University of Vaasa at Partner Campus: Innovating on business ideas together with experts


In August, The University of Vaasa Summer School Programme on International Entrepreneurship and Innovation gathered international students, teachers and experts for an intensive seven-day course at the Sustainable Technology Hub (STH). The facilities and Partner Campus ways of working offered a great opportunity for innovation and co-creation.

STH and Partner Campus work both locally and globally. The technology centre has been designed from the ground up to nurture fresh ideas created between Wärtsilä and our customers, universities, and start-ups. University of Vaasa has been one of the co-creators right from the early days when Partner Campus was initiated. The course held at Partner Campus is a great example on how we can together innovate, discover ideas and test different concepts, no matter if it’s short or long-term project.

Good combination of different methods

“The course is the first ever Summer School at the University of Vaasa and as such a pilot. It provides a different learning experience for the students. The aim is to make it more practise oriented and fun. We combined theoretical lectures with practical workshops developing the ideas of the students in the afternoon”, says Philipp Holtkamp from the Innovation Office of the University of Vaasa.

During the University of Vaasa’s visit, Partner Campus was buzzing with activity. The students worked together all week and got help from experts to create new and innovative business ideas. The projects were then presented to the class and to a group of real-life experts from academia and business life. The “pitching pit” at the Partner Campus was very convenient for this type of presenting.

Partner Campus facilities itself offers great opportunities for co-creation, but the way of working can be utilised in many ways. Our best practices and methods for co-creation can be implemented anywhere globally.

Interactions and insights

Innovating in a modern and professional environment elevates the whole experience of ideation and learning in many ways. When our collaborators come to Partner Campus, it is a win-win for all parties. Even small interactions can be meaningful and lead to something exciting. The right environment nurtures the learning experience of students but also everyone involved.

“This is a great opportunity for us all to learn from each other,” says Kenneth Widell, Senior Project Manager at Wärtsilä, emphasising that it was an honour to host a summer school focusing on business and innovation.

Networking is also easier when you are at the heart of where the business and innovation happens daily.

“For the students, it was also great to be able to interact with Wärtsilä employees and talk about future careers and build some initial networks and get some insights into the company,” Holtkamp says.

University of Vaasa’s stay at the Partner Campus is one of the many examples of Wärtsilä partnering up with educational institutions.