University of Oulu joins Digital Defence Ecosystem

The Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE) at the University of Oulu has joined the Digital Defence Ecosystem (DDE) to strengthen Finland's position in defence and security innovations.

DDE is a collaboration platform aimed specifically at Finnish defence and security technology providers. The platform brings together small, agile civilian technology companies, research organisations, and major players in the defence industry into a unique, synergistic environment. The ecosystem develops and strengthens the capabilities of its members, promoting business growth in global markets while facilitating the integration of civilian and dual-use technologies into defence and security solutions.

The University of Oulu's expertise in ICT, 6G, microelectronics, sensor technologies, and in AI, edge computing, embedded systems, and cybersecurity will enhance the collective capabilities of DDE, benefiting all ecosystem members. In return, the university will gain valuable insights into the latest applications and development needs for technology and know-how.

One aspect of the cooperation is the previously announced NATO 6G Test Centre to be established in Oulu, which will focus on future wireless communication technologies.

"We have deep expertise in military communications research dating back to the late 1980s," says Matti Latva-aho, Director of the 6G Flagship programme at ITEE. "The increasing convergence of civil and defence technologies makes the 6G Test Centre a natural strategic opportunity for us."

“We are always thrilled to have new and innovative members join the ecosystem. The joining of the University of Oulu will strengthen the existing NATO DIANA network of the ecosystem beyond VTT. The 6G Test Centre of the University of Oulu supports the NATO operations of the ecosystem,” says Jarmo Puputti, the Ecosystem Lead of DDE.

"Our 6G Test Centre will provide partners with access to world-class radio frequency measurement equipment and comprehensive testing services up to the millimetre wave frequencies envisioned for 6G," explained Hannu Nikurautio, Research Director at 6G Flagship responsible for defence initiatives. "6G aims to converge traditionally separate functions like communications and radar into one multipurpose solution using large antenna arrays and AI," said Nikurautio. "Our Test Centre will be a platform to prove these paradigm-shifting capabilities for dual-use civil and defence applications."

The Test Centre offers advanced research facilities, services, and testing processes to accelerate the development of 6G networks and related dual-use applications. It serves as a global hub enabling partners, including NATO DIANA program members and the defence industry, to test future 6G concepts, products, and solutions.

"Oulu being selected to host the 6G Test Centre underscores our city's pioneering role in next-generation wireless," stated Jukka Riekki, Dean of ITEE. "Our longstanding leadership in mobile technology R&D makes us an ideal innovation partner as 6G catalyses dual-use opportunities across consumer and defence domains. Also at the same time, our Arctic conditions provide a challenging test environment for various systems, electronics, and materials."

Together, through innovation, idea sharing, and collaboration, we are strong in the complex world of defence and security.

Last updated: 30.5.2024