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Mobile Work Machine Academic Fellows: A visionary initiative to support the transformation of the industry

Mobile Work Machine Academic Fellows is a groundbreaking initiative that brings together leading professors from five Finnish universities to foster innovation and excellence in the mobile work machine industry. It strongly supports realization of the vision of Finland as the best place in the world for developing mobile work machines and their key technologies and services.

The Academic Fellows had their first meeting and planning session in February 2024 in Tampere, Finland, where they set the vision and goals for their collaboration.

The Academic Fellows are Antero Kutvonen and Aki Mikkola from LUT University, Ville Kyrki and Risto Ojala from Aalto University, Matti Vilkko and Reza Ghabcheloo from Tampere University, Emil Kurvinen and Juho Könnö from Oulu University and Wallace Moreira Bessa and Tomi Westerlund from University of Turku.

They were chosen by their peers to represent their universities and to act as networkers within and across the academic institutions, connecting the diverse expertise and resources to the industry needs.

Mobile Work Machine Academic Fellows
Mobile Work Machine Academic Fellows Wallace Moreira Bessa and Tomi Westerlund from University of Turku, Antero Kutvonen from LUT University, Ville Kyrki from Aalto University, Matti Vilkko from Tampere University and Emil Kurvinen from Oulu University. Picture: Heini Wallander / Business Tampere

In their first official meeting, the Academic Fellows established the foundation and the framework for their collaboration, with the input and feedback from the industry representatives. Miika Kaski from Sandvik and Kalle Einola from Ponsse presented the current and future challenges and opportunities for the industry, and emphasized the alignment of the goals and expectations among all the stakeholders, including SIX Mobile Work Machines Cluster, FIMA Forum for Intelligent Machines and the Academic Fellows.

The common objectives of the collaboration are following the guidelines set originally by the industry driven SIX Mobile Machines Cluster:
  • To create efficient and effective joint innovation development

  • To develop competence and availability of talents

  • To increase visibility and impact in Finland and globally

The industry also highlighted the need for the universities to specialize and excel in their respective areas of strength, rather than trying to cover everything. This would enable a more productive and synergistic collaboration at the national and international level.

Meeting in Tamper
Meeting in Tampere facilitated the basis for the Academic Fellows mission and action plan. Picture: Heini Wallander / Business Tampere

The meeting resulted in a long list of potential topics and actions for future collaboration, driven by a bold and ambitious mindset. The key principles of the collaboration are: To think big and have the freedom to pursue visionary ideas and to plan together and commit to long-term goals supporting implementation of the joint roadmap in real life.

One concrete example of the Academic Fellows collaboration is the joint effort to secure additional PhD positions in the fields of mobile work machines (

The consortium was successful in obtaining funding of almost 8 million euros to educate 31 more PhDs in this domain. The Mobile Work Machines Academic Fellows will be a forum and a platform for creating substantial impact to the industry and the society.
Mobile Work Machine Academic Fellows development work is boosted with the help of SIX PoE project that is a national project part of Innokaupungit ( program and funded by ERDF.

co-funded by eu


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