Karelia.fi INTERNATIONAL EDITION 2021
6 Towards Competitive Universities for a Sustainable Society 14
Developing New Learning Environments to Meet the Changing Work Demands
Competence in Lean Six Sigma since 2013
Let's craft a better tomorrow. Together. Awarded degrees in 2019
3700 742 Student satisfaction rate
(satisfied or very satisfied students)
Degree programmes in English
These are the strategic choices of Karelia UAS until the year 2030. You can see the symbols in every article.
Karelia UAS is international
160 100 200
INTERNATIONAL DEGREE STUDENTS EXCHANGE STUDENTS PER YEAR INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS
Joensuu is the home town of Karelia UAS
76 551 30%
OF THE INHABITANTS ARE STUDENTS
Joensuu is a Fair Trade city
Sustainable well-being in a sparsely populated area!
Vitality to working life through competence!
Intelligent production and services!
Education-based immigration and internationalisation!
Carbon neutral solutions!
Read more about our strategy: www.karelia.fi/en/strategy/
What is internationalisation for the future?
any of us HEI developers have been wondering about the concept and content of internationalisation for the future even more than before. Due to COVID19 the traditional forms of international collaboration, where physical mobility has played a crucial role, have needed to be re-considered and renewed faster than planned. We are dealing with more uncertainty than ever. Corona is only one example of the unexpected to happen. In addition, the global trends of rapidly transforming working life, ageing and climate change challenge us all. Digitalisation has played an important role in finding the solutions. We have learnt to use different kinds of tools to enable working and learning at distance. It seems that HEIs around Europe and beyond have taken a huge leap in digital skills and tools. However, there is still a lot to do, and especially harmonizing the joint working processes and tools needs to develop. One of the articles of this edition describes how we have worked with our Chinese partners to find ways to teach and work online for our international degree in China. Due to rapid transformation of work, knowledge management with systematic re- and upscaling of competences is more important than ever. Learning communities for peer work, fellowships, co-creation and research are established as a framework and method for staff development. For students, the physical and virtual Living labs enable authentic RDI integrated learning opportunities in close cooperation with working life. Learning communities and Living labs aim towards flexible and relevant competence development to meet with the future needs. Reflections on these areas are shared in several articles in this edition. Sustainability and global responsibility are to be explicitly embedded in everything we do. They need
to be guiding principles in curriculum development, transnational education, RDI and partnership development. Doing this is a complex and thorough process that recalls a lot of shared and transdisciplinary expertise. Karelia is proud to be part of the recently funded INVEST European Universities consortium, where these questions are jointly elaborated for future benefit. The INVEST consortium is building a competitive physical and virtual university to work towards a sustainable future. Some key points of the INVEST project is briefly reflected on in this edition. INVEST will offer possibilities for partnership development more widely. We are inviting you to join the dialogue. What are the future ways to ensure international learning and working pathways for students and staff? How should transnational education around the globe be arranged? And how can international RDI collaboration help us to meet global challenges? We definitely need to re-design our services and practices on sustainable bases. What could be done better and how? What kind of innovation ecosystems would be needed? The journey continues. Join us! Liisa Timonen, the Head of International Affairs
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» CONTENTS INTERNATIONAL EDITION 2021 Editorial-in-chief Rauno Jussila, Communications Manager Thematic editor Liisa Timonen, the Head of International Affairs Sub-editor Eija Pyykkö, Communications Specialist Layout Salla Anttila, Communications Specialist Photos Johanna Kokkola, communications agency Salama Cover photo Johanna Kokkola, communications agency Salama Publisher Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Tikkarinne 9, 80200 FI-Joensuu Contact information www.karelia.fi, firstname.lastname@example.org Printed PunaMusta, Joensuu
Karelia UAS promotes Open Science, Research and Education
Circulation 1500 pcs ISSN 2323-8453 (Printed), ISSN 2323-8461 (Online publication)
RAALI PAIN UT
E UOT OT
Karelia University of Applied Sciences
ClimateCalc CC-000084/FI PunaMusta Magazine
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Towards Competitive Universities for a Sustainable Society Developing a New European Master's Programme Sports and Entrepreneurship Developing new learning environments to meet the changing work demands
Environmental aspects for Marketing Communications
Quantum computing - opportunities for the future in teaching and business
Karelia UAS promotes Open Science, Research and Education
Environmental Aspects for Marketing Communications The First European Address for Sustainable Energy Systems
Know-How on Renewable Energy - Sino-Finnish degree programme running in China
32 35 37 38 40
Know-How on Renewable Energy - Sino-Finnish degree programme running in China Bioeconomy Specialisation Studies in China A New Degree for Future IT Experts Building a Sustainable Future with Wood Competence in Lean Six Sigma Since 2013
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Towards Competitive Universities for a Sustainable Society TEXT LIISA TIMONEN | PHOTO JOHANNA KOKKOLA, SALAMA VISUAL
arelia UAS is a part of the INVEST European University Alliance, which was funded on the second call of the Erasmus+ European Universities. The programme aims to strengthen the European Education and Research Areas and enable the in-depth development of practices and the elaboration of new innovations. All the alliances build a joint strategy for education with links to research and innovation and society at large. They all also create an inter-university campus offering curricula where students, doctoral candidates and staff can experience mobility at all study levels. Finally, these all establish and facilitate knowledge-creating teams addressing together societal challenges applying a multi-disciplinary approach.
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Liisa Timonen, the Head of International Affairs at Karelia UAS.
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Faculties / areas of studies
45 580 >100 000 2 800 >30
Figure 1: Key figures of INVEST Alliance The recently kick-offed INVEST Alliance combines five partners: Slovak University of Agriculture (SUA, coordinator) in Nitra Slovakia, University of Agribusiness and Rural Development (UARD) in Plovdiv Bulgaria, University of Thessaly (UTH) in Volos Greece, Karelia University of Applied Sciences (Karelia UAS) in Joensuu, Finland and Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Sciences (VHL) in Arnhem, Netherlands to work for a shared vision and build European Competitive University for a Sustainable Society (see Figure 1).
continuous learning pathways
INVEST relies on following four strategic pillars: (1) Competitive education and valuable learning outcomes, (2) Collective excellent research and innovation, (3) High mobility level beyond Europe, and (4) Networking as the platform for future education and research. These cover three focus areas - Water, Energy Food and Environment Nexus, Quality of Life and Entrepreneurship (see Table 1).
