No 2 (2014) Abstracts

The theme of the second issue of this year’s UAS journal is innovation and product development. The issue picks up where the first issue of the year left off – the ongoing discussion on the innovation activities at universities of applied sciences. This theme is of great significance to regional development, the promotion of entrepreneurship and the internationalisation of universities of applied sciences in collaboration with partner organisations. The current issue offers insight into the present state of the innovation activities being carried out by universities of applied sciences and lifts the lid on the future opportunities provided by innovation. We address the topic of innovation by characterising the innovative ecosystems at universities of applied sciences on a general level and by presenting practical examples of the measures being taken at universities of applied sciences regarding innovation and research and development.

Innovation work at universities of applied sciences consists of independently developing their own operations, especially in the fields of pedagogics and learning environments, as well in collaboration with their partners. Innovation penetrates the courses and programmes on offer and helps shape pleasant learning environments. Moreover, it takes close cooperation and the desire of all parties to further and develop it. The future of Finland’s competitiveness lies in innovation and collaboration.

One of the strengths of universities of applied sciences is their ability to connect student-centric innovation activities and the promotion of entrepreneurship. In recent years, students have taken an active role in establishing student enterprises and in developing new and innovative approaches to enterprise growth. The fact that students of universities of applied sciences are taking responsibility for their own studies and expertise development is extremely welcome and is well-suited to user-oriented operations. At the same time, entrepreneurship gains a better footing as a source of employment. As part of this structural change, Entrepreneurship Societies (ES) represent the future-oriented and international activity going on in the development of innovation ecosystems. The current issue also covers this development pathway.

Entrepreneurship Societies are faced with the same funding issues as research, development and innovation activities with regards to the implementation and instigation of projects and programmes. New avenues must be opened up in order to develop the support and additional funding required to facilitate the potential outcomes of such activities. The articles in this theme issue would appear to suggest that social innovations and social enterprise still receive less attention at universities of applied sciences or are not at least acknowledged in the same way as product and service innovations. Numerous development challenges and opportunities are still in store for the readers of this issue of the UAS journal.

We hope you enjoy reading the UAS Journal!

Editor-in-Chief Ilkka Väänänen (Lahti University of Applied Sciences) and theme issue editor Marja-Liisa Neuvonen-Rauhala (Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences)



Universities of Applied Sciences at the heart of business, enterprise and innovation

Turo Kilpeläinen, President, CEO, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences

The societal impact that universities of applied sciences make is founded on education. There is currently a particular need for a professionally-oriented and highly-educated labour force, and this will only increase in the future. By focusing on research, development and innovation activities, the impacts of which can be felt more in society, universities of applied sciences are supporting the advancement and internationalisation of business and enterprise in Finland.

An increasing number of students graduating from higher education institutions are beginning their professional careers as entrepreneurs. This article offers a broad snapshot of the opportunities afforded by collaboration between higher education institutions and the world of business and enterprise. Collaboration is the key to new innovations and requires the controlled breaking down of old structures and operational procedures. Right across Finland there are excellent examples of what can be achieved with genuine collaboration; namely, simultaneous added value for all parties involved.


Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences is generating radical innovations – a student spin-off business is shaking up the coinage industry

Sami Kalliokoski, Head of Unit, Electria Research and Development Unit, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

Metropolia Electria Research Unit has developed together with the Mint of Finland a coin safety feature innovation, which has a good potential to revolutionize the coin industry significantly. The invented technology allows secure serial numbers to be written inside coins that can be read by developed wireless sensors. To commercialize the innovation, new spinoff-company Idsens is established by Metropolia graduates. There is in EU level preparation to put developed technology into all new euro coins.

Lavia – Green Longboards: How UASes can aid young startups to takeoff

Heikki Immonen, Innovation coordinator, Karelia University of Applied Sciences

Lavia – Green Longboards is a Joensuu area startup manufacturing ecological longboards. Their story exemplifies the many ways how a university of applied sciences can aid young entrepreneurs. What’s more, this relationship can become truly mutually benefitting one.

Textile waste is a source of new innovations

Kirsi Sippola, Regional Development Manager, HAMK University of Applied Sciences
Milla Valkonen, Project Manager, HAMK University of Applied Sciences

Textile waste is material coming from the industry, retails and consumers. Most of the textile waste is placed in landfills. According to the regulation that comes into effect in 2016, it will be prohibited to place any organic waste in landfills. HAMK University of Applied Sciences has developed activities related to textile recycling in several projects.

