Kuvituskuva: kuvassa Xamkin kampuksen seinä, jossa näkyy Xamkin logo. Photo: Xamk.

Xamk has a large influence on regional development


South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk) is a higher education institution with a strong focus on research, development, and innovation (RDI). RDI activities bring wellbeing and competitiveness to Xamk’s region of operations.

RDI in Xamk

Over the past few years, Xamk has been Finland’s largest university of applied sciences, when it comes to the amount of external RDI funding. Xamk’s RDI activities are divided into four focus areas: Forest, the Environment and Energy; Sustainable Wellbeing; Digital Economy; and Logistics and Seafaring. The work carried out in these focus areas aims to create ecosystems that generate innovation, and combine research, education, and business activities.

The RDI activities are guided by European Union, national, and regional strategies and are mainly carried out through projects. In 2020, the combined budget of all RDI activities was over 80 million euro and there were almost 300 ongoing projects in that same year.

The funding comes from a variety of different sources, such as the EU, national funding bodies, and private funders. Furthermore, Xamk operates and develops novel research infrastructure and laboratories in order to support its RDI activities and projects.

Xamk participates and engages in numerous national and international cooperation networks. RDI activities are often carried out in close cooperation regionally, nationally, and internationally with industry, NGOs, public bodies, companies, universities, universities of applied sciences, and research institutes.

RDI as a part of regional development

RDI activities in universities of applied sciences often have a strong user orientation and problem-solving focus. RDI activities aim to meet the needs of the business world, and are founded on strong interaction with interest groups, regionally, nationally and also internationally.

The RDI activities function as a powerful tool for regional development.

The RDI activities of universities of applied sciences also function as a powerful tool for regional development. The research data, new methods, products and services produced by the UASs are generally based on regional needs. RDI activities can have a positive influence on a region’s wellbeing. They support and promote businesses, expertise, and competitiveness as well as can renew the regional economic structure.

RDI activities also generate novel national and international innovations, that can benefit the region. In addition, the promotion of entrepreneurship is becoming an important part of RDI activities to further stimulate regional development.

Xamk has a strong role in its regions of operation

Xamk’s regional influence is also incorporated into its future plans. According to Xamk’s vision, by 2030 Xamk will have an established role in the sustainability leap, both regionally and internationally. Prioritizing human wellbeing and developing user-centred services as well as high impact international and digital business operations creates value for the region of South-Eastern Finland.

RDI activities that meet high international standards are an essential aspect of Xamk’s regional and social influence. Current regionally impactful and internationally competitive innovation ecosystems are formed around four research areas, which are wood fibre research, data-based wellbeing services, digital information management, and oil spill prevention.

Xamk has four campuses in four cities: Kotka, Kouvola, Mikkeli and Savonlinna. Xamk’s region of operations includes both the South Savo and Kymenlaakso regions. Xamk has a strong role in regional development, as all its activities strive to create quality and effectiveness in its regions of operation.

Additionally, Xamk’s innovation and competence development is deeply linked to the development and innovation strategies of the cities of Kotka, Kouvola, Mikkeli and Savonlinna. Xamk’s RDI activities are in line with the Regional Strategy for Research and Innovation for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) of both the Kymenlaakso and South Savo regions.

Writer Vappu Kunnaala-Hyrkki

Kunnaala-Hyrkki works as a RDI Specialist at Xamk, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences