Regional Innovations

Development, internationality and new openings

Our major operations of the regional innovations are participation in regional strategy work and RDI cooperation as well as finding new possibilities together with enterprises and other organizations. Operation models are developed for both enterprise and public sector use. This strengthens the possibilities of the SMEs and other organizations to participate in international RDI projects.

Core actions:

  • Promoting the active role and participation of regional enterprises and development organizations in RDI activity and international RDI projects.
  • Strengthening the cooperation of regional enterprise and public sector actors.
  • Increasing the national and international prominence of the Oulu South innovation environment and seeking ways for linking the regional innovation environment to the national and European innovation politics.

Projects and activities:


Innovative Learning Approaches for Implementation of Lean Thinking to Enhance Office and Knowledge Work Productivity (ILA-LEAN project)

The ILA-LEAN project aims at developing didactic materials to improve knowledge concerning the implementation of Lean Thinking in the workplace. Most companies are aware of Lean Thinking, but it is generally usually only in practice in the production area. Many companies, however, have realised that there is much waste in other areas of the company such as in offices, therefore the knowledge and identification and thus elimination of waste would also be beneficial in these areas.  

The ILA-LEAN Project focuses on two training methodologies:

Gamification: a training methodology focused on the learning process for the individual. Direct experience plays a very important role in the learning process, and learning through reflection on doing is, according to our teaching experience, effective and adequate to learners. One of the project output is a set of games on Office and Knowledge of the Workplace, which will simulate real-world events and processes designed for the purpose of teaching through the methodology of "serious gaming". This methodology targets a large variety of audiences, including students and professionals.

Learning on the go: learning can take place almost anywhere if the learning materials take the form of tablet courses. Modern life is becoming more and more stressful, it is difficult to find time to sit down and dedicate an hour or two to learn a new subject or to refine a skill. The second project output, a training course designed for tablet application, is also developed for a large variety of audiences, from students to professionals, easing the possibility of learning in any moment of the day. Up-to-day technologies (tablets, smartphones) enable implementation of new ways of learning and this project will take advantages of using new technologies to reach large number of beneficiaries.

Specific objectives

  • Increase the cooperation among educational institutions and enterprises in EU for better employability
  • Increase the synergic use of up-to-date technologies, in an integrated way, with a team work approach and personal development
  • Improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning of vocational contents on lean in Office and Knowledge of how it works and the workplace
  • Increase the opportunity for distance learning
  • Upgrade and innovate existing training tools

Project outputs

  • Tablet course concerning Lean implementation in Office and Knowledge of how it works and the workplace
  • A set of didactic games concerning Lean implementation in Office and Knowledge of how it works and the workplace
  • Teacher/trainer manual showing how to lead the games

Project partners

Educational partners: Rzeszow University of Technology (Poland), University of Stavanger (Norway), University of Minho (Portugal), University of Oulu (Finland), Centoform srl (Italy)

Industrial partners: Latino group, Salte as and Restol

    Learn more about the project


    Development of operations management, feasibility study in Oulu South (TUTOES-project)

    There is a growing demand of updating the operations management of Finnish SMEs to match the international level. Therefore, internationally comparable knowledge and education is needed. Enterprises’ operational excellence and cost efficient operations, as well as, growth and internationalization can be supported by creating and offering knowledge suitable for their context and coaching the entrepreneurs.

    There has been no general view of the state of operations management of the SMEs in Oulu South region. A systematic model for evaluating and developing the operations management has been missing. Various operational excellence maturity models and KPI’s have been created in international research.

    In the feasibility study

    • The operational excellence maturity model and KPI’s for SMEs were created.
    • The current state of art of the operations management on the sample SMEs in Oulu South region were analyzed.
    • An operational excellence training program for the SMEs was planned.
    • Students of higher education were involved in the collaboration with the enterprises.

    In the feasibility study new, reliable and comparable information was created of the current state of the operations management and the development in SMEs in the Oulu South region by using the developed maturity model. Based on the results, sales became the most important focus area for development. In order to enhance the knowhow of business development experts and entrepreneurs, a model of coaching programme was planned, along with the content and implementation plan of the sales coaching programme. Students of University of Oulu and University of Applied Sciences studied operation management and collaborated with companies by collecting information of the state of art of the operation management by utilizing the created model.

    Results of the feasibility study form a background for an extensive project that aims to enhance the profitability and competitiveness of SMEs.

    Project was accomplished by the University of Oulu unit Oulu Southern Institute and Centria University of Applied Sciences.

    Last updated: 23.2.2018