Home » Finland in XR: the Finnish metaverse technique, MatchXR, Slush, and extra!

Finland in XR: the Finnish metaverse technique, MatchXR, Slush, and extra!

by Oscar Tetalia
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My journey to Finland is coming to an finish, and I’m leaving this nation with a little bit of unhappiness as a result of I had an excellent week right here. These days I’ve bought to be taught extra in regards to the Finnish XR ecosystem and naturally, earlier than I depart, I need to share this data with you.

Business Finland (an entity underneath the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy with the aim, amongst many different issues, of offering funds for innovation) has recognized 5 industries on which to focus within the subsequent years. One is outlined as “partaking and immersive experiences”, or as folks liked to name it till 6 months in the past, the “metaverse”.

While I used to be at MatchXR, Business Finland revealed a primary draft of the Finnish metaverse technique, which has the bold aim of making Finland one of many world leaders for what considerations Metaverse by 2035. When I heard the yr “2035”, I understood that the plan was a severe one for 2 causes:

  1. Developing a brand new strategic sector for a rustic takes time, so something promised for earlier than 2028 would have appeared like bullshit. 2035 provides time to Finland to attempt to create a wholesome ecosystem round XR applied sciences
  2. The metaverse, nevertheless it can change into, will want a few years to begin taking form, and a projection of 12 years appears sensible, perhaps to not have Zuck’s full imaginative and prescient of the metaverse, however not less than to have an intermediate model of it.

I used to be additionally fairly completely happy to listen to a couple of European nation making an attempt to have a long-term plan for the “metaverse”. After having hated that phrase a lot in the course of the hype, I used to be really relieved to listen to it once more in a context about strategic planning and never contained in the sentence “the metaverse is useless”. Kudos to Finland to not fall for the hype of the second, however to be constant in its function. In the presentation, it has been acknowledged that Finland might be the primary nation in Europe with this sort of planning, and I severely hope that different nations will comply with swimsuit, so we will create a European ecosystem round it, with many nations supporting one another. It’s additionally necessary to note that this planning has been made by a Nordic nation… often, Nordic folks don’t converse a lot, so after they say one thing, it’s invaluable. I can’t say if they’ll succeed or not of their function (solely time will inform), however I’m fairly positive they’ll not less than plan and execute to attempt to make that occur. Announcing such a technique implies that some innovation funds will probably be allotted for the event of “metaverse” options, and this implies cash arriving on the XR ecosystem in Finland, which may be very optimistic for the businesses within the area.

finnish metaverse values
The recognized values on high of which Finland wish to construct the metaverse. It’s fascinating how for the Finns, belief means interacting with wolves…

I appreciated that the presentation of the Finnish metaverse technique included a point out of values. For me, values are at all times necessary, as a result of they present what are your foundations on high of which you construct all the pieces. The talked about values have been freedom, openness, belief, and well-being. More or much less the identical as Zuck’s metav… ah no. These are superb values, with which I might have appreciated to see additionally “privateness” and “security”, however I suppose they have been thought of contained in the “belief” pillar.

Business Finland additionally recognized three key sectors from which to begin their metaverse efforts:

  • Industrial
  • Healthcare
  • Social Interaction
finnish metaverse strategy
The slide devoted to the commercial sector

This once more seems to be like a really sensible strategy that identifies the sectors the place XR is offering the very best outcomes in the present day: coaching, upkeep, medical, and distant collaboration. This alternative appears very B2B oriented, in all probability as a result of it takes what may be very profitable in the present day, and in the present day B2B is the place the cash is in XR. I say this as a result of, as an example, I see no point out of “gaming”, however Finland has some necessary gaming studios like Rovio. I feel that whereas within the quick time period, this will likely make sense, in the long term, this technique ought to pivot to a extra client strategy as a result of the ultimate imaginative and prescient of the metaverse is that we’ll all be a part of it for probably the most a part of our days.

