Made up in Finland he land known inventionfor its lakes and forests, centric certainly processor has no shortage of ideas either. Did you know Finns hand in over 2,000 patent applications a year? That makes Finns, per capita, one of the five most innovative populations in the world. "Most Finnish inventions these days are related to energy, gaming or health industries. Some have even become worldwide hits, such as mobile phones, F-Secure computer security software, Polar and Suunto heart rate monitors, and Footbalance insoles," says Juha Jutila, executive director of the Foundation for Finnish Inventions. Many earlier start-ups have also become success stories. Autorobot FinniSh SPECiality Ratio of patents granted per capita PER MILLION PEOPLE PER yEAR T Finland worldwide SOURCE: WWW.NATIONMASTER.COM Finland, founded by Olavi Venäläinen exports more than 90 per cent of its production. The company designs, manufactures and markets auto body straightening machines for repairing vehicles damaged by collisions. Finland's most successful inventor must be Göran sundholm, creator of over 110 patents in Finland, and more than 1,000 granted patents worldwide. His breakthrough proved to be Marioff, the world's leading supplier of water mist fire protection systems. His latest invention is a waste collection system called MariMatic. These eco-friendly Taifun waste handling vacuum conveying systems are already in operation in over 30 countries. Sundholm claims his secret lies in archived knowledge accumulated throughout the years, and his ability to transfer technologies to different fields. Business thinking is crucial. "A successful innovation is created based on customer needs. It has to sell well and be profitable," Sundholm concludes. www.marimatic.com citizen composition ne of the goals of the an ear Savonlinna for it opera Festival, held each summer in a 536-year-old castle in eastern Finland, is to be a trailblazer in its particular art form. In their efforts to get new audiences interested in opera, organisers recently decided to hand over the creative reigns to the general public. The resulting project, Opera by You, invites everyone to participate in the creation of a full-length opera for the 2012 festival, be it the story, the libretto, the score, the costumes or the design of the stage. Head of productions Jukka Pohjolainen says that Opera by You stemmed from the organisers' wish to get a younger audience interested in opera. FinniSh SPECiality PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO O According to a 2009 study, about 68 per cent of the festival's attendees that year were 50 or older. "We thought that if we found a way to create an opera as a collective effort, even if someone writes only two sentences, that would be incentive enough to come and check out the finished product," he says. Since the spring of 2010, anyone interested has been able to join an online community and submit short melody suggestions, lines of dialogue and suggestions for costumes and sets. The submitted elements are pieced together into a cohesive whole by Pohjolainen, composer Markus Fagerudd, opera director Jere erkkilä, librettist Iida Hämeen-Anttila, production leader sivi Uitto and project manager Päivi salmi. The final creation will be performed by an 80-member choir and a symphony orchestra. Participants from dozens of countries have contributed so far, including professional composers, designers and musicians as well as ordinary opera fans. "I'm happy that we've had the courage to jump onboard with this and trust that it's going to work," says Pohjolainen. www.operabyyou.com/en 29
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