TAMK’s focus areas aim far into the future





TAMK’s focus areas aim far into the future

We have outstanding expertise in our five chosen focus areas, and collaborate closely with working life in all these fields:

• Energy-efficient and healthy built environments

• Developing professional pedagogy and education

• New operational models for health care and social services

• Entrepreneurship and innovative business

• Intelligent machines and smart devices

Energy-efficient and healthy built environments

This focus area is the responsibility of TAMK’s School of Construction and Electrical Engineering, but collaboration extends to other Schools of education, and also involves external partners of national prominence.

In 2015, the main emphasis of operations was on increasing the number of project applications, and developing networks between project teams in the School of Construction and Electrical Engineering and businesses, research institutes, and higher education institutions in the Tampere Region and the Greater Helsinki Area.

Drawing on TAMK’s expertise in the various fields, applications were made for projects to improve the efficiency of energy production and the energy efficiency of buildings, to create healthy buildings, and to develop decentralized energy production and the circular economy.

TAMK and its partners – Tampere University of Technology, Aalto University, the Technical Research Centre of Finland, the City of Tampere, and companies in the construction sector – are forging ahead with projects such as the following:

INKA – Comprehensive development of nearly zero-energy municipal service buildings (Combi). Funded by Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation – this project examines from every angle the energy consumption of service buildings, with the aim of reducing consumption to almost zero.

• The nZEB (Net Zero-Energy Building) project aims to help people working in the sector to recognize the challenges of nZEB buildings and to deliver overall solutions which, when used in combination, genuinely achieve net energy consumption close to zero. Funded by the European Social Fund.


The visibility of this focus area is enhanced not only by its project operations, but also in publications, seminars and exhibitions. The most important event in 2016 will be the CIB (International Council for Building) World Congress in Tampere.


Other interesting projects include:

Transition to a resource efficient and climate neutral electricity system (El-Tran). The main goal of this project is to map out the process by which Finland could gradually create an electricity system which uses resources efficiently, and has no net effect on the climate. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland.

Resource-efficient urban agriculture business (Kivireki). The aim of the Kivireki project is to turn urban agriculture into viable business opportunities in the Tampere Region.

• An innovative fertilizer product applied within a closed nutrient cycle. In this project, the objective is to promote the effective utilization of urine and dry-toilet waste.



Developmental expertise in pedagogy

Over the next two years, target issues for research and development in this focus area will be Developmental teachership, the Student experience, and Learning analytics.

Where these issues are concerned, we want to become a major player both in Finland and to some extent in international forums as well. Developmental expertise in pedagogy is a new focus area, and for the first two years we concentrated on launching internal and external projects, creating networks, participating in network activities, and developing our own expertise in the field.


New at TAMK: Student Counsellor Education


Several Schools of education at TAMK are actively involved in multi-disciplinary initiatives. Expertise in the health care field is being utilized in four separate projects, including the international eMenthe project. The School of Art, Music and Media has made short narrative films for the use of the School of Vocational Teacher Education. Students of Business Information Systems have created learning games covering different aspects of mathematics, for the use of secondary school pupils; the games were launched at the annual Computer Games Fair, arranged by the BIS students themselves.

Through a project called Mobiiliope, twenty student teachers from TAMK’s School of Vocational Teacher Education are exploring digital learning environments and discovering the new opportunities which they offer for mobile learning and teaching.



New operational models for health care and social services

In this focus area, our top research and development priorities are digitalization of well-being services, and finding solutions for the challenges posed by an aging population.

We are working to resolve these problems in collaboration with public sector organizations and companies operating in this sector. TAMK’s expertise in a wide range of disciplines and its close ties with working life are being fully exploited in our development projects, where the main emphases are on digitalization and gamification; aging and home-delivered services; customer-centredness; developing community spirit and involvement; and on promoting productivity and well-being at work.

Together with our Tampere3 partner institutions, we are striving to become a major national and international player in the field of social services and health care, well-known for our contribution to development in the sector and for the multi-disciplinary education we provide, with its emphasis on promoting well-being. Our research team for this focus area is putting special effort into preparing initiatives at the leading edge of innovation. Another of our priorities is to work actively towards establishing networks at the national and international level.

In the autumn of 2016, a new centre for health care expertise, Taitokeskus, will open its doors. Located on the Kauppi campus, Taitokeskus is a learning and simulation environment which will be used by TAMK, the medical faculty of the University of Tampere, and Pirkanmaa Hospital District. Teaching will be carried out by teams of experts from different professional fields.