Table 1: INVEST Focal points
WATER, ENERGY FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT NEXUS
QUALITY OF LIFE
• Climate-proof Regional Development • Sustainable, smart Agriculture • Aquaculture • Food security and safety • Water resources management • Energy transition and Green energies • Natural and cultural heritage
• Education and capacity • Ensuring public services building and their quality • Urban-rural relationship • Circular-/ Bio-Based Economy • Inter-European citizenship • Job creation and human • Ensuring public services and capital management their quality • New business models and smart technologies • Regional sustainability driven capitalism and biobased industries
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The vision of INVEST is to create a modern European University satisfying the needs and requirements of the new generation of Europeans. The students of today and tomorrow are future leaders who can introduce sustainable life in regions across the Europe. We see INVEST as a fully functioning, innovative and bottom-up network of universities that promotes the SDG goals in all its actions. We work together to achieve higher standards in education, training, research and innovation through international synergy and excellence. This is the INVEST way to take greater responsibilities towards the development of an inclusive society and a knowledgebased economy. INVEST is organized around five work packages and several task-related teams of experts in those packages (see Figure 2). The work has just begun, and there is a lot to do. We are happy to be a part of the journey. We will share the proceedings and reflections of the INVEST process with our partners regularly and welcome our partners to join the dialogue with INVEST Alliance.
Coordination and management
Cooperation Model, Quality Assurance System and Evaluation
"The vision of INVEST is to create a modern European University satisfying the needs and requirements of the new generation of Europeans. The students of today and tomorrow are future leaders who can introduce sustainable life in regions across the Europe."
Study programs, courses, learning strategies and supporting tools
Co-creation of student and staff competences and sustainable INVEST tools
Sustainability and Dissemination
INVEST – COMPETITIVE UNIVERSITY FOR A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY!
Figure 2: INVEST work programme
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Developing a New European Master's Programme Karelia UAS coordinates "EMMA", an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership funded project, in which six European universities will design and present a study programme called “Master's of Active Ageing and Age-friendly Society”. The project started in autumn 2020, and the program is scheduled to be ready for accreditation in autumn 2023. TEXT RAIJA KUISMA, TUULA KUKKONEN, ELINA NEVALA
MMA universities, which include Karelia UAS in Finland and others in Ireland, Austria, Greece, Portugal and Slovenia, are working to build a joint master's-level programme. The aim of the master's programme is to provide students from different educational backgrounds with advanced competencies that enable them to develop active ageing and an age-friendly society.
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The EMMA project has a total of seven work packages, and all universities work together to co-create the program. At the moment, the work packages in progress focus on needs analysis and the construction of a curriculum framework. The objectives of the EMMA Project are described in more detail in an article by the project director, Principal Lecturer Raija Kuisma, in the online Journal IkäNYT!
NEEDS ANALYSIS AS A BASIS FOR THE CURRICULUM
The needs analysis is led by the University College of Cork in Ireland. Based on the literature review, a large survey will be conducted in all partner countries. This aims to investigate the learning needs of potential students from the perspectives of different parties involved. Karelia UAS is responsible for the work package, focusing on the construction of the curriculum framework. This work is very important: there are different regulations in different European countries and universities, e.g. the scope of a master's level education, degree titles and study fees for education. In the joint program, it is important to find common starting points and to create a curriculum that serves all partners. Analysis of the pedagogic framework is an interesting learning opportunity for all partners: how we understand learning, how we see the role of teaching in developing new competences, and what kind of learning processes we want to promote.
LEARNING ENTITIES ARE DEVELOPED WITH THE SUPPORT OF ONLINE PEDAGOGY
The development of the curriculum started in March 2021 by defining the learning outcomes, contents and assessment of learning. In addition to the provision by the home university, the student has the opportunity to choose versatile and specialised studies from partner universities. This gives added value to students from different higher education institutions and enables them to focus on his or her own goals. A common pedagogical framework is behind the online pedagogical thinking and is an important stage in the design of the EMMA programme. Karelia UAS is also responsible for the work package focusing on e-learning, which includes both the
development of online pedagogy and the analysis and development of common e-learning environments.
KARELIA UAS’ 2030 STRATEGY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMPETENCES IN THE AGEING PHENOMENON IN FINLAND
The EMMA project is a part of Karelia UAS’ strategy for “well-being services in a sparsely populated area”. This provides cross-sectoral support for sustainable products, services, operating models and technological solutions together with partners. The aim is to make North Karelia the leading province in the promotion of age-friendliness and the health and well-being of an ageing population. Online studies in English offer the opportunity to participate in master's studies around the world, regardless of place. Karelia University of Applied Sciences already has experience in the fully online Master's degree of Active Ageing. In order to safeguard the well-being of our ageing population well into the future, EMMA helps us develop learning and research of this nationally and internationally important theme. This development is also supported by the Excellence in Creating Age Friendly Society in Remote Areas (EAFS) and Invest projects at the Karelia University of Applied Sciences.
"In order to safeguard the well-being of our ageing population well into the future, EMMA helps us develop learning and research of this nationally and internationally important theme."
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SPORTS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP 12 | karelia.fi
TEXT HARRI MIELONEN | PHOTO SENIVPETRO, FREEPIK.COM
arelia UAS Business Academy is one of eight partners in a new international project called ENDURANCE - Entrepreneurial Capacity-building for Sport. The project’s main idea is to map commonalities between sports and entrepreneurship and to develop training tools for teachers/trainers in VET systems. The project officially started in November 2020 and will last two years. It is clear that there are links between sports & entrepreneurship, but those links are seldom recognized and rarely capitalized upon. ENDURANCE “rethinks” the teaching/training and learning of entrepreneurship based on the complementary features and commonalities between sport and entrepreneurship, such as determination, perseverance, self-confidence, stamina, respect of rules, team play, self-reliance, competition, success/failure, etc. ENDURANCE’s objective is to reignite an entrepreneurial spirit and modernize the way entrepreneurship is tackled in VET and to: 1) Map dynamics of sports and entrepreneurship, common traits and links for sustainable careers for learners in VET and sport systems 2) Develop ENDURANCE entrepreneurship custom-made training and tools 3) Establish an online interactive OER platform for ENDURANCE training (virtual and blended-learning) 4) Sustain results and promote their uptake in VET and sport ecosystems 5) Advance the entrepreneurship and sport discourse at the policy level with the ENDURANCE Green Paper On November 5th, 2020, a Karelia UAS team (Liisa Timonen, Anne Ryhänen and Harri Mielonen) joined the online Kick-Off Meeting of ENDURANCE, a Project co-funded by the Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Commission, which brings together eight Partners from seven countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Italy, Slovakia and Spain). The KOM, originally planned in Bratislava, Slovakia, was held online due to COVID-19 restrictions. There were 18 participants online. The meeting was a great and fruitful kickstart for this fine Endurance-project. During the meeting, the consortium discussed the overall project implementation schedule, de-
fining timelines and respective duties in the following months. There are altogether four Intellectual Outputs (IO) in the Endurance-project, and the first two will take place in spring 2021. An Open Educational Resources (OER) platform will be built and released in early 2021. It will be a sort of digital soul for this project. In addition, partners will be focused on mapping commonalities between sport and entrepreneurship. This mapping activity will culminate in a final report that will be available on the OER platform by July 2021. Intellectual Output three is the output for which Karelia UAS is responsible. IO3 starts in autumn 2021 and contains the practical development and piloting of an online training toolkit. Based on the results of a comprehensive mapping in IO2, IO3’s main objective is to develop versatile online training tools and procedures to cover the possible gaps in entrepreneur training at the moment. As previously mentioned, ENDURANCE is an international project and therefore a natural addition to Karelia Business Academy’s daily activities. Internationality is one of the main pillars in the Business Academy ideology. At the moment there are many cooperation partners all around the world who operate with a pedagogical approach similar to Karelia Business Academy. With these partners Karelia Business Academy develops future projects and maintains current collaboration by doing different things together. Students have done 24h international challenges online with Peruvian and Czech students. Some international dialogue training has been also done, and several international visits took place before COVID-19 crashed into our lives. In addition, academy coaches exchange thoughts worldwide in an online platform about the best practices and pedagogical inspirations. This happens on an almost weekly basis. Internationality is considered an essential and natural part of Business Academy. The ENDURANCE project will undoubtedly strengthen Business Academy’s international network. It is always possible to form new partnerships and collaborations. Maybe our example will encourage other universities to try some elements of team learning as well.
