Wärtsilä is building a new centre of research, product development and production, in Vaskiluoto, Vaasa, and has named it the Smart Technology Hub. As of 2020, all of Wärtsilä's functions and personnel in central Vaasa will transfer to the new hub, along with the logistics and maintenance workshop operations from Runsor.
As a part of the project, Wärtsilä will invest €83 million in modern testing and production technology. The total investment in the Hub will be in the region of €200 million, consisting of office and factory buildings, logistics and infrastructure.
"Constant renewal is in Wärtsilä's DNA," says Wärtsilä's president & CEO, Jaakko Eskola. "This company was established in 1834 as a sawmill in the village of Värtsilä in Tohmajärvi, and now it is the global leader in smart technology and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. The Vaasa Smart Technology Hub represents another generational shift for us it will bring Wärtsilä's expertise into a whole new realm."
The Hub is the latest tangible step in Wärtsilä's ‘Smart Marine’ and ‘Smart Energy’ vision for the future. The hub, says Wärtsilä, will be unique in its field, enabling more agile, more efficient testing and product development of solutions for the maritime, oil and gas industries, as well as new energy systems.
"The Smart Technology Hub will become an important part of Wärtsilä's worldwide network of centres of expertise," says Hannu Mäntymaa, director, R&D and Engineering at Wärtsilä. "We will develop processes at the Vaasa Smart Technology Hub, which we will be able to deploy in other locations."
The Smart Technology Hub will invite other operators in the sectors and researchers to collaborate. The vision is to create a partners' campus where research and product development take place together with customers and suppliers, start-ups in the sector and universities.
"Amazing ideas do not just appear out of thin air," states Vesa Riihimäki, managing director of Wärtsilä Finland Oy. "By bringing together experts from different walks of life both from business and from the university world we will build an inspiring environment for new creativity." Planning of the Smart Technology Hub is well underway, and the new centre will open its doors in Vaskiluoto in 2020.
The Group's transformation into a technology services company has necessitated property investments in smart technology, new working methods and sustainable development throughout the organisation. Alongside the Smart Technology Hub, the most visible renewal projects have included the new business premises in Runsor, Vaasa, and the Wärtsilä Helsinki Campus in Salmisaari, Helsinki, due for completion in the late autumn.