Testbed.Helsinki has reached the age of one. The website, launched in 2020, showcases development and testing platform activities in the City of Helsinki – but what does that actually mean?
The development and testing platform activities are coordinated and implemented by the Urban Innovation Team within the Business Department of the City Executive Office in close cooperation with the divisions of the City, as well as with enterprises belonging to Helsinki Group. The innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki works as a central partner in implementing the practical testing platform activities.
Testbed Helsinki showcases the results of the testing activities and announces open application rounds for testing and innovation. Companies can also use the website to directly propose their testing ideas. In this article, we present the various service paths included in our operations.
The experiment activities involve innovating, developing and testing products and services from various industries in authentic operating environments. The City of Helsinki advances its development and testing platform activities by offering opportunities for and encouraging experimentation by different operators in genuine urban environments. The experiment activities provide immense benefits for the City and the companies, as well as other operators.
The development and testing platforms – known as testbeds – are physical or virtual environments in which new service solutions can be co-created. It is crucial that the products and services can be tested in real-life conditions. The co-creation may involve companies, City staff, end-users, universities, polytechnics, and research institutes. The testbeds are managed by the City’s Economic Development Department and involve all divisions of the City.
“At best, experimentation activities spawn successful companies by helping them create products that serve their specific customer target groups. The experiments are useful from the City’s point of view because they offer solutions to real urban life challenges,” says Kimmo Heinonen, Team Leader of the City of Helsinki’s City Innovations team.
Experiments benefit both the city and the testers
The experiments are useful from the City’s point of view because they offer innovative solutions to real urban challenges. The solutions may be related to smart and clean urban life, as well as transport, energy and construction. Helsinki is especially interested in the development of carbon neutrality and logistics, as well as innovations related to education and healthcare.
Helsinki is a forerunner in experiment projects, but also in opening up data. Since the data was made open, the public materials of Helsinki have been accessible to all for free. Thanks to this, residents, students and companies can use the data in their own research and development activities. Open data allows solutions to be developed to suit Helsinki, specifically.
The purpose of the experiment activities is to improve the city further and make it a more functional place for all residents through solutions that benefit both the users and the climate. The benefits of the experiment activities for Helsinki also include the services and operations developed that will help the City promote sustainable development and the wellbeing of the residents.
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