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International expertise for research in service innovations

Tekes will launch five new international research projects within FiDiPro – the Finland Distinguished Professor Programme. Currently, expertise in service innovations research is about to receive a particular boost.

Two distinguished foreign researchers will begin to work in the research team of Lappeenranta University of Technology. The objective is to achieve a significant increase in the standard of Finnish service innovation research and to put the service theme at the centre of innovation research.
The first FiDiPro Professor at the University of Eastern Finland will take part in a project aiming to develop a test lab for bioaerosols. The results will lend themselves to such applications as managing the ambient air quality.
The goal of Aalto University Foundation's FiDiPro project is to produce intelligent built environments that cost-effectively support every-day living, for example at home and in schools, hospitals and offices.
The University of Turku will host a foreign researcher involved in a project aiming to make use of new techniques for analysing patient samples. The introduction of new technologies is expected to result in the creation of a diagnostic method that will be significant for the Finnish field of research.
The project of the University of Jyväskylä aims to combine elements of biology of physical activity, exercise psychology and sport pedagogy in a unique study of the interaction between a learner and the environment. This project is also part of Tekes Learning Solutions programme.
”These new FiDiPro projects aptly support the contents of the new Tekes strategy. All in all, the FiDiPro Programme has proven itself”, says Executive Director Riikka Heikinheimo from Tekes.
High demand for FiDiPro funding
On this round, a record-breaking number of FiDiPro applications were received by Tekes. A total of 29 of first phase applications came in, of which nine were shortlisted. The amount applied for amounts to EUR 33 million. A total of EUR 4.5 million of Tekes funding was available for FiDiPro projects.
”The applications were carefully prepared, and their standard was extremely high. We received them from some of the most significant national research units,” says Senior Adviser Hanna Rantala from Tekes.
So far, Tekes has funded 51 FiDiPro projects through which 40 FiDiPro professors and 11 FiDiPro fellows have arrived or are arriving in Finland.
Tekes funding for public research will be reformed in 2012. FiDiPro funding will continue as part of the reformed research funding provided by Tekes.
FiDiPro, the Finland Distinguished Professor Programme, is a joint funding programme of the Academy of Finland and Tekes, which provides Finnish universities and research institutes with an opportunity to recruit foreign or expatriate top researchers to work in Finland for a fixed period of time.
Further information
Senior Adviser
Hanna Rantala
Tel. +358 (0)10 605 5797
Kari Komulainen
Tel. +358 (0)10 605 5842


Descriptions of the new FiDiPro projects

FiDiPro Professor Martin S. Meyer, Professor, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
FiDiPro Fellow Stephen Flowers, Principal Research Fellow, CENTRIM, University of Brighton, United Kingdom

Research project:  User-Driven Service Innovation and Co-creation Management
NOMAD-project is part of the Finland Distinguished Professor Programme - FiDiPro. The focus of the research is on user-driven service innovation process and co-creation management. Creation, commercialization and capitalization of services intangible value are central themes throughout the project. The aim is to bring new insights and novel perspectives to the service innovation debate. Nomad-project advances new perspectives that have potential to renew service innovation research and take it closer to the leading edge mainline innovation debate. Together with the international experts NOMAD-project objective is to build up Finnish service innovation research to a higher, internationally excelling level.
Host organization and contact person: Lappeenranta University of Technology, Director Jari Kuusisto


FiDiPro Professor Tiina Reponen, Center for Health-Related Aerosol Studies, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, USA

Research project:  Development of bioaerosol testing facility - Application for modeling and controlling of indoor air
The main goal of the proposed project is to develop a bioaerosol testing facility in Finland. Partnership network will be developed that through technology transfer from basic and applied bioaerosol sciences leads to product development and control of airborne microbiological risks in residential, occupational, industrial, accidental, and national safety applications. The facility will have multiple applications and be used by industry and research institutes for research and development that targets minimizing of microbial contamination in indoor air.
Host organization and contact person: University of Eastern Finland, Professor Pertti Pasanen


FiDiPro Professor Sumi Helal, Professor and Director, Computer and Information Science and Engineering Department (CISE), University of Florida, USA

Research project:  Smart Spaces: Critical Software Enablers for Real-World Deployments
Smart Spaces refer to built environments such as apartments, offices, museums, hospitals, schools, malls, university campuses, and outdoor areas that are enabled for co-operation of smart objects and systems, and for ubiquitous interaction with frequent and sporadic visitors. The aim of Smart Spaces is to produce intelligent environments that facilitate everyday practices, are more efficient with respect to resource and costs, create richer user experiences, and enhance users’ awareness of the local opportunities.
This project will contribute to the Smart Spaces Thematic Action Line of EIT ICT Labs, where Aalto University and HIIT have a significant role together with other Finnish partners of EIT ICT Labs.
Host organization and contact person:  Aalto University, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, Professor Marko Turpeinen


FiDiPro Professor David Goodlett, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Research Project: Quantitative proteomics to identify biomarkers for disease prediction, diagnosis and monitoring
The objective of this study is to apply cutting-edge discovery-based, quantitative proteomics in the analysis of carefully selected informative samples from on-going studies with type-1 diabetes and epithelial ovarian cancer that are linked to comprehensive clinical data. With the integration of these data we aim to identify serum biomarkers that characterize the development of disease and aid in patient stratification and response to treatment. In both applications the discovery of disease related biomarkers would have a significant clinical impact and result in better diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
With this proposed collaboration and scientific exchange with Professor Goodlett of the University of Washington, we will apply his recently developed strategy that facilitates the quantification of multiple protein/peptide targets with minimal sample preparation.  These investigations will build on our research towards the pathology of type 1 diabetes. Similarly, the methodology will applied in the study of epithelial ovarian cancer where the data will be integrated with data from other clinical measurements. Overall, with the implementation and application of this technology, this will present a platform for diagnostics significant to research in Turku and Finland.
In common with the interests of the partners in this research, Hospital district of South-Western Finland and SALVE, the project is focused on medical diagnostics, biobanks and biomarker discovery.
Host organization and contact person:  University of Turku, Centre for Biotechnology, Director Professor Riitta Lahesmaa


FiDiPro Professor Keith Davids, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Research project:
Designing textured materials and environments for motor learning in physical activity and sports
The purpose of the project is to design representative motor learning environments, based on current technological developments, which exploit key theoretical ideas from neuroscientific and motor behaviour research. These learning contexts will cross the lifespan including, for example, preschools, schools, sport clubs, elderly care homes, as well as high performance talent development programmes for elite athletes. The effectiveness of these environments and technological solutions will be analyzed by multidisciplinary research paradigms and methods. These approaches consist of the research traditions of motor control, motor learning, sport psychology, sport pedagogy, and cognitive neurosciences. The empirical findings on the effectiveness of the designed environments and methods will be used in developing learning technologies to be used with different target groups and institutions. Based on the outcomes of this multidisciplinary research project on motor learning, new environments and technological solutions will underpin the design of educational programs for the use of such tools.
Host organization and contact person:  University of Jyväskylä, Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences, Professor Jarmo Liukkonen



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International expertise for research in service innovations