Research, development and innovation are among the cornerstones of our business.
Our vision is to be Europe’s most valued campus developer. To achieve this objective, we actively invest in research and development. We aim to understand the increasingly rapid changes happening in the world and their effects on our business, and make the latest opportunities available to our customers.
We want to be like our owners: we research and develop, we study and teach, and we influence the development of the property and construction business in a broader sense.
In 2018, we contributed total funds of EUR 400,000 to 16 research and development projects. Taking into consideration the contribution of Business Finland and other partners, the total impact of these projects was approximately EUR 8.5 million. Together with our partner universities, we also invested about EUR 540,000 in six demo projects with a combined value of approximately EUR 1 million. Eight partner universities participated in our projects.
Seven projects were completed during the year and six new ones were started. Seven projects continued into 2019. The focus area of our own completed projects was digitalisation from the perspective of business and property services. We also investigated topics such as indoor positioning systems and conducted a preliminary assessment related to demand response for electricity.
Our operations are significantly influenced by changing views on learning as well as the servitisation and digitalisation of the property business. This involves a shift from lecturing to phenomenon based learning and learning by doing. The goal is to make classrooms, lecture halls and other learning spaces even more capable of promoting learner activity, increasingly multi-purpose and smarter than before. At the same time, the perception of learning environments is broadening. Spaces such as lobbies, corridors and restaurants can be utilised in increasingly diverse ways as environments for learning, work and services.
Networking and internationalisation are emphasised in ecosystem projects
Increasing focus on networking and internationalisation
Business Finland emphasises the significance of various ecosystem projects in collaborative business development between researchers and their partners. Networking increases innovation. For us, this also includes international networking through research projects.
Among our international projects, the RESTORE project is focused on sustainable development. The project examines how the built environment could be carbon negative, biodiversity-promoting and even productive and regenerative.
In the IN-LEARN project, we support our customers’ initiatives aimed at exporting education to developing countries. As part of this project, we have engaged in the joint development of learning environments on campuses and schools in Namibia. The Fusion Grid project incorporates new sustainable digital solutions to this development effort
We have engaged users in the planning and design of premises in our alterations to learning and working environments on various campuses. The tools we use to monitor the success of our alteration projects include the international Leesman survey.
We test the effectiveness of new solutions on people’s actions and experiences in demo environments.