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Developing New Learning Environments to Meet the Changing Work Demands 14 | karelia.fi
TEXT: MIKKO HYTTINEN | PHOTO JOHANNA KOKKOLA, SALAMA VISUAL
THE WIND OF CHANGE IN LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
Nowadays work is rapidly diversifying. Many current jobs will disappear as technology advances. Routine work tasks will be automated and managed with the help of artificial intelligence. Robots will serve customers in health care, shopping will be done in virtual reality, and clients will appear as holograms in negotiation meetings. Remote working will expand to new fields of industry, and new technologies are parts of everyday work. Teaching at a distance, contact teaching and combinations of these are known as blended teaching. In higher education, practical work-oriented projects are carried out co-operation with companies. The change in work and the development of technology affects teaching, placing demands on the creation of new technology integrated blended learning environments and pedagogical models and practices. Learning environments should serve a variety of pedagogical solutions and provide solutions to both general pedagogical and subject-specific challenges. Well-designed facilities and new technological solutions enable the diversification of learning environments and teaching methods while providing students with deeper and more authentic learning experiences of the phenomenon being learned.
FUTURE WORK PROJECT
The Future Work Project was launched in autumn 2020 aiming to develop the learning environments at Karelia UAS. The project lasts for three years, and the ambition is also to develop teachers' pedagogical skills to meet the requirements of future work and new learning environments. The project is a large entity funded by Karelia UAS, the European Social Fund (ESF) / South Savo Centre for Economic Development and Transport and the Environment and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) / North Karelia Regional Council. The Future Work Project includes the development of physical facilities and teachers’ pedagogical skills. The needs for future learning environments have been gathered from teachers in different fields and by benchmarking national and international learning environments. Learning environments should consider the pedagogical requirements of future work in different fields. Teaching is often planned together among teachers, and the project also aims at building co-design facilities and production facilities for teaching materials.
INTEGRATED LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES
Companies are adopting new technologies in changing circumstances. In remote meetings and conferences, it is important to meet people and see their expressions. Video technologies can help, but how can remote meetings be made even more realistic? Virtual technologies can offer a more realistic sense of presence for participants.
"The Future Work Project includes the development of physical facilities and teachers’ pedagogical skills. The needs for future learning environments have been gathered from teachers in different fields and by benchmarking national and international learning environments." karelia.fi | 15
Minna Rokkila is the Technical Expert and Mikko Hyttinen is the Project Expert in Karelia UAS' The Future Work Project.
Companies take advantage of XR (Extended Reality) technologies to develop their marketing. They use 360-degree virtual tours and develop AR (Augmented Reality) mobile applications to engage customers. New technologies also make it possible to simulate real-life cases and give people more authentic learning experiences. These technologies should also be utilized in teaching and learning environments and provide students with opportunities to become acquainted with them during their studies. The new learning environments will be integrated with the latest learning technologies that can be used extensively in teaching and RDI activities. Technologies should be easy to use or they should operate independently so that teachers shouldn’t have to worry much about management of technologies. Technologies should support teaching rather than make it awkward. In the Future Work Project the auditoriums will be integrated with robot cameras that can detect movement and follow a teacher automatically, sending the video to remote students. Also, 360-degree cameras will be installed into a selected classroom so the entire learning environment can be viewed in teaching situations when needed. Simulation environments are built to present real work-life tasks. Virtual Reality labs are built to allow XR and hologram technologies to be utilized in various training programs. Co-operation facilities will be built for teachers to plan teaching and cooperation projects with companies. The facilities are equipped with the necessary teaching and design technologies. The facilities also provide a place where teachers can safely test new methods and the use of technologies together with knowledgeable support staff.
DEVELOPER TEACHER PROGRAM
New learning environments and technologies also set requirements to rethink and develop the pedagogical and teaching methods. Every teacher can utilize the learning environments in their teaching, but the project offers the possibility to develop pedagogical skills and the utilization of learning environments in a specific Developer Teacher Pro-
gram. Teachers apply for the program with their pre-planned work-based development project. Four developer teachers are selected every year to work with their development projects. The Future Work -project provides the necessary resources and training for teachers. Teachers commit to develop their teaching co-operation with working life and share their learned skills with other teachers as well. Presently, the Future Work -project and the development of learning environments are in their infancy stages. The facilities have been selected as learning environments, and renovation planning is underway. The pedagogical needs of the facilities will be determined through service design. The acquisition and testing of learning technologies has begun. First, a robot camera has been installed in an auditorium, and its functionalities are under testing. Four developer teachers have been selected, and their training has begun with an assessment of their skills and needs. The next step is to get the developer teachers’ projects and the renovations of the learning environments into action.
"Four developer teachers have been selected, and their training has begun with an assessment of their skills and needs. The next step is to get the developer teachers’ projects and the renovations of the learning environments into action."
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Quantum computing - opportunities for future in teaching and business TEXT OLLI HATAKKA, JARMO TALVIVAARA | PHOTO SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
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s quantum computing services become more widespread, higher education, especially in universities of applied sciences, are facing a major challenge. Especially in the development of ICT teaching, which will also have an impact on other fields of education. Quantum computing is not profoundly taught at universities of applied sciences at the moment, and the related (especially in Finnish) teaching material is not available to a notable extent. In addition, companies and other organizations need more information about the state of the art development of quantum computing and information about application areas where quantum computing could be utilized. For the time being, industry and other sectors of working life may also lack information, know-how and development networks, especially related to the anticipation and opportunities of quantum computing.
