Greetings from MWC 2018 Barcelona!

Mobile World Congress 2018 took place in Barcelona, Spain, February 26 through March 1st, 2018. The event is almost beyond imagination and understanding. Mobility presented itself in almost all possible forms, not anymore as a cell phone connectivity.

One of the highlights in MWC2018 were cars. The 5G system will be an obvious and a standard feature in future car, as natural part of it as the engine (whether the engine is a combustion engine, a hybrid or an electric one).

The smart city theme with different human functions and possibilities is  developing rapidly. A connected car will not only decide upon the routing and speed, safety and speed but will perform other functions, as well. An unmanned metro train is already running in Barcelona. Main line trains will follow soon and container ships will be sailing unmanned soon after 2020, if not before.

Telecommunication will be finetuning and a lot of attention it paid to the improvement of network operability  and reliability. The network availability below 99% will hardly be an option in the future.

As the e-healthcare is being developed in all parts of the world, including emerging markets, the patient volumes and importance of availability of treatment do not permit delays.

Artificial intelligence, visual aids, hearing implants, and MedTech as such will be showing the way to development in a accelerating speed.




Ari Virtanen ( CEO, Advion Group) and Harri Tammi ( CEO, Proxion Solutions Oy ) at the Qroi stand at the MWC2018 event.





Thoughts on a Road Trip to Asia

The modern societies take clean water as granted, something in existence and abundant. That might be the case if the modern life style were not destroying in an accelerating speed the planet earth’s natural and clean water reserves. This problem is present in all parts of the world. There is no reason to blame any nation alone – both the industrialized world and the emerging markets and countries are in the same race.

The food processing industry is one of the main contributors in the destruction of fresh water reserves. This problematic relationship appears in two ways. Firstly, the food industry uses a lot of fresh water in the processes and the processed food contains a lot water. On the other hand, there is an enormous amount of food waste thrown to the landfills every day. Finally, the packaging industry creates materials which end up in rivers, seas and in all possible places.

Advion Group is actively raising the awareness of the novel water cleaning technologies in various markets. The comments are often related to lack of funding to water cleaning projects, lack of interest and skills, among others. As long as the people’s attitude is “we have no problems as we drink bottled water” and there is no need to clean sewages, grey and black water, the sad situation keeps on accelerating. This is pretty much the same idea as the modern city kids have – the milk comes from the supermarkets, bottled, who needs the farms.

The national policy makers should raise the awareness amongst the population for water conservation. On the other hand, we are reaching the point of no return in several places. The ground water reserves are depleted, the surface water reserves are all contaminated and filled with plastic waste.

Oceans and seas contain already a significant amount of plastic garbage. We are all exposed to the consequences – first the fauna, small and big fish, as well as shell fish are all merged to nanoparticles. And at the end of the day, the man is eating that all.

The Dark side of Digitalization – Cyber Crime is increasing in exponential speed

Advion Group organized a morning meeting and discussion session of the current situation of cyber security and its potential as a Finnish export product. We did not have a clue of how current and important is the topic of cyper security when we started planning the event!

“We have come across in our international undertakings and projects with situations where our customers first want to hear about Finnish Cyber Security know-how and offering, even though our initial agenda has consisted of totally other offering and services. This has been the case both for companies and for the state administration, so the subject is quite acute “-commented Ari Virtanen, Managing Director of Advion Group in the beginning of the event, where the speakers represented to top competence in Finland.

The speakers were Aapo Cederberg from Cyberwatch, Pertti Jalasvirta from Claned Group and Ari Knuuti from Arctic Security. CEO of Cyberwatch, Colonel (ret.) Aapo Cederberg has been involved in establishing Finland’s cyber security strategy as secretary general of the Finnish Security Committee and has worked as an expert at the Geneva Center for Security Police, a GCSP expert in Geneva.

