May 3, 2016

Research consortiums are sources for innovations – companies and universities in strategic alliance

I was participating an Industrial Advisory Board meeting of CVDI (Center for Visual & Decision Informatics) which is a NSF (National Science Foundation) partially funded research consortium.

In the meeting I got into thinking and discussion also with the other industry members in the board about the role and benefit of such consortiums. How companies and universities benefit from that, and what role it plays in a company’s strategy? How it helps companies to become more innovative? 

According to ITIF, an US-based Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, more than half of the innovators in their survey had a PhD, and the survey underlines also the importance of the public-private collaboration. Together with the 47-year age median of the innovators, the survey sends a strong signal of the ingredients of succesful innovation.

To strengthen the bond between the private and public side, Tieto has as well taken an initiative to get more involved with the different research consortiums, such as Data to Intelligence, Thing2Data, Re:Know2 and CVDI. Particularly, in CVDI we do not only have a forum with the US-based research universities and companies – some of which are occasional rivals and some partners - about the novel techniques and technologies to be used in visualization and analytics. We have also, together with TEKES, established a channel for Finnish universities and institutes, Tampere University of Technology and Helsinki Institute of Information Technology, to take part in this research community. 

By strengthening the communication between the private and public side with research programs like the ones we are involved with, both universities and companies are able to portrait a much clearer image of what we can achieve and in what time frame. For our customers this means, for instance, new intuitive ways of visualizing even tremendous data sets in an intuitive way with lesser computational capacity for the purpose of easier data discovery. It can also mean much more accurate predictions of social media discussions and their interconnections from the topic of your choice.


Center for Visual & Decision Informatics (CVDI) is a national research center established by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Drexel University. It is funded by the industry/University Cooperative Research Center program of the National Science Foundation, members from industry and government (the CVDI members) and university matching funds. Industry partners include, among others, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, CGI, IMS Health Incorporated, Johnson and Johnson, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, M-Brain Finland, Thomson Reuters and Tieto.

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