Frequently asked questions

Read more about Testbed Helsinki activities here and how to get involved in the test platform / testbed activities.

What is the goal of Testbed Helsinki?

We want to make it easy for companies and other partners to participate in the test platform activities by clearly highlighting the participation opportunities through one single channel. Our goal is to support product development and new business opportunities, as well as to strengthen the city’s own innovation capabilities and cooperation possibilities with companies.  

How can I participate in the test platform activities, i.e. testbed activities?

We organize innovation challenges and application rounds in different thematic areas (see Open positions), in addition to which you can submit a testing proposal to us by filling in the contact form (see City as your testing platform?). More detailed information on the various testing opportunities can be found on the pages of the different thematic areas. You can also inquire about the possibility of participating in the testing activities directly from our experts presented on this page.

Who can apply for and implement tests?

Domestic as well as international companies of different sizes and in different stages of development can apply for the testing activities. Testing can also be carried out together with research, development, and innovation organizations (universities, polytechnics, research institutes, etc.).

What types of benefits do the testing activities offer for companies?

Participating in test platform activities benefits companies in many ways. Platform-like development

  • accelerates the process of developing new solutions
  • provides businesses with access to real-life environments
  • provides companies with a facilitated experimentation process
  • strengthens companies’ customer understanding (developed solutions receive immediate feedback)
  • offers companies valuable references.

What criteria should the tests generally fulfil?

  • the tested solutions (product, service) and the operator applying for the test (company, RDI operator) have a genuine need for development
  • the tested product/service solves a real challenge or offers significant improvements compared to existing solutions
  • the tested solution has business potential and scalability possibilities
  • The City of Helsinki requires information or has another need related to the tested solution, as well as resources to enable the implementation of the test.

The criteria for open innovation challenges organized by the city are always defined separately at the time the challenge is organized.

What is expected from the company or partner participating in the testing activities?

We expect companies and other partners to provide a clear description of the goals of the solution they want to test and how the experiment will serve the company’s product development or business development goals. If the solution ends up being tested in a development environment provided by the city, the partner must commit to the successful implementation of the test by allocating sufficient human resources as well as time to the test. 

How does the City of Helsinki enable tests?

The city allows tests on a case-by-case basis. Our means of participating in the implementation of tests include e.g. assigning the right location or service unit for the tests and involving city professionals, staff and/or customer groups in the test. When it comes to open test applications, we often have the possibility to contribute to the costs associated with the tests. In this case, the city makes a so-called test service procurement.

How are the costs of the test covered?

Tests can be carried out from a cost coverage perspective in two ways:

  • The different parties of the test bear the costs themselves in which case money does not move between the parties, or
  • the city acquires the test from a company or other partner and covers part or all of the costs associated to the test.

What is the average duration of a test?

The tests typically last from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the case. The general duration for a test is 3-6 months.

Who retains ownership of the developed and tested solution?

The City of Helsinki and the partner proposing the test (company, RDI organization) sign an agreement related to the implementation of the test in which intellectual property rights for the solution (product, service) to be tested are defined. The rights remain mainly with the main implementer (company, RDI organization) of the test unless otherwise agreed.

Want more information?

  • Kimmo Heinonen

  • Leading Specialist, Team Leader
    City of Helsinki
    Economic Development: Innovations and New Experiments