Helsinki Tech & Comms team helps Tekes with a groundbreaking digital innovation

23 March 2017

Our Tech & Comms team in Helsinki, led by partner Jesper Nevalainen and senior associate Outi Jousi, has advised the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (TEKES) on the development of a digital matchmaking tool. This new service helps researchers, companies and investors to connect with each other and find out what other players do in the ecosystem. This type of matchmaking already takes place at Tekes but has until now been very dependent on individuals’ personal knowledge of those in the field.

This work will now be accelerated by the new digital tool TekesMatch, the first of its kind in the market and a groundbreaking innovation in the start-up/investor scene. The tool uses artificial intelligence and semantic search algorithms and was developed after the first Finnish public procurement design contest-hackathon, arranged by the state central procurement unit Hansel (read more here and here).

Eriika Autio, procurement manager of Tekes described our part in the project: "Bird & Bird was of irreplaceable help to us in creating the TekesMatch development agreement. We had an initial thought of what we wanted, but we didn't know how to write it all sensibly. We wanted to make sure our partners, the suppliers, would get as vast rights as possible so that they could use the results of our project in their next client projects. At the same time we had to make sure that we would not be subjected to a vendor lock, but continue to be able to develop and use the results of the TekesMatch project without restrictions. Outi Jousi and Jesper Nevalainen with the Bird & Bird team helped us make sure that matters relating to data security, public procurement, data privacy (GDPR) and IPR were covered. In addition we requested that no standard terms and conditions be used, because we wanted the agreement to be as clear and unambiguous as possible to all parties." 

Outi added: "The tool will be developed iteratively, adapting agile principles, which is also reflected in the development agreement. We look forward to seeing TekesMatch connect investors, startups and innovators in the near future".

Jesper added: "It was great fun and a privilege to participate in a novel project and advice on and create a novel contract that fits the purpose."

TekesMatch will first be used within Tekes and Team Finland, with an application programming interface (API) being launched at one of the largest start-up events in the world, SLUSH, in Helsinki in November 2017.