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Smart InnoTrafik - aiming for zero accidents and market leadership


InnoTrafik's innovations, utilizing smart technology, are making a significant impact on both traffic and industry by placing safety as a top priority. These award-winning innovations all share the common goal of enhancing workplace safety and saving lives on the road. Established in Tampere in 2013, the company now has global ambitions with Kolster as its strategic partner.

"Our motto is 'safety first.' During the initial phase of the company, we focused on product development, and now we are reaping the rewards of that effort. Our products are already in use in Sweden, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, but we are aiming for new markets," says Jouni Hänninen, the founder of InnoTrafik and responsible for sales and product development.

One of InnoTrafik's innovations can be observed in urban traffic throughout Finland. The Välkky enhancement capsule detects pedestrians stepping onto crosswalks and starts flashing lights to alert drivers.

The proactive Cyclope® warning system, on the other hand, reduces collisions in workplaces, and the world's only Sound Beacon helps prevent accidents involving wildlife on major roads and guides pedestrians in urban environments. The Sound Beacon is currently being tested on Highway 8 at deer crossing points and in the rapidly changing environment of Pasila in Helsinki.

At InnoTrafik, dedicated permanent employees and a subcontracting network work on developing safety in traffic and work environments. The company's goal is to become the leader in smart traffic products based on the Internet of Things (IoT) in both Finland and Europe in the coming years.

"We are in this situation thanks to top-tier Finnish engineering skills, the technological superiority of our products, and our dedication. I am proud that InnoTrafik has been built entirely through revenue without the help of venture capitalists."

Jouni Hänninen, founder of InnoTrafik and responsible for sales and product development.

Image: Jouni Hänninen, founder of InnoTrafik and responsible for sales and product development.

Innovation sparked while watching parliamentary session

InnoTrafik's products are reliable, user-friendly, and scalable. Moreover, their adaptability to different needs is one of their strengths.

A good example of this adaptability and innovation is the widely covered Turvatolppa recess supervisor. It's a variation of the Välkky pedestrian safety light capsule for traffic and the Cyclope® collision warning system for industry. The idea for Turvatolppa emerged when Hänninen was watching a parliamentary session on television.

"They were discussing school bullying and saying that we had lost the game. I thought it couldn't be like this. It struck me that there should be a post in the schoolyard where you can press a button to call an adult," Hänninen explains.

This led to the tireless recess supervisor Turvatolppa, which was installed in the yard of Törnävän school in Seinäjoki. After the pilot, a survey was conducted among teachers and students, with 80 percent of respondents saying that Turvatolppa had increased their sense of safety.

The latest innovation from InnoTrafik is the wildlife warning system based on smart technology. The functionality and impact of this system on accidents are being studied in collaboration with the Varsinais-Suomi ELY Centre and the Finnish Wildlife Agency. The measurable results are promising.

"Preventing moose collisions saves not only lives but also a significant amount of money. According to the Finnish Wildlife Agency's study, the Sound Beacon prevented eight moose from entering an intersection area. This translates to savings of 2.4 million euros, as the estimated cost of one moose collision to society averages around 300,000 euros," Hänninen calculates.

IPR supports international growth

When aiming for international growth, protecting inventions across different market areas is of paramount importance. The collaboration between InnoTrafik and Kolster began in 2015. European Patent Attorney Ossi Huhtanen has been part of the journey since the beginning.

"The InnoTrafik IPR portfolio mainly consists of patents and utility models. International protections have been built to support the company's growth. It's also essential to be prepared to defend one's IP rights, and this is covered in InnoTrafik's IPR strategy. Kolster has also assisted InnoTrafik in contract matters, such as collaboration agreements with subcontractors," Huhtanen explains.

Jouni Hänninen values Kolster's strategic approach, deep understanding of InnoTrafik's business, and collaborative way of working. He also emphasizes the benefit of trademarks for growth companies like InnoTrafik.

"Competition on the global stage is fierce and ruthless. Protections must be in place, from product names to domain names. Without trademarks, competitors can easily swoop in and harm the business."

IPR is a profitable investment

As a pioneer in smart traffic technology, InnoTrafik's message resonates with companies on a growth trajectory, especially those aiming for foreign markets.

"Absolutely invest in protecting intellectual property rights. It's an investment that pays off. You need to have your wallet in good shape globally, and an IPR portfolio is, to a great extent, a valuable asset," Hänninen states.

"Thanks to Kolster, we can focus on our core business, knowing that everything related to our protections, like patent maintenance fees, is taken care of. And whenever we have questions or need support, we have an ironclad professional at the other end of the line immediately."

The collaboration has also been rewarding for Kolster.

"The diverse technology of the inventions makes InnoTrafik a very interesting client. In my work, I need to understand electronics, mechanics, communication technology, and data communication. It's great to promote InnoTrafik's business goals with the help of IPR: becoming the global leader in their field," Huhtanen sums up.