From a race boat that uses solar power to electronic services in healthcare and social services and improving corporate competitiveness – world-class innovations from universities of applied sciences.
In 2014, the annual national Universities of Applied Sciences Day was arranged in Tampere on 19 May. The best research, development and innovation practices at universities of applied sciences were again rewarded at the event. The ‘Kärjet’ (Spearheads) competition was now arranged for the fifth time, and its goal is to reward the most significant projects that benefit working life.
A total of 37 projects from different universities of applied sciences participated in the project. There were three categories: category 1, Applied Research Knowledge and Innovations; category 2, International RDI operations; category 3, Development and Renewal of the Working Life and Economic Life. Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences won the first category with its ‘Biofore Concept Car’ that utilises biomaterials. The ‘Motorsport for all’ project at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences received an honourable mention. The project has generated an opportunity for youngsters with spinal injury to participate in motorsports. Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences won the second category with the ‘Primcare’ project that has improved the attractiveness of basic healthcare organisations and reduced the turnover of personnel. Oulu University of Applied Sciences won the third category with the ‘Oulu Game Lab’ project that has created a learning environment for developing games. Karelia University of Applied Sciences was granted an honourable mention for its ‘Assi’ project that has developed electronic services and service processes in healthcare and social services.
Three projects have received world-class acknowledgement, and they received special honorary mentions. Haaga-Helia's ‘Finland to rise with sales’ project received Finland's quality innovation 2014 award for the development service for sales culture. The ‘Midnight Sun’ project of the Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, which developed a race boat that uses solar power, won the prize for the best student team at the Solar1 Monte Carlo Cup. Additionally, the ‘Arctic Power’ project of the Lapland University of Applied Sciences won the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge 2015 in the Zero Emission class with its ecological and noise-free electric snowmobile.
The recognitions were granted by the network of research management of universities of applied sciences together with the Rectors' Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences, Arene. Director Peer Haataja of the Tampere Chamber of Commerce took part in the evaluation by the panel as a representative of the working life.