HAMK’s networks extend to New Zealand
HAMK and the Regional Council of Häme have started a long-term partnership with the New Zealand Waikato region and Wintec Research Centre, which is based in the area.
The aim of the WAIKATO project is to share expertise that can be used to develop business in Häme. Waikato region’s strengths are in bioeconomy, food production, well-being and tourism. Particular areas of focus for co-operation are digitisation and its usage in the circular economy, agriculture and tourism.
The Regional Council of Häme, HAMK and their stakeholders are all taking part in the partnership. HAMK’s Research Units for Smart Services and Bioeconomy are involved in the project in the areas of education, regional development and research.
Finland’s contribution to the partnership is expertise in the circular economy, of which development has also now properly started in New Zealand. New Zealand, for its part, offers strong digital expertise. The Wintec Research Centre is currently running an advanced Health Village project, where people’s health is monitored by unobtrusive sensors installed in their homes. The data from these sensors can be used to identify and respond to changes in people’s health. The sensors monitor the daily routines of single elderly people, or those living with chronic illness or rehabilitation needs. Changes in their behaviour indicate possible changes in health.
HAMK’s Research Manager Heikki Ruohomaa is currently in New Zealand, consulting on circular economy development projects. At the end of April, it was Wintec’s Research Manager Gert Hattingh’s turn to visit Finland. The trip included a visit to Raisio Oy, where Hattingh was introduced to the optimization of agricultural food. The programme also included a visit to Fortum in Riihimäki, where Hattingh was introduced to Finland’s advanced biogas and heat production, and plastic separation solutions. Hattingh also had a look around Mustiala’s robotised barn.
During the visit, an opportunity for a joint tourism project between Häme and New Zealand was also explored. Hattingh discussed tourism promotion solutions with Minna Takala, Regional Development Specialist from the Regional Council of Häme, and Kirsi Sippola who represented HAMK’s Smart Services unit.
Vesa Salminen, Director of Smart Services / Research Unit for Smart Services, HAMK, 040 544 1577, firstname.lastname@example.org