The development of easily accessible quantum computing services (Quantum Computing-as-aService) intensified significantly during 2019 and 2020 and continues to do so at an accelerating speed. Quantum computing services are estimated to be a technology that will be introduced in different domains in the coming years (optimistic estimate two-three years). The introduction of quantum computing services, and especially their utilization in genuine applications and machine learning, requires a new kind of expertise, for example, from the perspectives of ICT, business and problem-solving, among other domains and disciplines. To address these challenges, an ESF-funded research project, “Quantum Karelia - Future Business and Service Opportunities Based on Quantum Computing” has been launched at Karelia University of Applied Sciences. In addition, the aim is to create teaching and training materials for both business education and higher education in general.
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This project started on October 1, 2020, will last until the end of September 2021, and will probably be extended to the end of the year 2021. This Quantum Karelia project aims at: • finding out the current state, development and future possibilities for quantum computing services • explaining the key concepts related to quantum computing
• identifying domestic and international networks of actors in quantum computing • networking actively with key players in the field; and
• planning and developing a general micromodule course about quantum computing The project will take a stand on the development of competence and knowledge related to quantum computing, especially for the needs of future education in higher education. During the project, an upto-date knowledge base on quantum computing related issues will be collected and based on that a generic micromodule course will be planned and developed for multiple higher educational needs and purposes. A strong expert group consisting of top experts in various fields has been established in connection with the project. The group shares its expertise in the discussion of the possibilities of applications of quantum computing as well as in teaching and business. The group currently has approximately twenty members with expertise in areas such as artificial intelligence and RPA (Robotic Process Automation), ICT development and technology, quantum computing research and data science, quantum mechanics, satellite imaging, data processing, computer science and business education. The experts work extensively in various sectors, including ICT companies, municipal and military ICT administration, the state financial and personnel administration (Palkeet Oy), The Finnish Defense Forces, universities and universities of applied sciences, and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT Oy). References: e.g. D-Wave Leap, IBM Q, Microsoft Azure Quantum. e.g.. QML (Quantum Machine Learning), QNN (Quantum Neural Networks), libraries and frameworks like TensorFlow Quantum, Qiskit Machine Learning
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"A strong expert group consisting of top experts in various fields has been established in connection with the project. The group shares its expertise in the discussion of the possibilities of applications of quantum computing as well as in teaching and business."
KARELIA UAS PROMOTES OPEN SCIENCE, RESEARCH AND EDUCATION Karelia UAS works for Open Science and Research principles in national and international networks. The national cooperation has helped the university to improve the open operational culture both at the process and practical levels, and now the best practices are shared in the European University Alliance through the INVEST (EUA) and INVEST4EXCELLENCE (H2020) projects. TEXT HELENA PUHAKKA-TARVAINEN | PHOTO JOHANNA KOKKOLA, SALAMA VISUAL
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ased on EU policy, implementing open science and research has become one of the key principles of Finnish universities and research organizations in the 21st century. Karelia University of Applied Sciences was evaluated in 2019 as one of the most advanced higher education institutes in open operational culture in Finland. Karelia UAS received acknowledgments especially for the level of open publications and the advanced data management processes. Pioneering work is now continued in the European University Alliance level through the INVEST (EUA) and INVEST4EXCELLENCE (H2020) projects. Karelia UAS is one of the main partners in both of these projects. Thus, the previously mentioned processes will be upgraded further in the European context, especially in terms of open education. Karelia UAS has engaged in the National Declaration for Open Science and Research for 2020–2025 with all the Finnish universities and the research community. The document steers the work and sets the goals for open operational culture for the coming years. National working groups coordinated by The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV) and the IT infrastructure maintained by CSC (IT Centre for Science Ltd.) support the research community in achieving the goals of the declaration. Universities of applied sciences aim primarily at open RDI while not forgetting the learning aspect as well. This means better access to research resources, data and outcomes, but also open educational resources, which all support the quality, visibility and impact of the RDI and education work. In practice, the research infrastructures at universities are more widely used in cooperation with companies, students and other stakeholders. The research results are published more openly, and the accessibility to the research data and methods is improved. Also, educational resources become available in terms of open online courses or teaching materials. RDI-integrated learning, such as living labs, are strongly supported. Alongside, more attention is also paid to research ethics, intellectual property rights and contractual issues to ensure the quality and responsibility of the actions.
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"The research results are published more openly, and the accessibility to the research data and methods is improved. Also, educational resources become available in terms of open online courses or teaching materials. RDI-integrated learning, such as living labs, are strongly supported."
Helena Puhakka-Tarvainen is a Senior Project Manager at Karelia UAS. Helena is working on open science, research and education.
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Environmental Aspects for Marketing Communications TEXT MARJA-LIISA RUOTSALAINEN, RISTO SALMINEN PHOTO JOHANNA KOKKOLA, SALAMA VISUAL
he Digi2Market Project includes co-operation of six organisations. The goal of the project is to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) develop their business especially in issues related to digital marketing and sustainability. Karelia University of Applied Sciences is working with four regional development organisations and one university in four countries, providing the project with valuable aspects in SME business development. The different organisations are eager to help SMEs of their own regions to gather more knowledge on sustainable development and to use it in marketing communication. The focus in marketing communication is on new technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and 360-degree virtual tours.
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Risto Salminen is a Project Expert in the international Digi2Market project.
The framework for the project co-operation was set by the funding programme, the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme. The goal of the development work is to enable greater market reach beyond local markets for SMEs in remote and sparsely populated areas. Digitalisation is a huge opportunity to reach this goal, but the possibility to take advantage of it varies in partner areas. The reason for the differences is often related to either the digital infrastructures of the areas or the digital competence of companies and their supporting organisations.
TOOLS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW
The work packages in Digi2Market were shared based on the preferences of each partner. Karelia UAS is in charge of a work package, which includes the development of a green business model framework. The framework will help companies to review their actions from environmental perspectives and also find sustainability-related arguments for marketing communications. This is important, because sustainability is an increasingly important value for customers in most sectors. Many companies might
already do things that are more sustainable that they could have thought. To maximise its use, the framework needs strong assistance from work done in other work packages lead by other partners. The work is related to testing immersive technologies with participating companies. Karelia UAS wanted to focus on the sustainability issues of the project work because environmental sustainability, especially the perspective of renewable energy, has been at the heart of Karelia UAS’ strategy for a long time. The knowledge on environmental sustainability has made it possible for Karelia UAS to share the knowledge with its partners in forms that are easy to put into action in organisations with less knowledge on environmental sustainability. During project execution Karelia UAS project staff has learned that gathering comparable information on sustainability aspects in different regions in Europe is challenging, as the definition of sustainable development and things regarded as “green” vary. Here, the green business model framework, a tool for business advisors and organisations, is a definite step towards unambiguity.