Work in this focus area at TAMK takes place across disciplinary boundaries. It is carried out not only within projects, but also as an integral part of study programmes in a number of different Schools of education. TAMK acts as co-ordinator for a long list of projects targeting a wide range of issues, from family work to Tesoman Miähiin (Tesoma Menfolk), and from exercise games to measures for reducing unemployment.

The ViVa project, a joint venture between TAMK and Pirkanmaa Hospital District, funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, produces information for promoting sexual and reproductive health. Students and staff from TAMK’s Degree Programme in Media have been involved in producing learning games for the health care field.

A project called TUTTU-6Aika, financed by the European Social Fund, addresses the issue of social inclusivity and promotes vocational knowhow and employment. The partners for this project are TAMK, Turku University of Applied Sciences, and the Employment Services Units of the Cities of Turku and Tampere. The Urareitti project is a multi-disciplinary initiative aiming to facilitate the recognition and accreditation of prior learning for highly educated immigrants. In addition to professional expertise and language skills, the project promotes the development of participants’ cultural and professional identities within the Finnish working culture.




Entrepreneurship and innovative business

Entrepreneurship and innovative business is the focus area which binds together all TAMK’s operations.

We are concentrating more intensely than ever on areas where we have outstanding expertise: entrepreneurship and innovation; creating intangible value; gamification and experience productization; and modernization of the SME sector. We are increasing the amount of co-operation we do with local companies and with other important operators in the region. We are active participants in networks, and we arrange events which add value for companies, based on “hospitality in business” principles.

In this focus area, we are continuing our ground-breaking development work in high-calibre research projects, such as the VALIT project which studies intangible value creation. We are also involved in a number of on-going initiatives to develop the operations of entrepreneurs and businesses in the region. Our goal is to increase our project work significantly in 2016, in terms of both the number and the reach of the projects we participate in. Collaboration on joint projects is strengthening our ties with numerous international partners.

The Entrepreneurship and innovative business focus area is also exerting a strong influence on the Tampere3 project. During 2016, the Y-Kampus concept, which was developed at TAMK for promoting entrepreneurship, will spread to all the campuses of the Tampere3 partner institutions; the goal is to build a service unit to support entrepreneurship and business innovation for the use of the entire Tampere3 consortium.

Starting from autumn 2016, the coaching model of teaching and learning, which was pioneered in Proakatemia – TAMK’s unit for entrepreneurship education, will be used on all degree programmes of the School of Business and Services. This pedagogic approach is gaining a firm foothold in TAMK’s education programmes, as one third of TAMK’s teachers have already completed training in coaching.


”As digitalization advances worldwide, there is a growing need for competences in the fields of media, music, art and information technology. Our strategic goal is to build new kinds of learning and production environments, and to spread experience-based activities and game-like elements to all areas of life”. – Kai Salonen




Intelligent machines and smart devices

The School of Industrial Engineering is responsible for work in this focus area, but experts in the fields of construction, media and well-being are also involved.

We aim to raise TAMK’s R&D&I operations to new heights in this focus area, too. We are developing our project portfolio, generating ideas for new projects, deepening our expertise, and raising the profile of our strengths and achievements in this area. To guide and monitor our operations, annual numerical targets have been set for making new contacts, launching new projects and publishing new work. In addition to project work, we are concentrating on modernizing our learning and working environments, and on strengthening our co-operation networks.

At the end of 2015, TAMK’s OpenLab was launched. This is an excellent example of an open innovation platform for manufacturing industry which has been developed in close co-operation with businesses. It is also a new operating model, where equipment and laboratory facilities used by members of the network are opened up to customers. This model encourages students to develop their skills by, for example, participating in projects and forming co-operatives. Among other initiatives, OpenLab is supporting a three-year 3D project involving TAMK, Tampere University of Technology and Sastamala Municipal Education and Training Consortium, which is aiming to achieve a major technological breakthrough for small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses in the Tampere Region.

Another important initiative is the Hiilinielu Design Studio project – a joint venture between TAMK, Lahti University of Applied Sciences and Design Forum Finland which promotes the bioeconomy. The aim of the project is to develop work and business operations based on new biological products, and the design of bio-products and services. The multi-disciplinary Hiilinielu Design Studio model, with its strong basis in service design, is being developed into a forum for co-operation between companies and students. The Studio will be a place for making innovations, experimenting with materials, and building prototypes. Products created during the project will be presented at the Helsinki Design Week event in the summer of 2017.


”Here at TAMK we are continually deepening our awareness of what is going on in our own field, with the help of R&D&I benchmarking, through our involvement in expert networks, and in other ways besides. We are strengthening our connections with funding bodies and raising awareness throughout TAMK of various instruments for project funding.” – Markus Aho