About HIIT
About Helsinki IT research

Helsinki IT research community

The Helsinki IT research community consists of researchers working in the departments of Computer Science at Aalto and Helsinki; and in the departments of Communications and Networking as well as Signal Processing and Acoustics at Aalto University.

In total, the Helsinki IT research community consists of approximately

postdoctoral researchers or research fellows
PhD candidates.

High-quality IT research

In computer science, engineering, and telecommunications engineering research, Aalto University routinely stands among the top 10 in Europe and in the top 100 globally in various rankings (Read more: Aalto University: Rankings).

Overall, the University of Helsinki consistently ranks in the top 100 of international university rankings. In computer science, engineering, and telecommunications, University of Helsinki scores among the 130–300 top universities across different rankings (Read more: University of Helsinki: Rankings).

In the four departments that make up the Helsinki IT research community, a total of 932 peer-reviewed articles were published in 2020. The research by Helsinki IT researchers has been assessed and deemed excellent by HIIT’s external Scientific Advisory Board, latest in 2020. Read a more detailed description of Helsinki IT publications in the HIIT Annual report 2020.

World class computing infrastructure

Extensive resources for demanding computational tasks are available in both universities as in-house services as well as via national partnerships. If you’d like to learn more about high-performance computing infrastructure available at each university, visit Aalto Scientific Computing or University of Helsinki IT for Science.

Both universities are part of the Finnish Grid and Cloud Infrastructure (FCGI). The FGCI research infrastructure provides effective decentralized computational capacity for all branches of science as well as industrial cooperation for the utilization of the newest grid and cloud technologies. Its goal is to combine resources from various parts of Finland into one broad platform for intensive, demanding computational tasks. FCGI is coordinated by the national academic computing center CSC.

Additionally, CSC provides supercomputer and cloud high-performance computing resources for Finnish IT research. In addition to other high-performance computing systems, CSC boasts one of the EuroHPC world-class supercomputers, LUMI, which starts operating in 2021. It will be one of the most competitive supercomputers in the world for research purposes.

Lifelong learning and education

The Department of Computer Science at University of Helsinki is an international pioneer in developing and using open online courses, and it aims at the democratization of learning and knowledge. The topics of the over 30 open online courses created at the department range from the basics of programming to cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. The best-known of these courses, Elements of AI, is the most popular AI course in the world, with over 500,000 students from over 170 countries.

Aalto University has a leading role in FITech, a national engineering online education network. In addition to offering hundreds of online units for degree students, FITech has a growing selection of open online courses in areas including software development, business studies, and data analytics.

Collaboration and commercial applications

In recent years, Finland has grown its thriving startup ecosystem. Helsinki globally ranks number one in local connectedness among founders, investors and experts. The world’s leading startup event Slush also takes place in Helsinki.

Startup Genome has identified the Helsinki area as one of the most significant AI ecosystems in Europe along with London and Berlin. In 2019, startups and growth companies raised a new record amount, totaling €511 million. Overall, Finland attracts the most venture capital per capita in Europe.

Both universities have established support platforms for research spin-offs, and the governmental Business Finland’s Research to Business funding program offers additional resources for commercializing research (see Business Finland: Research to Business funding).

The plant breeding startup Yield Systems is a great example of a spin-off stemming from Helsinki IT research. The startup has its roots in fundamental machine learning, applying these methods in order to optimize greenhouse and crop conditions. Watch our feature about Yield Systems:

Success Stories of Artificial Intelligence: Yield Systems

In information technology, Aalto University and University of Helsinki have well-established partnerships with businesses such as Nokia, Intel, Konecranes, NVIDIA, Huawei, F-Secure and Nixu. Partnership activities include shared research projects and larger programs, co-teaching, and infrastructure collaboration.

Read more

AI Ecosystem in Finland

Aalto University: Corporate collaboration

Business Finland: Research to Business funding

Aalto University Startup Center

University of Helsinki: Helsinki Innovation Services

AND ACTION: Impact and Business Collaboration Services for Researchers, University of Helsinki

NewCo Helsinki: Support for startups in Helsinki, sponsored by the city of Helsinki

Helsinki – a green city in balance

For the nature-enjoying sustainable expat, Helsinki is an ideal destination. An impeccable work-life balance combined with smooth commutes, clean air, blazing-fast telecommunications, and a near-immediate access to the great outdoors is guaranteed to make anyone happy. But don’t just take our word for it – there’s data to back that up!

In terms of the living environment, Helsinki has been ranked as one of the world’s top-10 most livable cities (Economist, 2017). The city boasts first place in a global work-life balance index. Moreover, Finland is among the best countries in the world with respect to many quality of life indicators, ranking at the top in education and subjective wellbeing. Furthermore, Finland is again the world’s happiest country in 2020 (World Happiness Report, 2020). When it comes to e.g., connectivity and digital public services, Finland has the highest overall score in the EU Digital Economy and Society index.

Contact us to learn more about Helsinki IT research prospects and commercial collaborations!
Jarmo Välikangas
Jarmo VälikangasNew Business Specialist, HIIT