Bizzare Business Ideas in Lapland

by Tiina Mäki-Petäjä

“What does it take to start your own business?”
” How can a washing machine and a deck of cards can help you solve your (business) problems?!”

These questions were answered in the Bizarre Business Event English track hosted by Skills2Scale project. The event encouraged and inspired students from University of Lapland and Lapland University of Applied Sciences to become future entrepreneurs. The event encouraged and inspired students from University of Lapland and Lapland University of Applied Sciences to become future entrepreneurs

The event started with a motivating speech by Anthony Okuogume “From Idea to innovation and kickstarting the entrepreneurial journey”. Then followed by Skills2Scale and the Faculty of Art and Design, University of Lapland workshop on creating futuristic business ideas. The workshop utilized ideating washing machine method and a card game for imagining preferred futures (Alhonsuo, 2022 & Sitra, 2023).

Bizarre elements such as a rumbling washing machine in the background, a deck of cards, Post-its and LEGO blocks were brought to the table to ignite inspiration among students to start thinking about unusual business concepts. Ideas such as milk on Mars as well as data usage and learning experiences after encountering extraterrestrial life were discussed. The workshop was a success. There are not many chances we get to play with LEGO these days!

Sources:

Alhonsuo, M. (2022). Ideating washing machine. In B. Smit, M. Alhonsuo, E. Björn & F. Melissen (Eds.), The SmartCulTour Toolkit (pp. 48-51). Deliverable 7.3 of the Horizon 2020 project SmartCulTour (GA number 870708). Published on the project web site on (30-11-2022): http://www.smartcultour.eu/deliverables/

The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. (2023). Cards of Hope. Game for imagining preferred futures. Helsinki: Sitra. 

Networking event organized by Skills2Scale project: Bizarre Business event, 11th of April, 2024, University of Lapland, Finland.

Lapland Robotics – Best practice at Lapland University

Lapland Robotics is a cooperative project between the Lapland University of Applied Sciences and the University of Lapland. The project’s goal is to integrate robots, artificial intelligence, and digital twins into Lapland’s low-carbon society while also greatly increasing the region’s innovative capability in the creation of low-carbon and energy-efficient processes, goods, and services. The project’s overall cost is 583,000 euros, with the Federation of Lapland providing 466,401 euros in financing from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the state

The objective of the project is to link diverse players, implement experiments with robots, artificial intelligence, and digital twins that are tailored to the demands of SMEs, and determine the operational models and scaling potential required by these solutions. The project will provide Lapland’s SMEs with novel information on how to promote responsibility, new business, material efficiency, and energy efficiency using robots, artificial intelligence, and digital twins. This makes Lapland’s higher education institutions even more competitive in R&D activities in the subject area, both nationally and globally, allowing for the long-term internationalization of firms.

The project investigates the viability of robots, artificial intelligence, and digital twins as a cooperation platform by bringing together various actors from technology firms as users of solutions. The project investigates the present state of technology and service models and develops a strategy for deploying diverse technologies in various industries. The project will put robots, artificial intelligence, and digital twins to the test in the field, laboratories, small-scale proof-of-concept settings, and 5G environments. The project produces open information about unmanned robot prototypes, which are tested in field situations in collaboration with corporations and users.

One of the robot prototypes developed within the project was the “mini ATV robot, which was designed and built during the Lapland Robotics project. Its construction included 3D modeling and an automated driving test, which guarantees its functionality and safety.

One of the robot prototypes developed within the project was the “mini ATV robot, which was designed and built during the Lapland Robotics project. Its construction included 3D modeling and an automated driving test, which guarantees its functionality and safety.

Mini ATV allows you to work both indoors and outdoors and is suitable for use in both summer and winter conditions. In addition, it is possible to connect a Stiga snow thrower to the front of the mini ATV, which makes it an excellent option for winter use”

Due to the success of the project, the robotic work continue within the new project AI.R- Arctic AI & Robotics where the project teams intends to develop various service and application concepts, robotics and artificial intelligence demos implemented at the proof-of-concept level, and prototypes to be piloted by users in the following subject areas: thermal camera applications and usability development, autonomous platforms and their development in Lapland conditions, and robots and artificial intelligence as part of society.

Webinar – Intersecting Horizons: Physics, Internet of Things (IoT), and 5GWebinar @ Uzhhorod National University

On Tuesday, March 26, as part of the international scientific project “Deep Tech Empowerment for Higher Education Institutions” Skills2Scale, a webinar titled “Intersection of Horizons: Physics, Internet of Things (IoT), and 5G” took place. The event was initiated by representatives from the Faculty of Physics, involving collaboration from five faculties of the Uzhhorod National University.

The webinar was conducted in a hybrid format, combining both online and offline participation. The participants included academic and scientific staff, as well as students from the Faculty of Physics, totaling approximately 50 attendees. The speaker of the event was Alexander Homonnai, PhD in Physics and Mathematics, Associate Professor at the Department of Optics, Faculty of Physics, Uzhhorod National University.

During the webinar, participants had the opportunity to gain insights into the capabilities of 5G technologies, including their features, advantages, and drawbacks, as well as a comparison with other contemporary data transmission systems, including Wi-Fi 7 and Starlink. Oleksandr Homonnai also briefed attendees on the Internet of Things (IoT) and the impact of 5G networks and satellite communication on its operations. The event speaker elucidated the disparity between cloud and fog computing, along with their relationship with the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G.

A significant piece of information for physicists and researchers is the review of materials with low losses for 5G devices and the comparison of their efficiency based on key factors. Given that most scientific disciplines within the physics department are linked to materials science, this provided an opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with materials currently under active research and promising for the functional electronics of mobile communication for 5th and 6th generations.

Also featured in the webinar was Dr. Tetiana Babuka, PhD, Chair of the Council of Young Scientists at the Faculty of Physics, and Coordinator of the Scientific Grant Activities Department. She elaborated on the opportunities provided by the implementation of the international project “Deep Tech Empowerment for Higher Education Institutions” Skills2Scale at the Faculty of Physics for students and young scientists. Ms. Tetiana highlighted the significant impact of modern technologies on the educational and scientific components of Uzhhorod National University. She emphasized that any innovative invention begins with an idea, followed by scientific research, modeling, or design. Thus, students and young scientists were urged not to hesitate to present their innovative ideas at the annual “Startup-UzhNU” competition and to participate in the startup project or innovative ideas competition under the DeepTech Accelerator program