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Home HAMK to further strengthen its research efforts: Smart & Bio is a multi-million euro investment in Hämeenlinna

HAMK to further strengthen its research efforts: Smart & Bio is a multi-million euro investment in Hämeenlinna

A new Smart Systems & Biotechnology education and research environment will be built at the Hämeenlinna University Centre. This is a significant investment for Häme University of Applied Sciences, which will especially strengthen its business-oriented education and research activities.

HAMK’s Smart Systems & Biotechnology (Smart & Bio) building will have modern laboratory and research facilities that will develop multidisciplinary smart solutions and applications to promote the green transition. Smart & Bio takes HAMK’s research to a new international level and helps companies develop their operations and find new commercial solutions. The following companies have already shown an interest: Kiertokapula, Kultasuklaa, St1, Doranova, Valio and Watrec.

The new centre will further strengthen HAMK’s four Research Units (Edu, Tech, Smart and Bio). The latter two will receive a particular focus, as the aim is to find sustainable solutions through digitalisation and the latest biotechnology, among others.

“For example, in a circular economy, data helps to process production side streams into bio-based products that support the green transition of industry” says Annukka Pakarinen, Research Director at HAMK.

Such a centre is not built from scratch; it will bring together HAMK’s long-standing degree programmes, expertise and research in the fields of digitalisation, technology and biotechnology, and raise them to the next level. This is also the basis on which the recently-launched Centre of Expertise in Biomaterial.

Smart & Bio is part of extensive international networks, such as the RUN European University, in which HAMK is responsible for leading the bioeconomy innovation hub. Long-term partnerships with research organisations, such as VTT, Aalto University and the Natural Resources Institute Finland, are also an important part of the activities.

Construction work in the design phase

The Hämeenlinna University Centre area will be home to a new 1,800 square metre, two-storey Smart & Bio building, which, in the planning phase, has been estimated to cost over EUR 5 million.

“The building is now in the planning phase and construction work is to begin next spring,” says Tuomas Salonen, Director of Real Estate at HAMK.

Research and degree programmes that support Smart & Bio activities are also available on other campuses, especially in Lepaa and Mustiala.

In addition to the first phase investment, the plan also includes a second phase, in which Häme University of Applied Sciences will build more research and education facilities, especially for strengthening master’s and doctoral education. The total sum of planned investments is approximately EUR 16 million.

“We want to a driver of regional development, but the centre also has a nationally unique profile. What’s also important is HAMK’s role as an education provider, which is that we contribute to ensuring competence and the availability of employees for companies’ green transition needs,” says HAMK President Pertti Puusaari.

“I would also like to involve the City of Hämeenlinna and companies in the region in stronger participation. This entity will further strengthen Hämeenlinna as a genuine university city,” continues Puusaari.

One of the business partners is Kiertokapula, with whom Häme University of Applied Sciences has had a long-term partnership to develop the circular economy. The partnership has included applied research and involving students in practical work.

“Cooperation with HAMK has and continues to play a key role in our development work,” says Tero Helin, Director of Development at Kiertokapula.

Kultasuklaa has also found its partnership meaningful.

“When considering new business openings, it is important for us that decisions are based on as broad a knowledge base as possible. Cooperation with Häme University of Applied Sciences is perfect for this need,” says chocolate entrepreneur Juri Kaskela.

Further information:

HAMK’s Research website