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Business Tampere Oy

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Pirkanmaa region aims to become a pioneer in the metaverse – Imagine the Metaverse event will bring together top industry professionals

Credit: Business Tampere Oy
Smart City virtual reality

The development of the metaverse might be the next manifestation of the internet. Tampere wants to be at the forefront. In early June, the Tampere Exhibition and Sports Centre will offer an opportunity to explore the possibilities of the metaverse with top industry professionals. The event will feature speakers from technology companies and other domestic and international experts working with future networks, both from businesses and public organizations.

Urban and business environments are in the midst of a digital upheaval.

– The metaverse will revolutionize our daily lives in the same way the internet once did. The rapid development of artificial intelligence and language models in recent years has been eye-opening for many. If the internet changed business models in a revolutionary way, AI and emerging technologies are a similar upheaval, says Tiia Joki, Development Manager for growth, innovation and competitiveness at city of Tampere, who has been actively organizing the event, and continues:

– It is hard to see how new technologies would not have an impact, and the metaverse brings them all together, she says.

The metaverse refers to the expansion of web technologies, communication capabilities, and infrastructure through augmented and virtual reality, for example. The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra defines the metaverse as an internet-enabled, comprehensive collection of persistent virtual spaces where interaction is possible within and between these virtual spaces.

In Sitra's analysis article from a year ago, Dr. Mika Ruokonen, an expert in digitalization, data, and AI, and Professor Paavo Ritala, a strategy and innovation professor at LUT Business School, write that virtual game worlds and communities have long included ways to create digital identities, make purchases and trade, and collaborate. Many companies also have various metaverse experiments and practical implementations related to it.

Joki sees that the utilization of metaverses will likely first become widespread in urban planning and transportation.

The digital and physical realities are becoming intertwined

Development Manager Joki explains that from the perspective of urban development, Tampere doesn't just see metaverses as a virtual platform or space where people would operate as avatars (virtual characters) or replicate the city, but rather as the merging of the digital and physical worlds.

– In a way, we are in the beta version of the metaverse, where we use smartphones and computers. Immersive experiences are evolving, and the experience becomes more seamless, she says.

Joki mentions that the term "cityverse" has also been used for urban metaverses.

The event is organized by the City of Tampere and Tampere Trade Fairs. The main partners of the event are software company Microsoft and the City of Tampere. The event partners include Nokia, Bable, which specializes in smart city development, the Smart City Innovation Cluster, and ITS Finland, a collaboration forum in the field of traffic telematics. Companies can find new perspectives and get tips from events such as pitch sessions and speeches.

Sequence 02.00 00 03 08.Still002 (1)Development Manager Tiia Joki of the City of Tampere sees that in urban development, applications of metaverses may first become widespread in transportation. Illustration image. Image: City of Tampere.

The Super Week of early June

In addition to the metaverse event, in early June, Tampere will host professionals from various fields loosely or closely related to metaverses. Business Tampere is involved in the events in various roles. At the Imagine event, Fanny Heinonen, Program Director of Film Tampere, will be speaking.

During the same week, there's also the IMAPS Nordpac event focusing on chip packaging. The purpose of this electronics and packaging event is to gather experts from the design chain. IMAPS (International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging Society) is a non-profit organization for companies, institutions, and student members. Additionally, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland will have an event on automation driving during the same week.

According to Joki, the content of the event programs interweaves and supports each other.

– Tampere will have a lot of good chip-related events at that time, and there is no development in these fields without chip development, says Joki.

Imagine the Metaverse event: June 11th – June 12th, 2024.

For more information, contact Business Tampere:

Fanny Heinonen, Program Director, Film Tampere, Tel. +358 40 6655 051