After this high-level presentation, there have been some demos and a few introductions of XR startups. It can be fascinating to underline that Finland, like many different nations, has packages to provide advantages to firms that need to open an workplace there and create job alternatives for Finnish folks.

A slide about how the metaverse will be utilized within the numerous sectors

At the tip of the occasion, I spoke with some folks there, and the general impression was the identical: even when some components of the displays have been a bit imprecise (e.g. how one can arrive at being a pacesetter in 2035), the truth that there may be this long run technique is optimistic for the nation, as a result of it reveals that there may be the keen to put money into the ecosystem and within the promotion of the native XR firms overseas.

finland metaverse european union
Of course, the Finnish metaverse is constructed within the context of European collaboration

If this subject you and also you need to uncover extra, you may take a look at all of the wanted data on the official web site of the Metaverse Initiative: https://www.digitalfinland.org/


The Finnish metaverse technique contains additionally occasions to advertise native XR firms and certainly one of these occasions, perhaps probably the most related one, is MatchXR. MatchXR is the rationale why I flew to Helsinki and it’s marketed as probably the most related occasions about XR in the entire Nordic Europe.

I don’t know if this advertising declare is true, however having been there, I can inform you that it’s positively a pleasant occasion. The occasion gives two providers: an Expo space, and a matchmaking service.

I’ve not used a lot the matchmaking service, so I can’t speak a lot about it. There is a web site the place you may arrange your profile after which filter the attendees by some key phrases, making an attempt to search for the form of particular person you have an interest in collaborating with. Once you discover the particular person you need to meet with, you may attain out to them, and manage with them a 1-to-1 assembly to be carried out in the course of the occasion in a devoted space.

matchxr expo area finland
Part of MatchXR expo space

I’ve spent my entire time on the exhibition, as a substitute. In the Expo space, you will discover variety of firms exhibiting their XR merchandise: a few of them are huge and identified, like NOKIA, whereas others are startups within the area, like SeeTrue Technologies. The expo space shouldn’t be large just like the certainly one of AWE, however it’s large enough to have merchandise to see for hours. Looking on the pamphlet I’ve been given, I can rely 64 exhibitors for this yr’s version, which is an excellent quantity for a neighborhood occasion. Many firms are native ones, so both they arrive from Finland or they’re anyway from Nordic nations. Probably a factor that might be good to see in the long run can be extra worldwide exhibitors.

I used to be in a position to spot some fascinating firms to speak with and take a look at their merchandise. And then, like in all of the occasions, the true deal was going round, assembly folks, chatting, and making new mates. On this facet, we’re not on the identical wonderful ranges as AWE, the place I spend mainly all the primary day within the corridors talking with tremendous cool folks, however nonetheless, there’s a good environment.

The huge downside of MatchXR is that the occasion lasts solely 4 hours, and on this time is actually unattainable to do all the pieces you wish to do: you strive 5-6 merchandise, you chat with just a few folks, and the time is already up. This occasion ought to last more, and I already prompt this to the organizers.

It is spectacular anyway how this entire occasion is completely free for the members. This yr, greater than 1000 folks have been in a position to attend it and get in contact with XR applied sciences with out paying a single Euro. Big kudos to the organizers of the Helsinki XR Center (HXRC) for establishing such a unbelievable occasion that helps the promotion of native XR startups and of XR applied sciences on the whole.

urho konttori xr
I additionally met the unbelievable Urho Konttori (certainly one of Varjo’s founders) at MatchXR!

It is cool that moreover the primary occasion, there are additionally small facet occasions. The day earlier than MatchXR I had an aperitif with the blokes and gals at HXRC, after which later a drink on the get together organized by FOV Ventures (a VC group targeted on XR). After the occasion, all of us went to a close-by bar to have an after-party whereas consuming good meals and consuming good cocktails. I made just a few new mates throughout these networking occasions and I used to be very completely happy about it.

metaverse xr drink
There was additionally a “Metaverse” drink and an “XR” drink on the after-party!