"During project execution Karelia UAS project staff has learned that gathering comparable information on sustainability aspects in different regions in Europe is challenging, as the definition of sustainable development and things regarded as “green” vary. Here, the green business model framework, a tool for business advisors and organisations, is a definite step towards unambiguity."
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The tool has been systematically in use in Finnish case studies. Karelia UAS has also analysed one Icelandic company with it. The experiences have led to the continuous updating of the tool to make it helpful for different business cultures and organisations. In fall 2020 Dream Circus Ltd., a clothing company located in Varkaus, made an environmental review with Karelia UAS energy and environmental studies students. The students interviewed the owners of the company and gathered facts especially related to the most sold item of the company, the Bertha-tunic. The review and Bertha-tunic life cycle analysis helped Dream Circus to find focal points to develop its business towards better environmental sustainability. The key findings were highlighted in the immersive marketing solution, a virtual tour created by a local immersive tech company. The virtual tour can be explored here: digi2market.karelia.fi/vr2
CONTENT FOR IMMERSIVE SOLUTIONS
The work in general helps the project to develop innovative, immersive tools that benefit from digital technology. Sustainability aspects give companies valuable content for their immersive marketing solutions. To reach the goals of the project, partners develop immersive marketing solutions with companies in each region. The experience from the already finished cases has helped partners to share experience with other regions. This helps local companies use cost-effective and distinctive marketing and sales solutions and finally expand their potential market. To make the best use of immersive technologies together with environmental arguments developed with the green business model framework, there is also a need for storytelling skills. Partners
in each region help companies in developing their own stories. Karelia UAS has developed a storytelling tool that has helped to find the main audience, the main goals of marketing, the main arguments, unique promises and possible focal points for stories. Karelia UAS project staff has united companies with Karelia UAS students to develop these potential story lines into immersive marketing solutions, especially augmented reality solutions. There are also companies working with Digi2Market that do not need to focus on environmental issues as closely as others. TopGoaling Ltd., a company focusing on HR coaching and consultancy, is an interesting partner because it offered a valuable case for marketing abstract services with 360-images. TopGoaling teamed up with Karelia UAS students to develop marketing communication and a product portfolio and to create a related marketing solution with 360 images or video technology. TopGoaling worked with business and media students. The media students created a 360-image marketing solution and published it in Thinglink. The 360-solution can be explored here: bit.ly/TopGoaling. Combining the development of new technologies with storytelling and the green business model framework will help companies find important aspects of their business. That includes both developing the business and finding ways to tell about all the good things they are doing to preferred audience in a distinguishable manner. Making environmental reviewing more reachable for a wider range of companies is important for Karelia UAS, and the work should not stop on the analysis. Turning the analysis into actions and even coordinated environmental management is the final step that the green business framework aims to establish.
Digi2Market partners Údarás na Gaeltachta, Ireland (lead partner) Irish Central Border Area Network ltd, Northern-Ireland Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland Samtök Sveitarfélaga á Norðurlandi vestra (SSNV), Iceland Ulster University, Northern-Ireland WestBIC, Ireland
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The First European Address for Sustainable Energy Systems As the COVID-19 crisis impacted international collaboration starting in spring 2020, the importance of networks became evident. Only professionally coordinated and solid networks with mutual trust and high-level expertise can create successful proposals and meet the criteria of demanding funding programmes. Karelia UAS’ admission to eseia – the European Sustainable Energy Innovation Alliance – in November 2020 was an expected continuation of our international collaboration. The first eseia activities of Karelia UAS include an EU-Africa Green Deal aiming to support the sustainability of charcoal production and use in Tanzania. TEXT LASSE OKKONEN, SIMO PAUKKUNEN | PHOTOS SIMO PAUKKUNEN
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‘The Next Generation EU’ invests up to 25% of the EU budget into climate action, not to mention €1 trillion targeted into the Sustainable Energy Investment Plan, supporting EU members in their transformation toward climate neutrality. Karelia2030 Strategy Sustainable Vitality, and our strategic choice Carbon Neutral Solutions, include strengthening international networks and accessing demanding EU funding programmes. European Collaboration has been a part of Karelia UAS’ renewable energy research and development activities since 2003, when our first Interreg and Intelligent Energy Europe projects were launched. Our role was to organise training for trainers, as well as develop relevant intensive courses. Those projects supported stakeholders in the development of community -based renewables and established local capacities for the efficient and sustainable supply of energy. These essentials have remained, but the context is now much bigger. We have now joined the European Sustainable Energy Innovation Alliance (eseia) and are preparing applications for the Horizon 2020 Green Deal consortia, among others.
EUROPEAN SUSTAINABLE ENERGY INNOVATION ALLIANCE (ESEIA)
The eseia General Assembly (November 2020) accepted Karelia UAS as full member of the alliance after a recommendation by the distinguished eseia bioenergy focus group leader Markku Huhtinen
Primary school students visiting the neighboring college Forestry Training Institute agro-forest sample area.
Well-planned forest plantations for economic use, such as local charcoal production, support the maintenance and conservation of natural forests and their biodiversity. These forest plots are owned and operated by the Forestry Training Institute, Olmotonyi, College & University in Arusha, Tanzania.
from Savonia UAS. This admission was prepared well before, and its basis was built through organising the eseia International Summer School 2020, and earlier activities of the Eastern Finland bioeconomy cluster. In eseia, Karelia is part of the network of 28 partners, located in 12 countries; among which are 14 higher education institutions, 9 are businesses and 4 are research organisations. All are involved in the RDI of sustainable energy systems. This alliance is active in policy advocacy, capacity building and partnerships: “The vision of eseia is to become the first European address for sustainable energy systems innovation by setting the agenda for renewable energy systems on the European market, providing platforms for capacity building, and forging international partnerships.” (eseia 2020.)
According to the eseia 2030 Strategy, eseia´s expertise, and activities focus on the creation of international full value chain partnerships, the management of EC projects, the organisation of interdisciplinary expert panels, entrepreneurial education and training, and awareness raising among European citizens. Eseia has established governing structures, including the General Assembly and the Governing Council. To drive the eseia strategy, the alliance relies on the Working Groups (WGs) consisting of over 400 experts among the members. “The eseia Working Groups are the key drivers of the Association. Together with their focus groups, WGs cover many important thematic fields in the sustainable energy system. They also engage in horizontal activities when it comes to education and training or the dissemination and exploitation of knowledge.” (eseia 2020.)
