Ari Ahonen: RYM Oy transformed the construction sector

Ari Ahonen: RYM Oy transformed the construction sector

RYM Oy was founded in 2009 as the Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation of the Built Environment in Finland. Supported by Tekes, companies have invested around EUR 66 million in three RYM Oy research programmes, which have recorded several internationally recognised achievements.

The PRE programme boosted the breakthrough of BIM. The multidisciplinary RYM Indoor Environment Program highlighted user experiences, particularly in the development of working and learning environments. The EUE research programme, which laid the foundations for new ecosystems, business models and the use of city models in urban development, expired at the end of April 2016.

– The key achievement of the PRE programme was the creation of an information modelling standard for the infra sector. This world-class achievement has created a basis for standardisation, enabling the infra sector to catch up with housebuilding in the utilisation of information modelling, says Ari Ahonen, CEO of RYM Oy.The PRE programme also resulted in follow-up projects, such as the Drumbeat project by Skanska and Tekla, which is a continuation of the Drum project.

World-class research data from learning environments

Ahonen says that the development of various learning environments was the most important achievement of the RYM Indoor Environment Program.

– This was a huge step forward from the viewpoint of both research and businesses. The programme gathered large amounts of world-class research data and its results brought business benefits to companies, such as University Properties of Finland Ltd.Furthermore, the highly multidisciplinary Indoor Environment Program brought engineers together with experts in areas such as the behavioural and social sciences.Digital urban planning as the key achievement of the EUE research programme.

The programme achieved major results in terms of digital solutions for regional development, from the scanning of existing areas to an open, information modelling-based regional model and the management of data flows on the basis of a continuously updating 3D model. This programme has proved that an open city model significantly increases the effectiveness of core urban processes, in particular urban planning, the related interaction and building supervision.

The consortium participating in city model development, 3D virtualisation and digital services included Aalto University, Adminotech Oy, Elisa Corporation, the City of Espoo, the National Land Survey of Finland/the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, Sito Oy and SRV Group Plc.

Calculations provided by the EUE programme brought benefits for Finland

Based on the carbon consumption calculations for urban planning, completed under the leadership of Professor Seppo Junnila as part of the EUE programme, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revised its latest report in line with the best interests of Finland. The IPCC report is the key document guiding climate change prevention worldwide.

A Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation (SHOK) that changed the sector

The RYM’s objective was to perform multidisciplinary research that would benefit the entire real estate and construction sector. In Ahonen’s opinion, this objective was achieved successfully.

– Before RYM, only modest funding was granted for the construction sector by the Academy of Finland. Following RYM, and partly with its backing, the Academy granted EUR 8 million to this sector.

In 2016, the operations of RYM Oy ended when it was placed in voluntary liquidation. This was mainly because public financing for innovation activity based on SHOK companies had dried up.

Eero Lukin, Tekes