Almost all industries are vulnerable

Cederberg lists industries where he recognizes the greatest threats to cyber-security. These include healthcare, financial services, digital industry, public administration, transport and energy. Health care and its vulnerability to cyber-attacks is a very actual topic in Finland, as the guidelines and decisions of the SOTE reform are currently in the stage of final decisions. Even in the simplest successful attack, the national health register may get into a chaos when it is invaded by anonymity and without knowing that patients’ blood type information, disease records, diagnoses or other information has been altered and tampered with. The traces of such an operation will probably never be revealed.

Cyber ​​criminals seek to find such vulnerabilities in different systems and then strike them. Numerous large companies have already been subjected to attacks but are trying to keep a low profile. In many cases, they do not want to admit that the preparation has been completely inadequate or even worse – the attack has not even been identified.

Infrastructure can be hit from many of the weak links

Today, the interface between society and its key businesses is quite obscure. The role of the private sector is very important as a provider of national services and it is also often the most vulnerable target as well.

Transport and telecommunications networks are extremely critical and cyber-attacks in those may paralyze the infrastructure of the entire country. The collapse or taking over of the data networks of individual carriers already causes much damage, the most serious threats being the takeover and use of air and rail traffic for criminal purposes. “The vulnerabilities are not just related to cybercrime as such but also through individual key persons” says Aapo Cederberg.

Cybercrime is a growing business

Cederberg also presented a hacker’s “service price list”, which was quite breath taking, both from consumers’ and companies’ point of view. Practically anybody can subscribe in the market an attack on somebody’s Gmail, Twitter, or Facebook account with a price tag of about 150 USD. The company’s email system will be broken for a mere compensation of $ 500. Hiring a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) run at the daily rate in the price range of $ 30-70, the monthly rates run at $ 1200.

According to Cederberg, Finland would have a great opportunity to be one of the leading countries in the world of cybersecurity services because of the country’s reputation as  a reliable partner and high level technical competence but do  the companies have the needed networks remain to be seen.

New innovations for cybersecurity industry

Finland should invest more in the startup companies in cyber security segment because they often develop and product the best innovative solutions. Those companies are more likely to find their place in the international market as well.

Investment in cyber security should be considered as an investment in the corporate competitiveness, not merely in expense – yet that expense has emerge to stay as one of the business expenses in the future. At the same occasion, we also got acquainted with the innovations of two Finnish companies, whose services meet the growing international  demand.

Pertti Jalasvirta from Claned Group, introduced a cyber security training program for international markets. That product can be easily tailored to the needs of both the public and business sectors.

Ari Knuuti from Arctic Security introduced a service package and a snapshot system that enables companies and governmental actors to evaluate cyber security in their current company system. The Arctic Security product gives a visibility to the companies business and industry risks and enables them to build their own abilities to eliminate the weaknesses found.

An agreement to support Finnish Water Management and Exports

Finnish Water Forum, Vesiotec Ltd. and Advion Group Ltd have signed an agreement for international cooperation in strategic development of water management. The aim of this cooperation agreement between the parties is to enter new, emerging markets where the availability of clean water is a challenge.

Today, more than 1.6 billion people have problems with the availability of clean water, even though the water reserves should be adequate to all the people in the world. However, the UN estimates that by 2025, up to two-thirds of the world’s population will suffer from water scarcity.

The growing need for clean water coupled with the megatrends of urbanization, global growth of the industry and the ever-increasing environmental awareness which entail tighter environmental standards, offer Finnish companies in water segment huge international business opportunities.

In addition to technology expertise, a significant number of international business experts can also be found in Finland and their expertise is crucial in the entry process to the global market. The available business opportunities require unprecedented utilization of both complementary technologies and available business know-how.

Water taps

“We look forward to new significant customer relationships to our services,” says Vesiotec’s Board member Jani Härkki. “This great branded service is ideally suited to our international projects. We are able to bring it up in many of our programs, “continues Ari Virtanen, CEO of Advion Group with enthusiasm.

