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Model for University-Region interaction


Detailed description of the Good Practice

The HEIs in Turku join forces to promote regional development in the four areas set out in their strategy:

  • Social responsibility: the HEIs work together to improve well-being, social and cultural capital and the prospects for sustainable development in the region;
  • Internationality: the HEIs promote internationalisation of the region and develop international cooperation;
  • Entrepreneurship: the HEIs work together to further entrepreneurship in the region;
  • Cooperation between HEIs: the HEIs strengthen their mutual cooperation for the benefit of the region.

In accordance with the strategy, the HEIs participate in the regional development of
Southwest Finland at large as producers of research knowledge and expert labour force
and as channels providing information, creativity, expertise and know-how. The HEIs
implement cooperation in accordance with their particular tasks and profile by interacting
closely with each other and with other regional stakeholders.

The model relates to the efficient allocation of resources and tasks among the higher education institutions (HEIs) with the ultimate goal to serve the regional development goals at best.

The thematic scope of the work is defined in the HEIs’ Joint Strategy for Regional Development for the years 2006–2012 drawn up by the higher education institutions (HEIs) in Turku.The plan is based on the strategic focuses of the City of Turku, the Regional Council of Southwest Finland, Regional Employment and Economic Development Centre (T&E Centre) and other central actors in the region. Underlying each party’s priorities is a commitment to a high level of expertise, promotion of technology and the development of innovative business. The key fields of the strategy are biotechnology and health, information technology, cultural services, environmental industry, and material production with the special emphasis on the metal, maritime and graphics industries.

Objectives of the Good Practice

The aim of the work was to create a joint vision of how HEI resources should be focused to serve the regional development mission the best.
The model development ended 2007 as part of an international project, but the regional cooperation is continuing in many ways.

Participants of the Good Practice

In addition to the 7 HEIs in the Turku region several new cooperation platforms were established to promote the regional cooperation. These include:

University–Region Interaction Group. Group´s idea is to bring education
and research opportunities and other university services closer to business, communities,
public sector and people. The Interaction Group consists of representatives from all
seven higher education institutions of Turku and all five sub-regions of Southwest Finland.

Regional Thematic Action Groups are cooperation groups for regional stakeholders on same
line of business.

Sub-regional Higher Education Coordinators were established as a result of the project.
These persons coordinate issues relating to higher education and research within the
sub-region and transfer education and research needs of the SMEs, municipalities and
people to contact persons in higher education institutions.

In addition the following particpated in the cooperation:
Turku Academic Career Services, Rekry, which is a joint service of University of Turku, Åbo AkademiUniversity, Turku School of Economics and the Turku Employment Office. Rekry
provides information on job openings and job seeking for students and graduates.

Turku Regional Business Information Centre, Potkuri, was created by bringing together all the
services necessary to start up and maintain a successful business. It was jointly established
by the Employment and Economic Centre of Southwest Finland (T&E Centre) and the
Turku Region Development Centre.

Target group of the Good Practice

The model was aimed to promote the cooperation between different stakehodlers in regional development: universities and SMEs to name a few.

In addition, following portals were established to reach the different stakeholders:
Nestori Portal for business advisers is an intranet portal for business advisers who work with
local enterprises and companies.

First Link Portal of HEIs is an internet portal at a preparatory phase (in 2007). The aim is that the portal becomes a single point of contact to the seven HEIs in Turku. The portal will offer electronic information and act as the HEIs’ customer service system to better serve the needs of companies, especially small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), and other regional
stakeholders in Southwest Finland.

Funding of the Good Practice

The above mentioned organisations have contributed to the development work. In years XXX the work has been done within a transnational project called ASAP. THe project was part-funded by the European Union woithin the INterreg IIIB programme.

More Details of the Good Practice

The project has strenghtened the cooperation capacities of the region´s organsiations and it has strenghtened the region´s capcaities to manage the knowledge required for the regionla development and in provisoon of services relating to education, development, research and experts.

Documentation and documents

ASAP-project website: https://www.asap-bsr.eu

Available files

WP4_Handbook_ASAP.pdf2.57 MiB

Contact details

ASAP Lead Partner
Ludwigslust County
Mr. Joachim Müller
Garnisonsstr. 1
19288 Ludwigslust, Germany

Phone: +49 3874 624 2094
Fax: +49 3874 624 2000

Data sources and references

ASAP project WP 4 Handbook (online https://www.asap-bsr.eu)