Creative use of the saw-mill by-products. The raw material has been grown in the Forest Training Institute’s forest and sawn with their own small-scale sawmill.
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The eseia Director Brigitte Hasewend talks about the work programme for 2021 as follows: “The eseia Work Programme embraces the opportunities of the Green Deal and Horizon Europe to build capacity of people and institutions using digital instruments. It builds on the collective strength of the eseia Working Groups to pinpoint gaps in R&I and design novel sustainable energy systems to help further the cause of climate change. The eseia looks beyond fostering international cooperation of the Alliance with the focus on Africa in 2021.” This statement was relevant already in February 2020, when an expert training excursion was organised to Tanzania as a part of the Eastern Finland Bioeconomy Specialisation Studies Project. Partners of the excursion were Savonia, University of Eastern Finland, University of Sokoine, Trinity Bioenergy Ltd., Char Coal Union, Lion Energy Ltd, Mkaa Endelevu Ltd., Arusha Technical College, Arusha State Council and Forest Training Institute. One of the experts attending the excursion, Karelia UAS’ Specialist Simo Paukkunen reflected on the excursion as follows: “It was about working together with locals to experience and understand better their approach to local use of forest biomass resources – I think Karelia’s strengths are in this applied perspective – there we can add most of the value for transnational collaborations”. This consortium, focusing especially on questions of sustainable (including social, environmental and economic aspects) use of local forest biomass resources for charcoal, continued with the eseia online International Summer School (ISS) on Renewable Energy. It involved a two-week programme of sustainable energy systems. The ISS involved drafting of collaboration project ideas with Tanzanian stakeholders. It built up one sub-cluster for an EUAfrica Green Deal proposal. A lecture by Professor Richard Wheeler revealed some secrets on “How to create a successful EC proposal”.
“accelerate the green transition and energy access partnership with Africa, and adapt and demonstrate existing innovative solutions to multifaceted context of Africa”. ARENA aims to explore different combinations of technologies within a comprehensive and holistic approach to un-polluting energy from renewable resources, fresh and potable water and sustainable food for local African communities. The activities will include six countries, one of the demo cases is the Tanzanian cluster aiming to develop the sustainable use of forest biomass for charcoal. Charcoal now and in the future will play a very important role in the daily energy production of developing countries, especially in family cooking. The aim of this subproject is to reduce the negative effects of the production and the use of charcoal. In practice, this includes improving the supply of raw materials for charcoal (e.g. replacing the original rainforest species with other species), improving the efficiency of the combustion through new technology innovations and strengthening the social position of women through more efficient daily cooking. All activities are done with respect for the local cultures, and the goal is to support and create local business opportunities – i.e. Sustainable Vitality. Our first experiences with eseia collaboration increased our understanding on success factors when accessing demanding EC programmes. The strengths of the network and collaboration are evident as challenges and scale increase. The alliance can generate extensive development initiatives in coherent, coordinated and efficient manners. On the other hand, the development is still built-up from the local stakeholder collaboration, mutual trust and commitment. To conclude, our collaboration within eseia has now been successfully launched, and we are more than curious to see what it will bring as we can share our collective strengths in sustainable energy innovation.
LET’S MAKE A GREEN DEAL WITH AFRICA
References: European sustainable energy innovation alliance. 2020. Annual Report 2020. Available at: https://www. eseia.eu/files/attachments/10457/608646_eseia_ Annual_Report_2020.pdf. Accessed 4.2.2021.
In Jan 2021, eseia established and submitted a vast 36 partner and €10.7 million proposal, ARENA – Achieving 100% Renewable Energy Nexus in African Communities, to the Green Deal Call. This aims to
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KnowHow on Renewable Energy – Sino-Finnish degree programme running in China TEXT ANNIINA KONTIOKORPI | PHOTO JOHANNA KOKKOLA, SALAMA VISUAL
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Anniina Kontiokorpi, a Lecturer at Karelia UAS, has been teaching the remote lessons to China.
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arelia University of Applied Sciences has developed an international degree programme with the Heilongjiang Institute of Technology and its cooperation partner, Beijing Prepare Education. The programme is accredited by the Chinese Ministry of Education and Culture. Development of the common curriculum took in total four years and was carried out through two Asia program projects: DORE (Double Degree in Renewables) and ProPeda (Promoting Teachers’ Expertise in Multicultural Context). As part of the project implementation, and with the help of the Chinese partners, a common pedagogical approach was built, and the educational institutes created teacher teams. The cooperation agreement between the educational institutes was signed in 2018 for the next ten years. Lecturers and RDI experts from the Karelia UAS' Degree Programme in Energy and Environmental Engineering are responsible for one-third of the Renewable Energy and Power Engineering Degree Programme at the Heilongjiang Institute of Technology. This is an exceptionally wide education export agreement among the first to be launched in Finland at the national level. The agreement also enables Chinese students to study for one year in Joensuu and be rewarded with a double degree. At the beginning of the programme implementation, teachers from Karelia UAS traveled to Harbin, which has a population of 5 million, to carry out teaching. The COVID-19 pandemic changed practices, and online teaching was adapted very quickly. Almost 100 students start their international education in Harbin every year. Despite the large group size and online teaching, the schedules have been implemented as planned. The improvement of students’ English skills is crucial, including vocabulary development, which can be challenging in professional core courses. Karelia UAS’ strong renewable energy expertise provides excellent support for China’s ambitious climate targets. Last October, China announced that the growth in greenhouse gas emissions in China will end by 2030 and that it plans to be carbon neutral by 2060. In practice, this means that the use of fossil fuels in China will end. For some years, the market for photovoltaic systems and wind power has been growing most strongly in China. The
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country is already investing heavily in renewable energy, but at the same time the growth in total energy consumption is also being covered by fossil fuels. In the Heilongjiang region, coal is a major employer. Strengthening the know-how and future job opportunities in the renewable energy sector in the region is a priority when the transition to clean energy production takes place. However, 2060 is still quite far away especially when it comes to climate change mitigation, and in the meantime, efforts can be made towards
"Karelia UAS’ strong renewable energy expertise provides excellent support for China’s ambitious climate targets. Last October, China announced that the growth in greenhouse gas emissions in China will end by 2030." improving the energy efficiency of society and industry, as well as focusing on carbon capture from fossil fuel power plants, which will make it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to these themes, the education carried out by Karelia UAS also includes air pollution emissions, noise control, light pollution, environmental impact assessments, as well as environmental risk management and wastewater treatment. A new course is planned with the theme of the circular economy, because the sustainable use of natural resources and resource efficiency are equally topical and important themes both in Finland and in China. Many environmental problems and the challenges of sustainable development do not know national borders and will be solved on the basis of international cooperation.
