Tag Archive for: University of Lapland

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!


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.

5G and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem at the University of Lapland

Author: Laura Ulatowski

The Arctic Centre, University of Lapland hosted as part of the EIT HEI SKills2Scale project, a peer learning event in Rovaniemi, Finland. The objective of the event was to share experiences and best practices in the fields of education, research, and innovation to foster inspiration among Higher Education Institution (HEI) administrators to explore new possibilities, opportunities, and paths to take to initiate innovation in their institutions.

To portray our project partners an accurate impression of the deep tech and entrepreneurship landscape in Lapland, we invited speakers from our local ecosystem to present their work and share knowledge.

The approach we took for this peer learning event was to begin by presenting about the availability, opportunities and challenges of implementing 5G technology at the University of Lapland. To do so, we invited a speaker from University of Oulu who has high capabilities in the field of 5G and Lapland University of Applied Sciences who is currently deploying its 5G network to share their view about implementing 5G at the University of Lapland.

After looking at the network capabilities we continued with a session about the research on 5G and entrepreneurship at the University of Lapland. The main point raised was that there is an increasing need to look at 5G technology from a legal and social sciences perspective since these disciplines can help address societal challenges concerning 5G. Since entrepreneurship is a crucial part of our project work, we invited an expert from the University of Lapland to present the start-up and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Following two lively sessions about the 5G and Beyond ecosystem at the University of Lapland, the day continued with a session about technology and its utilization in Lapland, a representative from the Chamber of Commerce in Lapland gave our project partners a deeper insight into the region itself as well its opportunities and challenges. Since Lapland is a peripheral region in the Arctic, there are a few particularities to consider when implementing new technologies.

To facilitate the knowledge intake, we organized three site visits to meet local stakeholders and hear their stories and deepen the project partners’ understanding of the local ecosystem. 

Our successful peer learning event is part of a series of regional peer learning events across europe. You can find the recap of our first peer learning event in Valencia, Spain in the digital library and will soon find news about our upcoming peer learning events in Liberec and Thessaloniki.

SINCO accelerates the construction, testing, and development of service prototypes

Explore the dynamic intersection of innovation and practicality at The Service Innovation Corner (SINCO), the service prototyping laboratory located within the University of Lapland’s Faculty of Arts and Design, Finland. Functionally divided into five categories, SINCO redefines service

To create a prototyping lab for service and interaction design at the University of Lapland, the lab was set up as a component of the co-naming SINCO project, funded by the European Regional Development. As a facility for service design practice, SINCO is a laboratory idea comprising an environment and a collection of equipment appropriate for service prototype and interaction design.  The laboratory is a space that combines elements of a showroom, theater, craft studio, and a contemporary meeting room. It is a setting where you are empowered to take any action necessary to concretize and test experiences. SINCO provides tools for concretizing whole user experiences, in contrast to traditional mockup workshops often employed in industrial design.

The SINCO laboratory is functionally divided into five categories: Servicescape Simulation, Service Stage, Digital Touchpoint Toolkit, Rough Mock-up Crafting, and Teamwork & Documentation Tools. 

SINCO allows for the speedy construction, testing, and development of service prototypes. The prototypes are quick and simple to construct and vary since they are heavily reliant on digital prototyping material, such as images, videos, and recorded sounds. This fosters the co-creational ethos of service design, where anybody may build on the ideas of others, and is perfect for hands-on service development, as new ideas are developed while testing current prototypes.

Because of SINCO laboratory’s hands-on expertise with service prototypes, the client company’s R&D employees are now more closely involved in service development. As a result, suggested customer experiences and service journeys provide greater context for assessing and inventing new solutions. Involving company employees in service prototyping by enacting, analyzing, or constructing service journeys has given them the ability to assess the service experience from the user’s perspective rather than from an outsider’s perspective.

SINCO has worked closely with the following companies on service prototypes: Lapin Kansa (local daily newspaper), Ranua Zoo (Lapland’s wildlife park), and KL-Kopio (digital printing company). The close collaboration with companies has shown how service prototyping approaches and the SINCO laboratory were employed at various stages of the service design process, as well as how this improved design thinking in the companies.