Alibaba Cloud, a cloud computing company affiliated to Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group, and Eficode Oy, a leading Finnish digital company based in Finland, jointly opened an innovation center in Helsinki on Thursday.
The newly established center will provide a platform to enhance the collaboration between Nordic and Chinese businesses, researchers and education institutes, said Alibaba Cloud in a press release.
"Finland and the Nordics are well known for their ground-breaking research and innovation in data intelligence, and as one of the world's leading cloud computing companies, Alibaba Cloud will empower Finnish companies to achieve global expansion and success through this innovation center," said Yeming Wang, Deputy General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Global.
Located at Eficode's headquarters in central Helsinki, the innovation center is the first to be opened by Alibaba Cloud in the Nordic region, and will provide R&D resources and workspace to the local big data sector and related businesses, to develop solutions that will help enterprises address the digital challenges in business expansion and digital transformation, said the company.
Risto Virkkala, the CEO of Eficode, told the press conference on Thursday that the innovation center was regarded "as an opportunity to innovate more together, not only for Eficode and Alibaba, but also to bring this innovation center to be an innovation platform for all Nordic companies and companies in China to innovate and to do innovation with us."
The opening ceremony was witnessed by the Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori, who cut the ribbon and praised Helsinki and Beijing as two cities having much in common.
"We are both technology, innovation, design driven cities. From that point of view, we are very proud to have Alibaba Cloud having decided to put one of its innovation centers in Helsinki," he said.
Chinese Economic and Commercial Counselor to Finland Sun Liwei said he hoped the innovation center would provide a new platform for Chinese and Finnish enterprises that want to be at the forefront of the technology research and innovation.
He quoted Chinese leader's remarks as saying that "innovation is the primary driving force behind development, and it is the strategic underpinning for building a modernized economy".
The launch of the innovation center followed the announcement of a strategic partnership between Alibaba Cloud and Eficode last month. Through the partnership, Eficode started to bring a comprehensive range of Alibaba Cloud offerings to Northern Europe and Nordic companies in the Chinese market.
Eficode's sister company ePassi was also a strategic partner of Ant Financial, Alibaba's financial arm, when they brought Alipay, the world's biggest digital payment system, to Finland lately.