An important milestone in the development of campuses was the completion of the detailed local plan for the Kuopio campus in 2019, following six years of determined work. The end result is a detailed local plan compliant with the idea of a multi-user campus, enabling the best aspects of housing, business and university operations. Development of the area in compliance with the detailed local plan will start during 2020. In other respects, town planning work also advanced as planned in various cities during the year.
The biggest construction project in our history, the Aurum multi-user building being built for Åbo Akademi University and the University of Turku, progressed according to plan in good cooperation with the customer and the contractor. Aurum advanced so that its frame was completed, and interior decoration designs and work were carried out.
Our maintenance operations develop in accordance with the development project for a needs-based maintenance model. Our aim is to allocate the resources correctly by utilising modern building automation and analytics. In turn, our other significant maintenance project, the electricity demand response, will in the future allow us to level out frequency fluctuations caused by weather conditions and facilitate the use of renewable energy sources in power generation.
In 2019, our goal of providing our university and corporate customers with a range of services to support their operations again advanced in quantum leaps. Testing of an electric car for shared use began at the Hervanta campus in Tampere as part of flexible mobility solutions. Furthermore, the Campus Navigator service was introduced at the Linnanmaa campus of the University of Oulu. In addition to positioning information and the locations of lecture facilities, the service provides information about the restaurants on the campus and their menus. A private day-care centre also began operating on the Lappeenranta campus at the beginning of 2019.
In 2019, we contributed a total of EUR 310,000 to 16 research and development projects. In addition, we invested, together with universities, a total of EUR 822,500 in six demo projects. Ten RDI projects were completed during the year. They have provided us with information and partners for developing a digital operating culture and digital services for multi-user campuses. We invested EUR 530,000 in six demo projects. To celebrate our jubilee year, we organised the Campus Seminar event, at which our international researcher partners of the last ten years shared their experiences and views on campus development and changes in the working and learning environments.
We provided approximately 2,420 person-years of employment, and the average number of employees was 30. It can be said that the employment effect generated by investment and purchases is significant. Furthermore, we were among the largest payers of property taxes in all the municipalities we operate in, and in the Pirkanmaa economic area, we were one of the largest payers of corporate income tax. In 2019, we paid taxes amounting to EUR 22.7 million in total, of which property taxes represented 55 per cent. We paid property taxes in 16 municipalities, totalling EUR 12.4 million. All taxes were paid in Finland.
For us, social responsibility means looking after people and the surrounding society, including buildings. We supported the leisure activities of young YMCA members in Finland through the Shadeshares project and their employment projects in a Kenyan slum through WorldVision. We also participated in supporting the Finnish Kapua project that in 2019 helped with the education of women and handicapped persons in Ethiopia together with the Threshold Association and the Family Federation of Finland.
The customer survey we commissioned indicated that we had good success in these activities. The overall average was 3.6, and 87 per cent of the customers responding considered our role as a campus area developer to be fairly or very important. 26 per cent of the respondents indicated that our operations had improved during the past year.
We reformed the method of calculating our corporate-level carbon footprint, and our process for determining the carbon footprint is one of the best in Finland. We collect data as carefully as possible, and are satisfied with the scope covered by the calculations. Last year, we also started the environmental certification process for our existing buildings and prepared for a major emissions compensation programme alongside our own carbon mitigation work.