Research and innovation infrastructures support knowledge valorisation for SMEs

A man standing on a stage while the audience is listening to him.
UIIN Associate partner Dr. Todd Davey opened the conference with an inspirational speech about strategic partnerships.

University-Industry Innovation Network (UIIN), where TAMK is an organisational member, offers a great platform to share good practices, exchange views and debate on forward-looking topics on university-industry collaboration. One of the themes discussed among the more than 400 participants in the annual UIIN Conference 2023 in Budapest concentrated on knowledge valorisation. Building the bridge between academia and business should be facilitated to achieve more effective and efficient value creation of research results.

But do walls and buildings really matter?

Dr Roy Priest from Birmingham City University presented one interesting example from UK. The new STEAMhouse concept underpinning the university’s values, namely Thinking differently, Creating opportunity and Building community. The new space concept is designed to proudly fit into the industrial heritage of the city itself, while at the same time providing flexible study and working spaces for all engaged.  However, the STEAMhouse needs also new curricula to function in fully. Concept of Re-imaging the curriculum was iteratively co-created with all stakeholders whose engagement in this process was precious. In addition, pedagogical methods like coaching and mentoring were key enablers for the new curriculum implementation. This reminded a lot of TAMK Innovation Sprint approach but formed as a fully curriculum. This is something to consider also in TAMK.

City of Budapest.
The UIIN Conference 2023 took place in the beautiful City of Budapest.

Industry collaboration guarantees knowledge valorisation

One of the award-winning examples of university industry co-operation was presented by a team of three experts from Jönköping University, Sweden. The collaborative education model created and implemented boosts the talents of tomorrow by offering cases on real R&D company challenges. The long-term industry collaboration with international and smaller companies in the region bring win-win-win benefits for the students, businesses and society in terms of employability, high-class innovations, and increase in export. A similar concept as in TAMK’s Intelligent machines study path and the related SIXLabs ecosystem in Tampere region.

TAMK and our expertise were made visible in the conference with our presentation on knowledge valorisation for SMEs. Research and innovation infrastructures play an important role in adding value and impact for innovation ecosystem. The projects implemented in genuine partnership with the industry can provide valuable demonstration, testing and piloting environments for new technology and service creation process. The vivid discussion around our poster on the topic prove that TAMK is really a frontline player in this respect.

Two men looking at a poster.
Our poster attracted a lot of attention among the conference attendees around the globe.

UIIN Conference – a place for learning and sharing good practices

Having participated in the UIIN Conferences annually since 2017, we find the UIIN network as highly valuable platform for learning, sharing good practices and networking for future co-operation. Building impactful networks between organisations and experts takes a lot of effort and resources. However, it surely has an added value in showing TAMK’s commitment to the European and global higher education community. However, during the last two years, the UIIN Conferences has shifted from focusing on industry collaboration towards topics on entrepreneurship, which has been indicated as a slight decrease in the number of business representatives in the event. This feedback to the UIIN hopefully will carry on for increased industry involvement in future editions of the conference.

Text: Hanna-Greta Puurtinen, Senior Advisor at TAMK and Petri Pohjola, Senior Lecturer at TAMK

Pictures: Hanna-Greta Puurtinen

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