A multidisciplinary and comprehensive innovation network is stimulating bio-innovations – Experiences from the Biotuli project for new products and business models in the biorefinery industry

Melina Maunula, Young Researcher, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Unit

Here, we offer a glimpse of the solutions and research associated with the multidisciplinary transition towards a bioeconomy. The development of new bioeconomy innovations and biobusiness requires inter- and intra-interface collaborations across the full breadth of the industry, which, in turn, can be in part facilitated by universities of applied sciences. These higher education institutions fulfil an important role in the development process, but the research conducted therein, as well as at other research institutes, is not enough. This snapshot focuses on the activities of the Biotuli project (new products and business models for the biorefinery industry) carried out in South-Eastern Finland. The experiences from the project indicate that the best research results are achieved by comprehensively bringing together companies, research organisations and support agencies.

Innovation Year in the Forssa region

Kirsi Sippola, Regional Development Manager, HAMK University of Applied Sciences

The business development strategy of the Forssa region is based on a “bright green” approach, focusing on business activities that are environmentally friendly and support sustainable development. Year 2013 was named the Innovation Year. There were different kinds of innovative events during the year. VIHI-project in HAMK University of Applied Sciences arranged different operations and events such as the Bright Green Networks co-operation, the Bright Green Innovation Competition, the Innovative Campus Camp and the Inventor Event.

Experimental innovation and universities of applied sciences

Esko Sääskilahti, Development Manager, Centria University of Applied Sciences
Sakari Pieskä, Principal Lecturer (Research), Centria University of Applied Sciences

The greatest deficiency of innovation development is not in the amount of ideas and knowledge, but in the understanding and skills of innovation processes. Traditional innovation processes have been found to be too slow and risky for current global business environments. Strategically focused experimental innovation processes can bring speed-up and agility to innovation development through experiments, demonstrations and pilots. For universities of applied sciences, the experimental innovation development brings a tool by which SMEs and microenterprises can be supported in the front end of their innovation processes. Based on our experiments, this may change the role of the UAS to be a competent and agile partner of companies in their everyday business development.

Change as an opportunity – new operational models for innovation are being created in the interaction between universities of applied sciences and their partner organisations

Kari Laine, Principal Lecturer, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences

All organisations face harder competition due to globalization. Technological change is faster and importance of knowledge is emphasised. Renewal though innovation is the key to success in knowledge based society. Innovations are based on utilization of knowledge and to new knowledge combinations. Higher education is a significant producer of knowledge. Thus higher education can also have an important role in creation of innovations in collaboration with others. Innovation can be based on solving an identified problem or utilisation of detected opportunity. One central component in innovation is to see detected changes as possibilities. In this article some latest ways to detect these opportunities in collaboration between Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and its partners are studied.

Universities of Applied Sciences are consolidating and profiling their RDI expertise

Sirkka Saranki-Rantakokko, Coordinator, Lappi University of Applied Sciences
Pekka Lahti, Coordinator, HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences

The RDI expert coaching of personnel at universities of applied sciences began at the end of March at Hyvinkää. The training is intended for those staff already or about to start working in RDI positions. The RDI coaching began in good spirits and the attendees saw the development of needs-based and user-based RDI expertise as being particularly necessary. The momentum sparked at Hyvinkää provides a fantastic foundation for learning and training. The RDI expert coaching is presented in the article.

Can games be used for memory rehabilitation?

Sari Merilampi, Project Manager, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Welfare Technology Research and Exellence Centre
Mirka Leino, Project Manager, Coordinator, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Welfare Technology Research and Exellence Centre
Andrew Sirkka, Principal Lecturer, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Welfare Technology Research and Exellence Centre
Antti Koivisto, Researcher, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Welfare Technology Research and Exellence Centre

For memory rehabilitation purposes some mobile games were generated and piloted in the Gamer -research project run by Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) in 2013. The games were piloted by a group of older adults with average age of 90 years. The test group played the games on daily basis through the three-month test period. The follow-up data about the results and gaming events was automatically collected to a server to assess and analyse the activities and possible progress of each individual player. The game results indicate that despite of memory impairments the older adults progressed well in gaming by gaining increased scores in less time. The improvement was obvious also in TMT-A test that was generated into mobile game format. The study findings highlighted an issue that the traditional TMT-A test as a single performance might lead to wrong conclusions because the TMT-A results could vary outstandingly in each play time. The high level of enthusiasm to play mobile games among players, the players’ experiences of the games being easy-to-play, and a pleasant and entertaining activity could be named as other main findings in this research study. Also the care staff valued the mobile games as beneficial in older adults’ activation and self-initiated rehabilitation.

Fostering professional competence by using motivating simulation education

Marja Silén-Lipponen, Senior Lecturer, Project Manager, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Simulations are essential way to maintain and foster staff members know how. Practicing in authentic conditions simulation learning is valuable method in situations which all staff members need to manage. Simulations are also good way to practice such rare situations which are not able to practice enough in real work. Even though simulations have been used in health care quite a long time, there still are some pedagogical, curriculum level and practical problems in ministering to cost-effective simulations. Savonia-UAS ran two EU-funded projects to develop simulation learning and setting up a simulation centre (SIMUPEDA and SIMULA). During the projects was equipped a modern simulation centre and developed health care simulation scenarios. In the near future there is a need to provide more multi- and inter-disciplinary educational simulations.

