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A mechatronics research program was carried out in Finland from 1987 to 1990 as a joint project between industry and research centers. The program stimulated cooperation between these partners and supported the companies' own R&D projects. It also encouraged individuals in companies, together with research centers, to contemplate future possibilities in an innovative, interdisciplinary way and in teams. This resulted in new product concepts, and new collaborative applied research activities and programs with new goals. This work has been continued in several new technology programs, especially in applications of learning and intelligent systems which will be carried out from 1995 to 1998. The rapid progress of technology gives continuously new possibilities to meet the needs of customers. Soft computing with a control of nonlinearities is the new wave in making dramatic improvements in product and process performances.