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Getting more publicity for UAS research ideas
The best ones are developed into commercial products

Research-based ideas of employees and students of the universities of applied sciences are screened increasingly more carefully. The plan is to develop the best of them into enterprise-based commercial operations. This kind of work is funded by TEKES in its programme for transforming research into business.

Markku Oikarainen and Antti Soini
Markku Oikarainen (left) project manager at TAMK University of Applied Sciences and research director Antti Soini of Satakunta University of Applied Sciences are pleased with the commercialization of their institutions’ new product ideas.
High resolution image (443 Kb)
Photo: TAMK

TAMK University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) investigated 20 research ideas last year. One of these has already made it into production, two of them have led to founding of enterprises, fourteen merited actions with a view to commercialisation and for four ideas, action was taken to protect the invention. TAMK obtained TEKES funding through the TULI programme for making research into business through the Unipoli co-operation of the four higher education institutions in Tampere.

The universities of applied sciences’ practical approach and collaboration with industry has long served to generate new research and product ideas, but previously the problem was a lack of resources to cover the costs of their commercialisation. TULI funding provided resources for apprising ideas: Selected ideas could be subjected to innovation research, domestic and international market research and commercialisation plans and expert services could be bought in from the outside.

This year TAMK has continued the commercialisation of new research ideas. TAMK’s share of TEKES funding allocated to universities of applied sciences in western Finland under the project for transforming ideas into business (TULI) is 200,000 Euros. Financial backing means that ideas conceived at TAMK in the academic year 2007-2008 can be cultivated this year and the next and even more new ideas can be taken on board. One condition of granting the funding is that TAMK has the concurrent and fixed-term user rights to the idea which is under development.

TAMK plans to process 40 new research and product ideas on the funding which begun this year. Once a research and development contract has been made for an idea by a student or employee, it is possible to agree on incorporating the idea into the current teaching. Thus the exploratory work for the idea becomes part of the students’ seminars and theses. The aim is to develop roughly ten ideas as a basis for profit-making business activity in collaboration with the companies in the region.

The TULI programme is set to run 2008-2014. With this programme, TEKES hope that the higher education institutions and research institutes will enhance their capabilities for commercialising their research findings. The programme includes a special portion for the universities of applied sciences known as AMK-TULI involving the 23 universities of applied sciences of Finland. TEKES expects solidarity of the consortium consisting of our four universities of applied sciences in their product development operations. The TULI co-operation of the universities of applied sciences of western Finland is coordinated by the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences in Pori.

For the funding period 2008-2009, TEKES granted the universities of applied sciences consortium a total of two million Euros. The western Finland consortium of universities of applied sciences is the biggest in Finland. Altogether eight institutions in the area Jyväskylä-Kokkola-Pori-Turku-Tampere received TEKES support of 650,000 Euros for their budget of 1.1 million Euros.

More information:

TAMK University of Applied Sciences
Project Manager Markku Oikarainen
Tel. +358 40 826 7615
Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Research Director Antti Soini
Tel. +358 44 710 3174
Tekes, Finnish Funding Agency for Technology
Business Adviser Sami Heikkiniemi 
Tel. +358 50 557 7646

Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.
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