University of Vaasa and SAMK enter into a unique cooperation
The University of Vaasa and SAMK have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a professorship and a Master's programme in energy-related robotics applications. The professorship will strengthen cooperation between Ostrobothnia and Satakunta in research on the green transition and robotics, as well as in the development of the battery cluster. Ulla Tuominen Foundation and Eurajoen Säästöpankkisäätiö (the Foundation of Eurajoki Savings Bank) contribute to the cooperation.
Representatives from both universities are excited about the start of the cooperation. In the photo, Jari Multisilta, Managing Director, President, SAMK (left), Suvi Karirinne, Director of the VEBIC Research and Innovation Platform, the University of Vaasa, and Cimmo Nurmi, Vice President, RDI Services, SAMK.
Satakunta and Ostrobothnia are the top Finnish regions in terms of value added per capita in secondary production. In the value of exports per capita, they are ranked third and fourth after Central Ostrobothnia and Lapland. In both regions, businesses have already made and are planning billion-euro investments in the green transition and battery technology. Together, the University of Vaasa and SAMK want to support business growth in both regions.
– The natural operating area for the University of Vaasa is the coastal region of Western Finland, where growth is largely based on export industries. Competitive export products, in turn, require continuous research and product development. In accordance with the strategy of the University of Vaasa, we aim to produce internationally significant research and a skilled workforce for the industry together with our partners, says Jari Kuusisto, the rector of the University of Vaasa.
Jari Multisilta, the managing director and president of SAMK, sees cooperation with the University of Vaasa as a unique opportunity for Satakunta.
– The new Master's programme and professorship will bring new talent and skills to Satakunta. For engineers graduating from SAMK and those already in working life, this will also open up a new opportunity to continue their studies in the region. Cooperation with the University of Vaasa is an important part of SAMK's contribution to building the vitality of the region.
The professorship will be established in the School of Technology and Innovations at the University of Vaasa, led by Dean Raine Hermans. He emphasizes the entirely new opportunities that the SAMK cooperation will introduce.
– The degree programme in robotics and battery recycling is a perfect complement to our research and education offerings in the middle ground between electrical and energy engineering and automation and information technology. The Master's programme will be implemented as a hybrid solution so that students in Pori will receive teaching directly from the Vaasa campus at SAMK's premises and students in Vaasa will be able to follow classroom teaching from Pori. This programme will serve as a pilot in the Digivisio 2030 project of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
– The professor has a workplace at SAMK campus Pori. They will be attached to the RoboAI Research and Development centre and its scientific community of more than 50 researchers and experts, says Cimmo Nurmi, Vice President, RDI Services at SAMK.
– In addition to the professorship and the Master's programme, the cooperation will launch numerous research projects between SAMK, the University of Vaasa, and businesses in both regions. Personally, this is a dream come true for me, which would not have been possible without the significant contributions from Ulla Tuominen Foundation and Eurajoen Säästöpankkisäätiö to the costs of the professorship.
Ulla Tuominen Foundation awards grants for research in electrical engineering, information technology, or related fields. The foundation also awards prizes for outstanding works, achievements, and ideas in these fields. In addition, the foundation encourages young people in the region to take up technology and science by organizing competitions in this field and rewarding the best performers.
– For us, contributing to the costs of the professorship is just the right kind of social influence for Satakunta. And with the research into electricity, batteries, robotics, and the strengthening of the electricity business, the professorship is at the heart of the foundation's purpose, says Ola Saarinen, the representative of the foundation.
Eurajoen Säästöpankkisäätiö, established in December 2021, continues the history and legacy of Eurajoen Säästöpankki (Eurajoki Savings Bank) in Satakunta. The foundation's basic capital is based on the capital accumulated by Eurajoen Säästöpankki during its history. The purpose of the foundation is to support sustainable development and responsibility, science, well-being, and economic development, as well as other activities to foster and promote the vitality of the Satakunta region.
– Participation in the professorship and the associated Master's programme, together with the partners involved, is an excellent way to fulfil the purpose of our foundation and we are delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the project. Eurajoki Säästöpankkisäätiö intends to continue to profile itself as an active value driver and influencer that wants to be involved in forums supporting the development of the vitality of Satakunta, says Matti Saustila, the managing director of the foundation, summing up the importance of the cooperation.
Rector Jari Kuusisto, University of Vaasa, 029 449 8291
Raine Hermans, Dean, University of Vaasa, 029 449 8622
Jari Multisilta, Managing Director, President, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, 044 710 3410
Cimmo Nurmi, Vice President, RDI Services, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, 044 710 3371
Ola Saarinen, Ulla Tuominen Foundation, 050 500 2831
Matti Saustila, Managing Director, Eurajoen Säästöpankkisäätiö, 040 730 6161