MatchXR at all times occurs earlier than Slush, which is likely one of the greatest occasions for startups in the entire Europe. In case you will have a startup searching for companions, prospects, or buyers, Slush is the place to be. What I discovered the laborious manner is that if you wish to attend Slush, it’s important to plan for it manner forward as a result of tickets often go bought out.

Slush can be filled with facet occasions, a few of which are supposed to do severe work (e.g. facet conferences), whereas others are for enjoyable and networking (e.g. events). Side occasions are what made Slush much more related than the primary occasion alone: there are some individuals who say that it’s extra necessary to be on the facet occasions than on the occasion itself. There is a devoted web page simply to see all of the a whole bunch of facet occasions and filter them by many standards (the search operate is extremely nicely made), and I counsel you seek for them and plan for them manner earlier than going to the occasion, as a result of additionally facet occasions go bought out. Not all facet occasions require a Slush ticket, so you may nonetheless get pleasure from them with out spending some huge cash. MatchXR will be thought of a Slush facet occasion in a roundabout way, and in addition the Nordic gaming conference is.

My suggestion is that in the event you come for MatchXR, you need to keep just a few days extra to attend both Slush or not less than a few of its facet occasions, so you may have much more alternatives for networking and for locating collaboration alternatives. But once more: please, plan forward to try this.

Other alternatives

Varjo XR-4
Visiting Varjo headquarters was fairly cool

There are numerous fascinating firms within the higher Helsinki space, like Varjo, Nokia, and Rovio. If you come for certainly one of these occasions, you can attempt to contact these firms for a go to. We attendees of MatchXR have been in a position to go to Varjo and take a look at the brand new headset, as an example.


helsinki cold
Helsinki it’s chilly, I’m not gonna lie

In the submit the place I introduced I used to be going to go to Helsinki, I used to be joking about the truth that I couldn’t survive right here. Well, really I’m nonetheless alive and I’ve to say that I loved loads being right here, it’s a very good metropolis, and it’s a bit romantic that it’s all white due to the snow. I lastly made snow angels for the primary time in my life, and I couldn’t resist drawing some dicks within the snow with my finger, too (sorry, Helsinki folks). I ate some good meals and spent a while with some very variety and good folks.

Snow angels!

Yeah, it’s chilly… and due to that, I additionally bought a chilly and nonetheless really feel unwell. But on the finish of the day, it was value it. If you go, simply take with you a thermal shirt and thermal trousers and you may be wonderful exterior, whereas inside it’s often heat sufficient. Also include some footwear with grip on the only real, so that you don’t threat sliding on the ice, when there may be some. Bring additionally some medicines for the flu, as a result of you might find yourself getting sick like me 🙂

A view of a sq. in Helsinki. Everything is white all over the place at this second of the yr. After a while you’re right here, you get used to strolling within the snow each time…

As for the language barrier, many individuals converse English right here, so I had no issues on the whole. I admit I typically purchased some meals on the grocery store with out having a single clue of what it was as a result of all the pieces was written solely in Finnish and Swedish, nevertheless it’s a part of the sport whenever you go to a international nation. I’ve not been poisoned, so I suppose the factor they bought me was eatable. I additionally discovered just a few new phrases in Finnish, and particularly two new unhealthy phrases which will probably be helpful in my future journeys 😀

Final thanks

I simply need to briefly thank everybody who contributed to creating this journey so fascinating, and provides a particular point out to some individuals who helped in a selected manner: Jussi, Tiina, Damon, Janne, Ida, and Aleksis. Kiitos, you’re wonderful!

Disclaimer: this weblog accommodates commercial and affiliate hyperlinks to maintain itself. If you click on on an affiliate hyperlink, I’ll be very completely happy as a result of I’ll earn a small fee in your buy. You can discover my boring full disclosure right here.

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