Samsung to plant 'advanced tech' R&D facility in Nokia’s backyard

Is Samsung coming to Finland to scoop up former Nokia software engineers?
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Samsung is remaining tight-lipped about a new high-tech research and development facility that it's opening in Espoo, Finland — the home of Nokia's headquarters.

"On June 13, 2013, we plan to open a new R&D center in Finland, which will be a branch of the Samsung Electronics R&D Institute UK (SRUK). This decision to establish our R&D presence in Northern Europe reflects the importance we place on the European market," Samsung said.

Invites for the new R&D centre's opening ceremony were sent out this week, according to a report from Finland-based blogger Stefan Constantinescu. 

The invite does not shed any light on what the the R&D facility will focus on beyond "advanced technologies" but notes it will be Samsung's first in the Nordics. The centre joins 18 other Samsung R&D facilities in nine countries focusing on a range of technologies.

There are a few possibilities. Samsung last month announced a €1m partnership with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to work on technology to improve energy efficiency, according to Finnish news organisation Yle

However, Engadget has spotted an ad for R&D director to head up its 'Samsung Electronics Research Institute' (SERI) in Finland, which will be based on Espoo, according to the ad. The candidate needed experience in designing software in mobile telecommunication and is offered the opportunity to "create the future of R&D in mobile business".

SERI in Finland has already made a key appointment, according to the LinkedIn profile of Timo Jokiaho, a former Nokia engineer, who lists his current role at SERI as "Head of Finland R&D and European Open Source Innovation Group". 

It's no secret that Samsung has plans for a high-end Tizen phone later this year, and among other things open source, Jokiaho will be heading up "selected domains" of the Tizen MobileOS stack, such as multimedia, security, graphics and web. Other areas include work on the Linux kernel and drivers, graphics acceleration, WebKit, and HTML5.

Jokiaho joins Samsung R&D from Huawei's Finnish operations, where he was VP of terminal OS strategy and planning. Huawei announced a new R&D centre in Finland late last year, which focuses on software development for "terminal" devices, which include Android and Windows Phone platform.

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