About KSI

Kerttu Saalasti Institute (KSI) is an internationally active research institute at the University of Oulu. Our research theme is ”Operational Excellence of Micro-Enterprises”. KSI provides and mediates new knowledge, develops new technological innovations and acts as a reliable partner in international project collaborations. To name a few, we work in a close co-operation with faculties of the University of Oulu as well as other Finnish and international universities and research institutes.

Impact in society and regional development are important for KSI research. Our research aims are

  1. to develop micro, small and medium-sized enterprises;
  2. to investigate production engineering; and
  3. to provide scientific knowledge and to promote new innovations and rapid experimentations in order to develop the operational excellence of enterprises.

Organization of the Kerttu Saalasti Institute



Our research and RDI include Future Manufacturing Technologies, Microentrepreneurship and Regional Innovations. The institute director is responsible for the Kerttu Saalasti Institute administration. The executive board supports the director in operational activities. In the Quality manual, the KSI's operations and quality assurance measures are described.

Our research units are physically located outside of the main Oulu campus research infrastructures, such as Engineering Research and Development Laboratory ‘ELME-studio’ (Nivala), Underground Research and Innovation Laboratory CallioLab (Pyhäjärvi) and Living Lab of Micro-Enterprises (Oulu South region and Northern Finland). These infrastructures are systematically developed by strategic planning together with partners. The main office of KSI is located in Nivala.

The institute participates in the development of enterprises and innovation environment by strengthening international orientation, RDI activity and expertise mainly through projects together with education and development organizations as well as municipalities, subregions and enterprises. An integral part of the regional interaction is realized in the project steering group work. Representatives of funders and other reference groups are present in the steering groups.

Majority of the institute financing is based on external funding outside the university. With some year-to-year variation, the funders are the Structural Funds and Framework Programmes of EU, the Academy of Finland (the Finnish expert organization on research funding), and TEKES (the Finnish funding agency for innovation). The financing from the University of Oulu comprises, in addition to basic funding, strategic and investment funding. Over the years, the EU structural funds have formed the most significant part of financing. The funding roles of the municipalities and subregions in the region as well as the Federal of Education in Jokilaaksot  JEDU (particularly in acquisition of equipment particularly in the ELME laboratory) have been very essential.

KSI has a broad national and international cooperation network. The international collaboration has  expanded remarkably during the recent year, and it has been carried out through research and development projects, expert visits, researcher exchange and joint publications.

KSI operation is supported by Kerttu Saalasti Foundation, founded in 2000, which allocates grants to researchers or postgraduate students coming from Oulu South region or for those carrying out research and development activity in the region concerned.




Last updated: 12.3.2019