Bioeconomy Specialisation Studies The second set of Bioeconomy Specialisation Studies was launched in Eastern Finland in autumn 2020. The aim of these studies is to complement the previous degrees of professionals in the field of bioeconomy to meet the requirements of their current duties. The specialisation studies are organised in cooperation between higher education institutions and employers in such fields where no degree education is available. In Eastern Finland, the Bioeconomy Specialisation Studies (30 crs) are jointly organised by Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, and the University of Eastern Finland. TEXT SINI RANTANEN
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he recommended time for completing the studies is 1,5 years. The studies are implemented as multiform studies and teaching and learning is strongly based on collaboration with companies. Students’ company-specific development tasks have an important role in the studies. The studies are suitable for people who work, or will be working, in the different areas of bioeconomy. The applicants must have a suitable higher education degree or other degree suitable for the field of bioeconomy. The studies are organised with special funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture. In addition, two projects funded by the European Social Fund have been involved in the development of this education. One of the projects related to Bioeconomy Specialisation Studies, Developing international bioeconomy competence in Eastern Finland by working life oriented continuous learning (Join-Bioerko), was launched in August 2020. The project aims to improve the educational supply in continuous learning in the growing bioeconomy sector and to develop working life orientation in the education, both pedagogically and in terms of substance. One of the main goals is also to increase the international impact by piloting various forms of collaboration with higher education institutions in South America and in Africa. The project aims to implement at least three international pilot trainings, in which both local and Finnish companies are strongly involved in supporting learning and, on the other hand, also benefiting from the training themselves. The implementation of the international pilot trainings organised within the project may vary considerably depending on
target countries and their needs. However, the idea behind all of this is that this educational module for bioeconomy developed in Eastern Finland could be exported to different parts of the world, to different types of environments. Pilot trainings are organised in order to collect experiences and feedback on international educational cooperation, and at the end of the project, a summary of the experiences will be compiled for planning future education. The first actual international pilot within the project was implemented in autumn 2020; a 5-credit summer school with the theme “Climate friendly bioenergy solutions” was organised together with the Eseia network. A total of 22 students and 30 experts from Finland and other parts of Europe and Tanzania participated in this summer school. The experiences of the summer school were so positive that a new similar summer school will be organised in autumn 2021. During the Join-Bioerko project, a cooperation agreement has already been signed with four local higher education institutions in Chile, and cooperation with higher education institutions in Uruguay and Tanzania is under way. The cooperation with Chilean universities began in March, and a joint online-webinar and summer school are already planned and scheduled. The model of the Finnish Bioeconomy Specialization Studies is strongly involved in these cooperation events and the aim is that the events will give locals an idea of the Finnish Bioeconomy Specialization Studies model. The future will show where this all leads, but in any case, cooperation beyond the ocean will be strongly built! For more information on Bioeconomy Specialisation Studies, visit www.biotalouskoulutusitasuomi.fi/.
"The cooperation with Chilean universities began in March, and a joint onlinewebinar and summer school are already planned and scheduled.”
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A New degree for future IT experts TEXT JYRI KEMPPAINEN
arelia University of Applied Sciences is currently updating its Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) education related to information technology (IT) studies. This update is a part of an ongoing general curricula development process targeting the year 2022. It is well known that information technology develops rapidly, and the content of IT courses must be constantly updated. In addition to the content updates, the whole program structure must be regularly modernized. That current structure update process has two major targets. Firstly, the graduates should fulfil the needs of companies operating in the region of North Karelia. Secondly, the graduates must be able to design software systems in a holistic and integrative manner for the needs of the present and the future society. The initial discussions with the local companies indicate that there is a lack of competent IT graduates who would fulfil their needs. It is obvious that modern societies cannot operate without various software systems, and that dependency is growing. The dependency has already led to the situation where the companies are competing for capable IT professionals. The challenge is huge due to the population pyramid in Finland. The statistics show that there will not be enough Finnish IT students in the future for fulfilling the needs. Karelia UAS’ response to the situation is to start a new IT program in English in 2023. That program will complete the ongoing Finnish-language program and aims at attracting foreign students to North Karelia. Karelia UAS’ new IT program will focus on
software engineering and intelligent automation because of the demands of the local job markets. The graduates will be able to analyse customer’s needs and to design, build, and test software applications that will satisfy those needs. Also, they will be able to apply the best software engineering practices and standards to various software development processes. The aim is to have graduates who will have competences and capabilities to work as experts in various tasks when information systems are developed. Those tasks are, for example, programmer, software developer, software engineer, system engineer, software architect, system architect, web developer, front-end developer, back-end developer, and full-stack developer. The IT program in English will follow ACM/IEEE Computer Society’s curricula recommendations for Software Engineering and Information Technology programs. In this way the degree will be internationally recognized and attractive to foreign students. In addition to that Karelia is looking for the possibility to implement the education in cooperation with some foreign university. The education’s local relevance is developed with the cooperation of local industries. The students will network with local businesses and experts in the field during their studies. Thus, they will learn how to apply the learned knowledge and skills to practical work in workplaces at North Karelia region and, hence, the graduates will gain the knowhow valued by local employers. As is well known, Karelia UAS’ IT programs take place in a networkbased learning environment without depending on geographical location.
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BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE WITH WOOD Karelia University of Applied Sciences has been focusing on the development of the wood construction sector as strategic choice since 2014. The development work has been done systematically as a part of the different research and development projects under the Degree Programme of Construction Engineering. TEXT VILLE MERTANEN, MIKKO MATVEINEN | PHOTO HILVE MULTANEN
EDUCATION AND RDI
The activities related to wood construction includes research, development and innovation (RDI) and education. The core competence of Karelia UAS in wood construction is applying construction engineering and structural physics into materials used in wood construction. Additionally, wood material expertise supplements the core competences. Experienced personnel consist of experts in timber engineering, wood technology, industrial design, HVAC engineering and international business.
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RDI activities related to wood construction concentrate on wood and wood-based fibre materials and their use in construction aiming also at promoting industrial wood construction and new business opportunities. All RDI activities are implemented in cooperation with local companies and other national and international partners.
RESEARCH PROJECT – JOENSUU LIGHTHOUSE
One example of the research and development activities is an on-going research project related to the 14-storey wooden apartment building, Joensuu Lighthouse. The objective of the research project is to produce information on the design and construction of the building. During the design phase of the building, research activities included the documentation of the construction process: special features to be considered in the design and construction of a tall building, including the deformation of the wooden structures and temperature and humidity behaviour of the structures. The construction phase activities also included acoustic measurements on the site.
