September 29, 2021

University of Eastern Finland takes a broad approach to science-industry collaboration

Collaboration with industry at the University of Eastern Finland takes multiple forms, ranging from traditional science-industry collaboration within academic research projects to innovative new ventures.

Like in most universities in the world, industry internships and thesis projects, guest lectures by representatives of the world of business, various mentoring schemes, and excursions to and from companies are commonplace at UEF, with plenty of examples of successful outcomes. 

In recent years, one funding instrument of the Academy of Finland has emerged as a particularly important and impactful forum for science-industry collaboration: the Finnish Flagship Programme. All in all, there are ten Flagships in Finland, each of them seeking to find sustainable solutions to societal challenges and to promote economic growth by, for example, developing new business opportunities. All Flagships serve as platforms for collaboration with industry. The University of Eastern Finland is involved in the following: 

  • Atmosphere and Climate Competence Centre (ACCC)
  • Gene, Cell and Nano Therapy Competence Cluster for the Treatment of Chronic Diseases (GeneCellNano)
  • Forest-Human-Machine Interplay (UNITE)
  • Flagship on Photonics Research and Innovation (PREIN

Photonics Center in Joensuu – a one-stop-shop for science-industry collaboration

One of the most recent openings in science-industry collaboration is the newly established Photonics Center, which is located on the Joensuu Campus of the University of Eastern Finland. Photonics Center brings business, collaboration and research under the same roof, and it is an infrastructure where experts, equipment and tailored services meet and unite towards a brighter future: both literally and figuratively. The activities of Photonics Center also support the activities of the PREIN Flagship – and vice versa!

Commercialisation through programmes and competitions

The University of Eastern Finland also supports and actively encourages the commercialisation of knowledge developed by its student and staff members through involvement in programmes and competitions specifically designed for the purpose. For students, there is the Spark Joensuu programme, which promotes links to the world of work through, for example, facilitating collaboration and new contacts. Spark Finland, on the other hand, gives researchers international opportunities for mentoring and collaboration. In addition, UEF is a partner in the DRAFT Program offering students and staff members an opportunity to explore their business ideas without having to deal with too much bureaucracy. And then there is of course Tahko Ski Lift Pitch, where participants literally pitch their ideas to judges during a ski lift ride (and mind you, time is very limited, since we don’t have real mountains here in Finland!).

The above examples are just the tip of an iceberg when it comes to the ways in which UEF collaborates with industry, and the surrounding society in general. To learn more, please visit our website dedicated to Collaboration at

Photo: Tahko Ski Lift Pitch.jpg
Photo caption: Tahko Ski Lift Pitch in action.

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