Formula Student as a part of automobile engineering studies

Marko Mäkilouko, Training Manager, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Aaro Kohilo, Student, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Esko Lätti, Student, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Juuso Nieminen, Student, Tampere University of Applied Sciences

Student team at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences has competed in the international Formula Student competition since 2008. The competition evaluates their skills in engineering, construction and presentation of a vehicle which meets the Formula Student competition rules. Their skills and vehicle properties are also tested in acceleration, curve and endurance driving and in ecology. According to the rules the teams are self-governed and work on their own.
In 2012 the team participated in two competitions reaching 6th and 16th places. The results are good when competition includes teams next to the German automakers or partly automaker teams.

Boat Racing with Solar Power – Midnight Sun KYAMK Solar Boat Team

Mikko Pitkäaho, Development Engineer, Kyamk University of Applied Science

The boat technology students and staff of Kyamk are designing and building a solar powered racing boat. In the coming summer they will race in the Dong Energy Solar Challenge (DSC) in Netherlands. DSC is the world cup of solar boats held every second year with approx. 40 teams around the world participating. Kyamk raced in the DSC first time in 2012. Back then the first Finnish team ever managed to surprise everyone by building a very competitive boat. After an exciting race Midnight Sun Finland got third place with just narrow margins to the winning team Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and to the second: Gdansk University. 2012 team was a joint project with Mikkeli University of Applied Science (Mamk). Now we are going to DSC as two teams. Midnight Sun Mamk builds a lighter version of 2012 boat to revenge in B-class. Midnight Sun Kyamk designs a completely new boat to race in a more challenging Top-Class. The coming summer got even more exciting when the teams got invited to a second race: Solar1 Monte Carlo Cup will be held in Monaco right after the race in Netherlands is finished. Hopefully we’ll get success by two Finnish teams in two international competitions this year!

Bridging the Skills Gap – Competency Development and Entrepreneurship Coaching with ’Xing’

Nigel Kimberley, Lecturer, Arcada University of Applied Sciences
Michael von Boguslawski, Research Advisor, Arcada University of Applied Sciences

The Skills2Work project at Arcada University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki responds to the ET2020 challenge with a curriculum innovation aimed to bridge the skills gap between education and work. Introducing ’Xing’ as an entrepreneurship and coaching intervention transforms the traditional classroom into a dynamic, flexible learning environment. Not only are entrepreneurship skills trained, but other skill clusters that promote the development of transversal skills, e.g. language, communication, and team working. This approach to bridging the skills gap also encourages dialogue with enterprises and organisations, reinforces links between HEIs and the labour market, as well as provides a way to keep students’ skills updated.

Adaptability of the Finnish Workplace Development Model and Methods in Hungary and Romania – ADAPTYKES Project

Ulla Kotonen, Development Manager, DSc (Econ & Bus. Adm.), FUAS – Federation of Universities of Applied Sciences
Miika Kuusisto, Lecturer, Project Manager, Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Marja-Leena Savonen, Lecturer, Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Anu Suomäki, Project assistant,Lahti University of Applied Sciences

This paper presents the ADAPTYKES project which analyses the adaptability of the Finnish workplace development model and methods in Hungary and Romania in order to strengthen workplace development and innovativeness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hungary and Romania. The target is to develop long-term and short-term trainings for the local SMEs but it is also to develop training, coaching and facilitating competences of teachers at the Budapest Business School (BBS) and Babes-Bolyai University (BBU).

The paper focuses on the first two phases of the project: investigation and the analysis of the similarities and differences between work organizations and training of Hungarian and Romanian future leader trainers. As a result of the first phase, the paper describes the SME sectors and innovativeness of SMEs in the participating countries; it summarises the main results from a questionnaire survey in the SME sector in Hungary and Romania to find out the development needs and the competence shortages of the companies. Second, the paper describes experiences from international teacher training carried out as a part of the ADAPTYKES project.

PRACTICE FUTURE – Creating an Open Innovation Business and Students Network

Peter Fischer, Assistant professor, The Arctic University of Norway
Teresa Chen, Senior lecturer, International Coordinator, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

Five partner HEIs at the European High North established an Open Innovation Business and Students Network, a learning platform where students elaborate business solutions for local SMEs. The aim is to acquaint undergraduates with innovation focused skills required in a global business community. The collaboration provides relevant platform features and expounds problems of those to be further refined.