"Buildings consume 40% of the total energy consumption and produce 30% of carbon dioxide emissions. The carbon footprint of building materials used in buildings is already significant and will become even more important in the future because of energy efficiency regulations and legislations. "
KARELIA UAS SUPPORTING A LOW CARBON FUTURE
Buildings consume 40% of the total energy consumption and produce 30% of carbon dioxide emissions. The carbon footprint of building materials used in buildings is already significant and will become even more important in the future because of energy efficiency regulations and legislations. Generally, it is agreed that the use of wood in construction will come back to urban development in the future because of the resource efficiency, low carbon construction and energy efficiency. Karelia UAS includes low carbon construction as a part of its RDI-activities in the Degree Programme of Construction Engineering. In this context the key question is to understand how to reduce a building’s emissions through life-cycle assessments (LCA). The research findings are a utilised part of educational activities and disseminated in many webinars and publications for the wider audience. Karelia UAS is also supporting the aim of City of Joensuu to be one of first carbon neutral cities in Finland by 2025.
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Competence in Lean Six Sigma since 2013
Harri Mikkonen, the Service Business Manager at Karelia UAS, has been leading the forming of Karelia UAS Lean expert team.
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Over the years, Karelia University of Applied Sciences has reached a high level of expertise with Lean Six Sigma. Karelia UAS offers Lean trainings in the region on a regular basis, but increasingly also nationwide. Lean Six Sigma has become an important development method in the world, and it also has strong roots in Finland with constantly growing significance. This trend has also been noted at Karelia UAS. TEXT ANNE PREPULA | PHOTO JOHANNA KOKKOLA, SALAMA VISUAL
ack in the old days, we already had experts interested in Lean here in North Karelia, but no one provided Belt trainings at that time. We saw the opportunity and started to increase the Lean competence of our experts. As the expertise had been strengthened, it was time to develop our own products. This resulted in Karelia UAS Yellow Belt and Green Belt trainings that are constantly popular, states Service Business Manager Harri Mikkonen. Belt trainings provided by Karelia UAS are based on the Six Sigma ISO 13053 standard. Karelia UAS Lean Six Sigma product family includes the following Belt trainings: • Yellow Belt training: Provides the participants with the basics of Lean Six Sigma. Getting familiar with the concepts and data-based problem-solving and with Lean Six Sigma methods. After the training, the participants can attend Six Sigma improvement projects.
• Green Belt training: Provides good basic knowledge of tools and statistical methods. The training also includes the project management perspective, enabling the participant to implement smaller improvement projects independently. Green Belts usually work under the guidance of Black Belts as members of project teams. • Black Belt training: Is carried out in cooperation with the partner. The training follows the Body of Knowledge (BOK) data content by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). Black Belts work in Lean Six Sigma programs and projects, and coach and guide project teams in applying the method and the tools.
• Minitab: A training for using statistical program Minitab that is used in Lean Six Sigma improvement projects. Minitab training is included in Green Belt and Black Belt trainings.
LEAN SIX SIGMA TRAINING IN THE COURSE SUPPLY FOR CONTINUOUS LEARNING
Karelia UAS provides Belt trainings for companies and for individual learners. Companies purchase Yellow Belt trainings for their employees in order to get Lean thinking and the Lean perspective as part of the daily work. Yellow Belt can also be conducted via Open UAS. Yellow Belt is annually conducted by approximately 80 students via Open UAS. The course supply of Karelia’s Open UAS also includes a 5-credit Lean thinking course as part of studies in agile development. Green Belt training is implemented 1-2 times a year for companies and for individual learners. Companies purchase Green Belt trainings for their employees when they wish to integrate Lean Six Sigma methods into the operational culture of company development. Developing Belt expertise is a good starting point, but it would be a good idea to have Black Belt improvement projects going on at the same time as a support for management. In our Lean expert team, we have given much thought to the ideology of continuous improvement as well as its integration into companies’ operational culture. One part of this is the Black Belt. We realised that there is plenty of Lean Sigma Yellow and Green Belt expertise in North Karelia, but the
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most important problem-solving competence at the Black Belt level was missing from the product family. Thus, we wanted to implement the Black Belt training in Joensuu, and so we invited service providers to tender and selected a partner that could provide this competence for us here in Joensuu, states Service Business Manager Harri Mikkonen. Karelia UAS has successfully cooperated with Quality Knowhow Karjalainen Oy and as a result of this cooperation, Black Belt has been taken to companies in North Karelia. This cooperation continues in spring 2021, as the second training will start in March.
FROM GROWTH OF EXPERTISE TO EXPERT TEAM ACTIVITIES
Lean Six Sigma has become the leading product of Karelia UAS and it is further improved by developing the expertise of the personnel. Building human capital is always about reconciling the objectives of the individual and objectives of the organisation. Karelia UAS has started to pilot expert team activities based on its strong will to increase the competence of both individual employees and Karelia UAS as a whole around this theme that is needed in working life. At the moment, there are 6 active members in Karelia UAS Lean expert team. The team meets regularly to develop the message of Lean, and to take the expertise to Karelia UAS degree education, to Open UAS, to companies and to communities.
Lean Six Sigma consists of Lean and Six Sigma. Lean is a customer-oriented process management model and Six Sigma is used for adding statistical tools to measure the errors in the process. The experts in the methods play a crucial role in the success of Lean Six Sigma improvement projects.
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The team also creates new products and cooperation. The Lean Six Sigma product package has expanded with the Lean Management theme and with Karelia UAS Training Kata in order to integrate Lean Six Sigma into the culture of continuous improvement in companies.
Karelia UAS Lean expert team has been training companies and communities in Lean Six Sigma for years. Both industrial companies and companies in the field of service have acquired expertise through us. New opportunities are now available at national level, which indicates that we have succeeded in gathering human capital. Karelia UAS has provided Yellow Belt training for the national OP group and this training will be followed by Green Belt training in spring 2021. Quality Knowhow Karjalainen Oy and our partner Savonia University of Applied Sciences are cooperating with us in developing the Lean Six Sigma expertise of Northern Savo Hospital District during the next four years. We are all enthusiastic about the cooperation that has begun to bear fruit. The partnership enables us to become the service provider for extensive training programmes, which might not be possible without a reliable partner. We are also open to international partnerships in Lean Six Sigma trainings, states Service Business Manager Harri Mikkonen.
Karelia UAS Lean expert team and trainers
• Jyri Roihuvuo, Lecturer, Trainer / Lean Six Sigma and management • Jarno Mertanen, Lecturer, Trainer / Lean Six Sigma • Jari Uimonen, Lecturer, Trainer / Lean Six Sigma • Jani Kangas, Lecturer, Trainer / Statistics and Minitab • Heli Makkonen, Principal Lecturer, Trainer / Lean thinking and management • Petri Laitinen, Lecturer, Trainer / Agile development methods
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