work of the centre.

Professor Jaakko Astola of the Tampere University of Technology, who has been strongly involved in preparing the new framework, commented, “This announcement is about creating impactful results through sharing of information in both directions, not technology transfer. We can discuss together some specific research problem or functional entity without compromising the confidentiality of either party. Researchers from both organizations can share the enthusiasm and work together as one group.”

The announcement is just the latest example of NRC’s policy of working in close collaboration with respected academic institutions on projects of mutual benefit. It follows on from recent research collaboration agreements with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University in the US, the University of Cambridge in the UK and the Helsinki University of Technology in Finland.