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RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATIONS

Winning through collaboration!

Lapland UAS’s research, development and innovation (RDI) activities are multidisciplinary and almost unparalleled in scope among Finnish universities of applied sciences. RDI is closely linked with teaching.

Knowledge of northern conditions is a basic part of our life.

Our teachers and RDI professionals are experts in innovative research and development having extensive experience in business life.

First and foremost our development projects benefit other entities; companies, associations and organisations of the public sector.  

A successful development project may be a weapon for a new breakthrough. 

The most significant providers of our financing are the EU and Business Finland – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

About 16 percent of our projects are international.

Currently in focus
Knowledge of Arctic conditions and cross-border expertise

Knowledge of Arctic conditions refers to comprehensive management and utilisation of the conditions. It is strongly linked with the operating environment and natural conditions. It is important that people, machines, equipment, companies, infrastructure and society as a whole can function efficiently and safely in a challenging operating environment under varying natural conditions.

Long distances and sparse habitation pose challenges in the area. The development and focus of Lapland University of Applied Sciences’ RDI activities are adjusted for the special conditions relating to its northern location and cross-border collaboration. Success in Arctic conditions as well as making use of the conditions and networks are at the core of the expertise. Through networked and multidisciplinary activities, we may achieve innovative solutions to complex problems, boost operations and develop the quality of operations/services.

Making use of the Arctic conditions, environment and nature

Making use of the Arctic conditions, environment and natural resources is a great opportunity and requires that the principles of sustainable development are followed. Lapland University of Applied Sciences’ knowledge of Arctic conditions focuses on understanding the influence of the environment and various conditions when acting in the Arctic operating environment.

Our strong Arctic expertise is based on our knowledge of the local conditions. The natural conditions and seasonal changes must be taken into account in all activities and utilised whenever possible. Changes in natural conditions are highlighted in the Arctic areas by climate change. Overarching themes in Lapland University of Applied Sciences’ knowledge of Arctic conditions are digitality and circular economy.

Bioeconomy, circular economy and side streams

Raising the degree of refining of natural resources in a sustainable manner in all sectors is central for the vitality of Lapland. Key themes for Lapland include:

• promoting the competitiveness of bioenergy
• using more renewable energy
• increasing the consumption of local and organic foods
• stepping up further refining
• strengthening the regional value chains.

In addition, new models for decentralised energy production will be piloted in Lapland.

From the viewpoint of circular economy, the majority of industrial production is based on raw materials produced in Lapland, but consumption takes place abroad. It is important to concentrate on operations relating to industrial side streams and competence development in Lapland.

New circular economy business models: the significance of immaterial values and services based on natural resources is growing.

Kemi’s Circular and Bio Economy Centre is a national pilot project and pioneer. In addition to Lapland University of Applied Sciences, the centre involves Kemin Digipolis Oy and the City of Kemi.

Read more: Bioeconomy and circular economy at Lapland UAS

Development and applications of digitalisation

With its long distances and sparse habitation, Lapland relies on smart service solutions for securing the availability and equality of services. Digitalisation means modernising operating methods as well as putting services online, and requires an open-minded approach to doing things in a new way.

Digitalisation is a tool for providing smart solutions. It connects people and makes it easier for them to interact, enabling improved service quality. It also creates new work and new jobs.

At the UAS, digitalisation is promoted through these activities in particular:

• application of digitalisation to service and product development
• development of the virtual campus
• digitalisation of research, development and learning environments
• development of simulation pedagogy.

Green Care

Lapland’s nature offers multiple opportunities that can be utilised and productised to create services that promote well-being and health or developed to support comprehensive rehabilitation.

Multidisciplinary service production is based on natural resources and conditions, ecosystem services and natural diversity. Target-oriented, professional and responsible utilisation of these factors has shown that nature influences human well-being in multiple ways.

Lapland UAS provides and develops Green Care expert, development and training services to support local professions and business.

Mining and industrial services and safety in mining

Lapland’s rich renewable and non-renewable natural resources have given rise to strong production units (mining, steel, paper, board, pulp, mechanical wood and energy) that directly employ thousands of people. Even more people are employed by industrial service companies.

The RDI activities of Lapland UAS focus on key competence areas of national and international importance:

• optical measuring technology
• materials technology
• mineralogy
• operation and maintenance
• knowledge of the Arctic environment and ICT.

By applying these, companies can develop their own activities, products, services and new business models.

The ability to meet the requirements of world-class companies operating in the area also enables exports and their growth.

At the same time, industry is globally moving from purchasing products to purchasing services, which means that the responsibility for the life-cycle management of products lies with the seller. In this sense, the activities are closely linked with circular economy.

Safety in Arctic mining means paying attention to sensitive natural conditions, highlighting responsibility and ensuring the occupational well-being and safety of the entire value chain, including subcontractors.

Safety in tourism

Tourism in Lapland occurs in Arctic conditions, and its special nature is strongly based on winter and Arctic conditions. The Arctic environment is one of the main attractions.
It means special conditions that require paying special attention to safety in tourism services.

Safety in travel has also become a quality factor in companies and an important factor in terms of competitiveness.

Start-up entrepreneurship and supporting entrepreneurship

SMEs are very important for Lapland as employers and suppliers of products and services. In the coming years, a large number of entrepreneurs in Lapland will retire, and people are needed to continue the existing businesses. New entrepreneurship will also be needed.

The entrepreneurial activeness of students is recognised and supported at Lapland UAS. In practice, this means activities like collaboration with the students’ entrepreneurship community and involvement of all. We catalyse the development of business ideas and launching of business operations in co-operation with entrepreneurs and enterprise development organisations.

On the other hand, the UAS supports the operating conditions and business of local companies in many ways.

Lapland University of Applied Sciences is a partner to anyone who wants to develop, learn and achieve something new.
 
There is a demand for northernness elsewhere, too.
Contact
Social Services, Health and Sports
Head of R&D
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Tel. +358 (0)40 510 4132

Business, ICT and culture
Head of R&D
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Tel. +358 (0)50 461 1345

Travel and Tourism
Head of R&D
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Tel. +358 (0)40 735 5300

Industry and natural resources
Head of R&D
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Tel. +358 (0)40 543 0249
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