Marja Sutela, 11.1.2017
The entrepreneurship and innovation services unit Y-kampus, established at Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), extented to other Tampere3 universities: University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology in autumn 2016. The aim of this collaboration is to bring together future entrepreneurs, research results and talented professionals. Y-kampus offers studies and coaching in entrepereneurship for students, researchers and staff members. Its innovation services enhance commercialism of new research innovations and promotes new business.
Y-kampus is a physical meeting point in a digitalized world. It offers a place to bring together e.g. retiring family entrepreneurs and students enthusiastic about entrepreneurship. Tampere3 Y-kampus operating model has been developed as part of the 2-year TEKES project “Innovation Scout in HEIs in Tampere region”.
Last November I had an opportunity to take part in a study visit to California, USA. The aim of this visit was to get to know the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems in the San Francisco Bay Area, and to get new ideas how to develop Tampere3 Y-kampus even further. During the visit Tampere3 delegation met several Finnish startup entrepreneurs in the area e.g. Ari Tulla from Better Doctor and Janne Salminen from ShopInbox. Couple weeks later, in SLUSH 2016, Salminen was nominated as the best Bay Area start-up.
The Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem and startup culture is world-famous. Business accelerators like Plug and Play act as a global innovation platform for startups, corporations and investors. Nordic Innovation House is the Silicon Valley headquarters for the Nordic Startup Community. Other operators such as Silicon Vikings network supports Nordic and Baltic innovations and entrepreneurship. Executive Director Charlotte Danielsson introduced us their activities and role in creating new business networks.
In the Bay Area, University of Berkeley, California and Stanford University have an important role in the innovation and startup ecosystem. Both universities are known as the world-class research universities. Still the industry co-operation has an important role in their activities. In the American mindset, the top research and industry-university collaboration are equally important, and support each other. When aiming for better results, it is very important to do real collaboration between the universities and the industry, and not to act in silos.
What can we in Tampere learn from the Bay Area practices and experiences? In the future, it is even more important that all actors in the innovation ecosystem identify their roles and tasks, co-operate and concentrate on their strong areas. Universities, innovation platforms like Demola and Uusi Tehdas and public stakeholders like ELY centers and Regional councils, each have they own roles in this field. Universities’ Y-kampuses can offer a place where people representing various scientific and applied know-how, industry, public sector and NGOs can meet to collaborate.
Vice President TAMK