Effective cooperation between the university and enterprises is important for science and the business sector. The popular Kampusklubi provides an excellent platform for this cooperation.
Kampusareena is an impressive building on top of a high hill on Tampere University’s Hervanta campus. It is the home of Kampusklubi, a popular meeting place for people and organisations that are enthusiastic about research, product development and competence development.
Tampere University engages in broad cooperation with the international business sector and local enterprises. Kampusklubi is one concrete example of this cooperation. Kampusklubi’s goals are to create new networks and collaboration that will ideally lead to joint innovation and successful business. On the university’s side, the cooperation is developed by Pasi Vakaslahti and his team.
“One of the most important things we provide businesses with is direct contacts with top talents. Together with SYK, we help experts in various fields build their networks,” Vakaslahti says.
The university also benefits from cooperation with the business sector in many ways. Collaboration with businesses includes organising conferences, advanced training for experts and the production of joint publications. The participating companies also provide students with opportunities for thesis writing. Cooperation between a business and the university can start from a small project and grow into a substantial research undertaking or innovation activity.
“Close and long-term cooperation enables us to elevate the expertise of our member companies to a new level,” Vakaslahti points out.
In addition to businesses, public sector entities also engage in close cooperation with the university.
Popular AI events
Kampusklubi started its operations in autumn 2015 and it currently has about 30 member businesses. The members can take advantage of Kampusklubi’s versatile space. The shared-use facilities, events and theme groups on campus create natural opportunities for meeting people who study or work in the same field as well as people representing other fields of activity.
While some Kampusklubi activities are exclusively for members, there are also events open to the public. With a busy event calendar, Kampusklubi hosts thousands of visitors each year.
“Our events around the theme of artificial intelligence, for example, have been very popular. They give businesses and research teams the opportunity to present their latest innovations,” Vakaslahti explains.
High interest in student cooperation
There is competition for skilled employees in certain industries and many technical fields are facing an actual shortage of talent. Kampusklubi provides businesses with an excellent opportunity to meet students, particularly those in the latter stages of their studies.
The member businesses organise hackathons at Kampusklubi along with dozens of thesis writing opportunities and assignments for students to work on. Hundreds of students work on topics that are directly related to the day-to-day operations of the companies, and real results have already been achieved.
“The majority of the students who have participated in Kampusklubi activities have graduated and found jobs quickly,” Vakaslahti says.
TEXT: Satu Savela