Developing an RDI cluster service model for SMEs through piloting

Submitted by pkassine on 18 February 2021

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The Arctic Development Environments cluster provides businesses in Finnish Lapland a one-stop-shop access point to the expertise and services of its member organisations: universities and research organisations in the region.

The cluster supports businesses by helping to improve their processes, products and services. The services can be accessed through the Ardico.fi service portal.

The service model, developed through piloting with SMEs, in a nutshell:

  1.  The company contacts the cluster with a specific R&D challenge or need.
  2. The company receives a tender specifying the pricing and schedule of the service. The pricing is based on the actual costs of the service; the cluster is based on a not-for-profit model.
  3. If the tender is accepted, a service contract is drawn between the company and the cluster.
  4. The cluster assists the company with identifying and applying for suitable R&D funding.
  5. A group of experts is selected from the cluster member organisations to work on the project.
  6. The cluster submits the results of the project to the company.

A few examples of the pilot projects completed with companies in 2019–2021 to develop the service model:

Water bottle

Objective: To design an environmentally sustainable plastic bottle for selling pure water from Lapland on the international market.

Implementation: In collaboration with experts from the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and the University of Lapland.

Result: An innovatively designed bottle with a new way of using the material.

Future: The company will continue to invest in R&D, with the aim of establishing a production line.

Ash fertilization

Objective: To find out the profitability of ash fertilization in forests in Lapland.

Implementation: In collaboration with experts from the Lapland University of Applied Sciences and the Finnish Forest Centre.

Result: A study of the availability of ash and potential customers in Lapland.

Future: The company will continue its R&D investment and aim for the Lapland market.

Sauna whisk

Objective: Design of an environmentally sustainable (artificial) sauna whisk.

Implementation: In collaboration with experts from the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), the Lapland University of Applied Sciences and the University of Lapland.

Result: Environmentally sustainable, innovatively designed sauna whish with novel material use.

Future: The company will continue to develop the product.

For more information, please contact cluster manager Mr Raimo Pyyny, raimo.pyyny (at) lapinamk.fi.

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