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Examples of university cooperation

Helsinki develops a hub of health and life sciences, innovative campuses and urban research platforms with universities

The higher education institutes have a central role in the innovation ecosystem as they provide new knowledge and raise young talents. The City of Helsinki has long-term strategic partnerships with the universities in the region. Strategic focus areas of the cooperation between the City Of Helsinki and the universities include developing a more functional and sustainable city together, boosting innovations and entrepreneurship and increasing international attractiveness of the area.

Health Capital Helsinki

The objective of the Health Capital Helsinki (HCH) initiative is to make the Helsinki Region the leading research, innovation and business development hub of the life science and health technology field in Northern Europe. The alliance brings together two universities, the University of Helsinki and the Aalto University, the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District, which is among the largest health care organizations in the Western world, the City of Helsinki and the City of Espoo as well as Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences and Laurea University of Applied Sciences. Helsinki Business Hub is putting the project into effect.

Health Capital Helsinki

Helsinki XR Center

Helsinki XR Center (HXRC) focuses on Extended Realities and is located next to Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and the Arabia Campus. It is a unique centre located next to education institutions in the culture sector. Helsinki XR Center integrates design and technology in a new way. HXRC is aiming at becoming an international actor through growth and internationalisation services, a co-creation programme with XR partners as well as the degree programme in XR design at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

The XR technology centre is at the core of research, start-up and business cooperation. Helsinki XR Center enables creative teams, start-ups and bigger XR actors and investors to meet each other. The goal is also to provide networking opportunities for students and other actors such as experts in XR, partners, businesses as well as visitors.

Helsinki XR Center is operated by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences together with Finnish Virtual Reality Association (FIVR). The City of Helsinki and Business Finland are the Center’s official partners.

 Helsinki XR Center

Clean and smart solutions

The City of Helsinki along with institutes of higher education, businesses and several other cities are advancing the development of smart and clean solutions through the Smart & Clean foundation. Solutions in mobility, energy, built environment, waste and water mitigate climate change, promote circular economy and create new business. The objective is to develop a world-class test area and window display of smart and clean solutions in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

The City of Helsinki and Aalto University are partners of Climate KIC Nordic which is funded by the EU initiative the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). Through Climate KIC Nordic, the City of Helsinki and Aalto University receive funding for education, innovation and business projects to mitigate climate change.

Additionally, the EIT has recently opened the application period for Urban Mobility KIC, which focuses on developing sustainable urban mobility and for example smart mobility. The City of Helsinki, Aalto University and Forum Virium Helsinki are preparing to join a consortium led by the Technical University of Munich.

Smart & Clean Foundation

Air quality and 5G networks

MegaSense is a research and development project by the University of Helsinki, which focuses on producing high-grade air quality data with affordable sensors developed by the University. In the future, technology developed by MegaSense can be implemented more broadly for themes and services that use sensors, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. The lessons learnt from the modelling are brought in with the other umbrella projects, where they will be of use for the residents, the businesses operating in the city and the City administration.

City cooperation is an essential part of the MegaSense project. The test platforms in both Helsinki and Beijing produce new information about air quality and composition as well as pollutant behaviour. 5G technology and sensor-connected artificial intelligence enable new solutions, but also bring up new kinds of information for the decision-making. The City of Helsinki strongly participates in the project through the Urban Sense and Hope projects.

Science based urban development and entrepreneurship

A concrete example on how the City of Helsinki and the universities develop the city together is the Urban Academy partnership which is a platform that brings together multidisciplinary research, teaching and societal impact in the field of urban studies. The partners are the University of Helsinki, Aalto University and the City of Helsinki. The goals of the Urban Academy collaboration are to increase interaction between the City officials and researchers, to support mutual learning processes and to narrow the gap between academic research and practical City development, to cultivate the interests of different actors and to initiate research projects with societal impact.

During 2018–2023, Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa are financing post-doctoral research positions in urban research at universities. The research themes are picked from the Cities’ strategy programmes. The Cities’ have also donated funding for a professorship in urban economics to Aalto University.

Urban Academy

Promotion of entrepreneurship

The City of Helsinki promotes entrepreneurship in connection to institutes of higher education by, among other things, expanding and developing the Helsinki Think Company entrepreneurial community together with the University of Helsinki, by developing growth company services at higher education campuses, by attracting private accelerators, investors as well as new professionals to Helsinki and by establishing the operations of Health Capital Helsinki. The growth company campus around NewCo Helsinki’s business services and the Maria 01 start-up cluster is being connected to the activities of higher education campuses in order to advance entrepreneurship and innovations. There is also cooperation with universities of applied sciences in the area to create growth business.

Health Capital Helsinki
NewCo Helsinki

Professorship in the economics of Baltic Sea protection

As part of its operational programme for the Baltic Sea, the City of Helsinki has donated a professorship in the economics of the Baltic Sea to the University of Helsinki. The professorship is located at the Department of Economics and Management of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and Kari Hyytiäinen is the professor. The City and the University are also cooperating in other matters concerning the Baltic Sea and the University of Helsinki is part of the Baltic Sea Challenge network.

22.01.2020 15:37