RDI operations and services

The RDI services carry out research, development and innovation activities at Haaga-Helia in close cooperation with our partner network. The RDI operations create and develop experiential service innovations, digital solutions, value through sales competence and promote business development. We also generate new kinds of pedagogical solutions and promote diverse entrepreneurship.

RDI operations characterised by core competence mapping and development in 2017

Haaga-Helia’s strategic core competence areas began their operations at the beginning of 2017 with the establishment of steering groups for five of them:

  1. Entrepreneurship
  2. Value through sales
  3. Experiential service innovations
  4. Digital & creative solutions
  5. Transformative pedagogy

During the year, we extensively reviewed our course offering within each core competence area on different campuses and in different degree programmes, the status of RDI projects in our competence themes, and the key talents throughout the organisation. In addition, we identified existing development environments which strengthen our core competence and also innovated new ones. We also started preparing for several projects, supported through the RDI Coaching service, within our core competence areas.

Furthermore, we proceeded to improve the competence of Haaga-Helia’s experts in project preparation and project management by developing and piloting a new RDI study module. We also modified the content of the RDI Coaching service to better meet the organisation’s support needs.

We sought ways to increase cross-discipline RDI cooperation not only within Haaga-Helia but also with the Laurea and Metropolia Universities of Applied Sciences in our strategic Helsinki Metropolitan Universities of Applied Sciences (3UAS) alliance. We developed and implemented the first ProjectBooster in the 3UAS alliance in order to generate new project initiatives and applications. The Booster pilot was joined by more than 50 experts from the 3UAS alliance in a total of 12 different teams.

In 2017, we carried out a total of 78 projects in our strategic competence areas. The number of new project applications we prepared was 76. The total volume of project applications submitted by the alliance members was approximately EUR 95 million, of which Haaga-Helia’s share was about EUR 13 million. The scope of our applications to Haaga-Helia increased by 20 per cent from the previous year based on the budget, and we also participated in considerably larger project applications than before. Thus, the focus of our project preparation is shifting slowly towards larger projects with increased impact, in accordance with our strategy.

New international cooperation initiatives in project operations

The largest of our international project initiatives in 2017 was the IoT Rapid-Proto Labs to be implemented with funding from the Erasmus + Knowledge Alliance. The project is coordinated by Haaga-Helia and aims to accelerate the development of IoT products in multi-disciplinary study modules. Our TOURIST project for building sustainable tourism in Thailand and Vietnam also secured funding from Erasmus+ Capacity Building. The European Regional Development Fund granted funding for our eComLab project, which helps Finnish online stores go international and creates a concept for a world-class eCommerce competence cluster in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

The Helsinki Chamber of Commerce granted us considerable funding for the promotion of start-up entrepreneurship. In addition, we received a positive funding decision for our MEGE project, which supports the international experts as entrepreneurs. Our new sustainability initiatives were small in terms of funding but their impact was significant. With funding from Sitra, we implemented a pilot module of cross-organisational learning in circular economy and developed the lunch service for students.

Launching the Master’s programme reform

Haaga-Helia offers ten Master’s programmes. In 2017, we launched an extensive development project with a comprehensive reform of the Master’s programmes. We will focus extensively on the needs of students and working life, Haaga-Helia’s strategic core competences and pedagogic policies. Our goal is to create a model in which the student completes common studies but can also flexibly choose a personalised study path from the multi-disciplinary Master’s programmes to support their individual competence and career goals. As part of the reform, we will develop our guidance practices and promote the integration of RDI operations with teaching and thesis work. The curriculum reform in sports was completed in 2017; in other areas, the development work will be finalised in 2018.

In 2017, we also launched a StartUp project in cooperation with three other European institutes of higher education, Stanford University, and our corporate partners. The project includes an international Master’s programme in entrepreneurship (60 credits), which started at the beginning of 2018. In Finland, we launched a new Master’s degree programme for journalists. In the Helsinki Metropolitan Universities of Applied Sciences (3UAS) alliance, we also designed new kinds of international study modules for the students of all three member institutions.

New winds blowing in the StartUp School

During the year 2017, our objective was to systematically increase the student volumes and the impact of the operational activities. We also expanded the StartUp School’s course offering in order to meet the competence needs of the working life in the future.

During the year, we deepened cooperation between the StartUp School and the degree programmes in order to increase the appeal of entrepreneurship and to improve the awareness of the courses offered at the StartUp School. We also increased marketing, the number of events that reach students on all campuses and frequent interaction with students in different media.

To develop entrepreneurial competence, we participated in nine entrepreneurship-themed RDI projects run by Haaga-Helia. In the Yritystä uralle! project, we coordinated the StartUp Hub sub-project. In addition, we shared our entrepreneurship competence on a number of arenas, in seminars and through magazine articles and blogs.

During the year, we launched the StartUp School’s partnership with large companies with the aim to improve the pitching skills of entrepreneurship students. We also participated in the 10 Days 100 Challenges event, which brought together cross-disciplinary teams to solve challenges in leading companies.

In 2017, the StartUp School also coordinated the operations of an entrepreneurship cooperation team in the 3UAS alliance. We also supported the development of teachers’ entrepreneurship competence by having teachers from the 3UAS alliance participate in Kasvu Open’s Kanssakulkija event.

In addition, the StartUp School also launched the export of our entrepreneurship education by organising an international StartUp Week event with customer participants from South Africa, Bolivia and Germany. We also signed a letter of intent on an entrepreneurship study module with the South African Tshwane University of Technology.

In 2017, the StartUp School led and coordinated the work of the Entrepreneurship Center, which is Haaga-Helia’s strategic core competence team for entrepreneurship.