A week of new ideas and innovations

1.10.2015 :: Teksti: Text and photo: Anne Aho

If you are looking for new ideas to develop your operations, Innoweek may offer the solution. During one week, students of business, information technology and library and information services contemplate ideas and innovation for assignments provided by companies.

Innoweek_verkkoiso.jpgOULLabs' Satu Väinämö visited Innoweek to see how the student teams had proceeded with their assignments.

This year, the partners for Innoweek were the cooperative enterprise Osuuskauppa Arina, OULLabs (Oulu Urban Living Labs) and Green Company Effect. More than 80 Finnish and international students of OUAS worked with their assignments. During the one-week innovation project, the student teams contemplated new ideas and innovations for the assignments.

The Director of OULLabs, Satu Väinämö, participated in the event for the first time. Her assignment was to get the students come up with ideas how 3D could be utilised in PATIO online tool that collects user experience data.

– Students look at things from a different perspective compared to those who already work in the sector. It is a fruitful territory, so we wanted to participate in the event, Satu says.

Innoweek teaches students creative thinking and working in multidisciplinary and multinational teams. At the same time, they receive valuable experience and contacts to the working life.

– Students like Innoweek as it differs from ordinary studying. The companies involved have also given positive feedback, says the other teacher responsible for Innoweek, lecturer for information technology Tuula Ijäs.

Innovation every spring and autumn

Students Samuli Alaraappana, Alexandria Haaga, Atte Karppinen and Si Liu worked as a team on the assignment provided by OULLabs. The students study in different programmes and have started their studies in different years. For them, Innoweek is an interesting part of the studies.

– It is nice to be involved in an actual assignment. Also, it is refreshing to work with students from other programmes in an international team, the students say. 

Satu says it has been easy to be the client.

– We gave the students a relatively open assignment as we wanted new perspective. We will get the results quickly, already in a week. Students have an open mind and new ideas, which is a good reason to participate in Innoweek.

Innoweek is arranged once a year, every spring. In addition to Innoweek, the students of the same programmes brainstorm corporate assignments in a one-day Innostart event every autumn.