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University of Helsinki and Tampere University launch a new doctoral path of industry innovations

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Two of Finland's largest universities, together with the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation and participating companies, are launching a joint doctoral path for doctoral researchers. In a pilot beginning early next year, the industrial innovations doctoral path will offer positions for doctoral researchers working closely with industry.

The goal of the pilot is to build a scalable operating model that develops research expertise in an industry-oriented manner and seeks solutions to the grand challenges of our time. The model enables the utilization of the latest scientific knowledge in industry while taking into account the academic requirements of research work. By developing cooperation between companies and academic research, industry will be provided with the know-how it needs now and in the future to improve its competitiveness.

In this operating model, research topics will come from industry and doctoral researchers will work in close cooperation with the companies providing the topics. Of the eight researchers who will be selected in the program, four will be located at the University of Helsinki and four at Tampere University.

The researchers will sign a four-year employment contract with one of the two universities and receive guidance from professors from both. In addition, each doctoral student will be guided and supported by the partner company providing the research topic. The industry partners will participate in the costs of the work whilst most of the funding for the research and development of the operating model will come from the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation.

In addition to new research knowledge, the doctoral path will produce skilled professionals for industry with good interaction and teamwork skills as well as strong professional networks and the ability to apply research results in a business-oriented manner. The doctoral path will include courses from both universities, excursions, innovation training and meetings and workshops with visiting industry experts.

The theme of the industrial innovation doctoral pilot is "big data sustainability". This includes finding sustainable solutions to global challenges by utilizing natural sciences and software engineering.

The model is based on the Doctoral School of Industry Innovations (DSII) program created by Tamlink Ltd and Tampere University, which has been implemented for eight years. In the pilot, the DSII model will be further developed and expanded in cooperation with the University of Helsinki and the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation. The five-year pilot project has a budget of around three million euros.

New information and utilization of research

“Finnish companies should be able to utilize the contribution and know-how of doctoral researchers from higher education institutions better thantoday. In addition, it should be possible to offer researchers in doctoral programs more diverse range of career paths. A more flexible movement of researchers between universities and companies would strengthen both companies' growth opportunities and universities' working life connections, says Aaro Cantell, Chairman of the Board of the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation.

“Our goal is to develop innovation activities and business cooperation so that our versatile and high-level research work can bring solutions to the grand problems of our time and support sustainable development, including industry”, says Dean Sasu Tarkoma of University of Helsinki.

“In cooperation with the University of Helsinki and the Technology Industries of Finland, the tested and proven operating model will be taken to the next level. The Finnish innovation ecosystem can take big steps forward with the help of this pilot”, says director Pauli Kuosmanen from Tampere University, emphasizing that this is a pilot phase for bigger future plans.

More information

University of Helsinki

Sasu Tarkoma, / +358 29 415 1375

Maria Linkoaho-Nordling, / +358 50 415 1093

Tampere University

Pauli Kuosmanen, / +358 50 304 5934


Jukka Matikainen, / +358 40 533 6379

Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation

Antti Aarnio, / +358 40 503 6634

Marianna Jokila, / +358 40 592 6478

More information about the operators:

A doctoral school concept working with industry to solve meaningful real-life problems. Research topics come from companies and doctoral students write their dissertations in close collaboration with industry partners.

The University of Helsinki is a multidisciplinary university and a unique center of science and thought, where the search for new knowledge and boundary-breaking research produce understanding to solve both local and global problems. The academic community of 40,000 people operates in 11 different faculties on four campuses, focusing in research and teaching on four strategically chosen themes: wellbeing for humans and our environment, a humane and fair world, a sustainable future for our planet, and the possibilities that limitless curiosity opens up – a universe of ideas and opportunities.

Tampere University is one of the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. It brings together research and education focusing on technology, health and society. developing solutions to tackle climate change, preserve the natural environment, and improve the well-being and sustainability of societies. Tampere University has 21,000 students, 4,000 employees and seven faculties. The new university was established at the beginning of 2019 when University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology merged to form a new foundation university.

Established in 1986, Tamlink Ltd is Finland's most experienced technology transfer company. Tamlink operates at the interface of industry and research, both in confidential product development projects as well as in open networks and ecosystems. Tamlink develops and implements effective concepts for technology transfer to improve companies' competitiveness by utilizing the latest research information and know-how.

The Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation promotes the renewal and future competitiveness of the technology industry. The foundation finances ambitious projects that develop the industry's education, research, and innovation environment. The foundation was founded in 2003, when Technology Industries of Finland celebrated its hundredth anniversary. So far, the foundation has granted a total of 115 million euros in grants and donations to projects that are renewing the Finnish technology industry.

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