The Finnish Water Forum  aims to promote the export of Finnish water expertise. The Finnish Water Forum combines the efforts of the private and public sector to increase the international activity of Finnish water expertise and to promote the international activities of its members. Membership provides new opportunities for cooperation, increased personal competence, increased visibility of the water sector and the development of the operating environment.

Vesiotec Ltd.  is a company specializing in designing and manufacturing of management processes and software products. Vesiotec has developed a highly diversified and impeccable management system for large water networks that provides for observation and management of water status, its use, quality, safety, sufficiency and observance of other properties of water.  The water companies and the entire national network can be examined and managed with one system in a controlled manner.

Advion Group Ltd. is a partner in business growth, development and internationalization. The main services are Advion’s YourGlobe, which focuses on internationalization processes of companies, YourChange, consisting of demanding business structuring, restructuring and change programs and YourInterim, a dedicated interim management service. Advion is one of Finland’s leading company in this field of business in terms of experience. In addition to Finland and the Baltic Sea area, the market areas include Asia, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Russia.

For additional information please contact:

Ari Virtanen

  • Advion Group Oy
  • +358 40 351 8493

Markus Tuukkanen

  • Finnish Water Forum
  • +358 40 865 31 75

Jani Härkki

  • Vesiotec Oy
  • +358 40 702 83 20


Urbanization – Smart Cities

The world population is moving from rural to urban locations and the urban populations will grow by an estimated 2.7 billion over the next 40 years. Cities are facing unprecedented challenges as the pace of the urbanization movement is increasing exponentially.


150.000 new town residents per day

Every day, urban areas grow by almost 150 000 people, either due to migration or births. Between 2011 and 2050, the world’s urban population is projected to rise by 72 % (i.e. from 3.6 billion to 6.3 billion) and the population share in urban areas will grow from 52 % in 2011 to 67 % in 2050. In addition to the increase of city population, due to climate change and other environmental pressures, cities are increasingly required to become “smart” and take substantial measures to meet stringent targets imposed by commitments and legal obligations.

Cities consume 75% of world´s energy

The cities in 2050 are estimated to consume 75 percent of the world’s energy and produce 80 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the population is ageing and by 2050 the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to triple and will outnumber children under 15 for the first time in history.

Estimated value of global Smart City business

The global Smart City market will be valued at 1.565 billion USD in 2020. Over 26 Global Cities are expected to be Smart Cities in 2025, with more than 50% of these smart cities from Europe and North America. This will urge the change of urban governance as well as governments of Smart Cities are transforming from a traditional model of a silo-based organization to a more collaborative, integrated service delivery model. Cities will collaborate with each other to drive smart city innovation by entering partnerships with each other.

Continue reading “Urbanization – Smart Cities”

The business challenges and possibilities outside EU & US in 2017

The year 2016 is coming to the end and we are looking forward to the new year 2017 with a sense of ambiguity: the Brexit gave the first shock to the EU in 2016 and as if that were not enough, the US election changed the game plan.

Or did they?

What has changed or is changing in the real world. The head line news has hardly affected to any real, tangible needs of people in the Latin America, Africa or Central Asia, or any other region or country in transition, as an example.

The European economy is limping ahead; technological new gadgets are being taken into use practically every day but the real changes are taking place in the transition economies; their needs are the most tangible and visible.

Urbanization – the Ongoing Megatrend

Urbanization is changing the nature of business as about 150, 000 people around the world are moving into urban- like environment every day. That process opens tremendous business opportunities to companies. Concurrently with the accelerating mobility of population, the needs to develop new methods to the protection of nature and environment are increasing.  The mankind just cannot afford anymore to carry on the reckless contamination of soil or air pollution as we have done in the past, ultimately causing the extinction of species.

Urban populations interact with their environment; urban people change their environment through their consumption of food, energy, water, and land. In turn, the polluted urban environment affects the health and quality of life of the urban population hence, urbanization is also likely to concentrate some environmental effects geographically.

Continue reading “The business challenges and possibilities outside EU & US in 2017”

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