Helsinki Universities Team on New Research Unit

HELSINKI (03/20/2000) - The Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Helsinki together founded the Helsinki Institute of Information Technology or HIIT, chartered to conduct research and teach future researchers their trade.

A number of the two universities' graduate schools are to be integrated with HIIT.

"We take this as a national task: We have to think what must be done in order to maintain the current well-being in Finland after 10 years," said Professor Martti Mäntylä, who will direct the institute's research.

The HIIT budget for 2000 is 15 million Finnish marks, about US$2 million.

Cooperating companies include Nokia Corp., L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co., Elisa Communications, Sonera Ltd., Sanoma-WSOY and Alma Media.

Some of the companies are rivals, which, according to Mäntylä, will present a challenge.

This year, HIIT will have about 50 researchers, and next year the number will grow to possibly 80.

Helsinki University of Technology can be reached at; the University of Helsinki is at