Open, digital learning ecosystems boost innovativeness

Minttu Lampinen, Research Director, Principal Lecturer, HAMK University of Applied Science
Leena Vainio, Development Manager, Omnia/InnoOmnia

The nation-wide AKTIIVI Plus coordination project includes various activities such as research, networks and sharing the best practice examples. The project helps other projects to turn good practices into products and to effectively communicate about their services and products.

In this article, we discuss how technological developments create new kinds of environments and every citizen can take an active role in the digital environments. The central themes are: active citizenship, open learning environment and competence development by sharing the knowledge and lessons learned. Modern information and communication technology allows more interactive communication, therefore the development of public participation and information society skills through active citizenship are an important factor, to which an innovative, open learning environment can be one solution.

The LingComm collaboration has generated useful contacts – The network of language and communication teachers from Seinäjoki, Vaasa, and Centria Universities of Applied Sciences has been working hard

Helena Sarvikas, Senior Lecturer (Communication), Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
Maarit Tammisto, Principal Lecturer (Communication), CENTRIA University of Applied Sciences
Tuija Tolonen-Kytölä, Senior Lecturer (Communication), CENTRIA University of Applied Sciences

For years now, the LingComm meetings have provided a forum for language and communications teachers at the three universities of applied sciences based in Southern and Central Ostrobothnia to share ideas and current information. Networking between teachers of universities of applied sciences is both groundbreaking and nationally important.

A look at the future of the Entrepreneurship Society (ES)

Sani Leino, Founder, Laurea Entrepreneurship Society Union

Support for growth enterprises and especially student-centric business operations is a new phenomenon. Startup entrepreneurship in Finland has a short, but intensive history. Support for Startupsbegan via projects and programmes particularly oriented towards students. These activities started in 2007–2009, primarily in the Otaniemi area of Espoo. This snapshot takes a look at the activities of theEntrepreneurship Society, as well as its development towards the future.

Unemployed adolescents are being directed towards business innovation workshops

Laura-Maija Hero, Senior Lecturer, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

Unemployed local youth and UAS students can form a multidisciplinary innovation group to benefit local companies and other work life. Innovation competence can be fostered and advanced by real innovation projects. Innovation competence can be beneficial to the development of the skills needed in work life and thereby facilitate access to work. It requires determining the motivation factors with each party involved to create a local operating model.

Generative Design – Restorative Indoor Environments

Ari Haapanen, Project Manager, Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences
Dario Vidal Pellikka, Coordinator, Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences

Ideally, the ultimate purpose of Generative Design is to recreate nature’s growth in order to achieve perfect constructions within a harmonious ecosystem, a concept far away from today’s reality. How is well-being achieved in a man-made scene? What are the implementation possibilities of generative design in a restorative environment setting? How can we interpret and translate nature’s flawless growth and reproduction in order to create, as a society, a better living environment? Does wood deliver the much needed interior and exterior conditions? Although more research is required, controversial answers have been concluded by the work of several researchers. The article introduces the reader to essential information about the method discussed and its possible applications within a Restorative Environment context.


Growth through innovation

Sirpa Pietikäinen, MEP, European Parliament

This address discusses innovation as a facilitator of economic growth and the areas in which there appears to be a demand for Finnish innovation in the global market place. Innovations in clean and wellness technologies, as well as collaboration with higher education, are central to future developments.

Working more closely with entrepreneurs

Mika Tuuliainen,Head of Educational Matters,The Federation of Finnish Enterprises

In the research survey conducted by the Federation of Finnish Entrepreneurs and the Tutka network for Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland (AMKTutka), business representatives were of the view that the size of a business has an impact on the content and level of collaboration with universities of applied sciences. The address looks at this finding in more detail and asks the question of what should be done. The Federation of Finnish Entrepreneurs is keen to refine and develop the forms of collaboration available in education and RDI services.

From the bottom up – Quo vadis UAS RDI?

Matti K. Hakala, Senior Advisor, HAMK University of Applied Science

In the face of reform, the challenge for universities of applied sciences is how to also overhaul their own RDI activities and take up their natural role in Finland’s innovation system. This article offers a background to the current situation and a glimpse of the significant challenges and opportunities to be faced in the future, particularly from the perspective of innovation activities at universities of applied sciences.

Book Reviews

Is the work of an UAS teacher more rough than smooth?

Pentti Rauhala, President emeritus, Docent

The book review looks at Kiviä ja Keitaita (Rocks and Oases), which addresses the changes in the nature of the work done by universities of applied sciences (UAS). The book is authored by Liisa Vanhanen-Nuutinen, Kimmo Mäki, Aija Töytäri, Vesa Ilves, and Veera Farin. The book brings together the multi-dimensional results of the research into UAS teachership and pays particular attention to the work of those new to teaching.

Edellinen artikkeliSeuraava artikkeli