Dr Tuija Hirvikoski is a director at Laurea University of Applied Sciences responsible for the creation of a new non-profit company in Helsinki metropolitan focusing on Urban Sustainability and Holistic Wellbeing. The company aims for purpose driven research, development and innovation (RDI) together with the academic, private, civic and public organizations. Based on her work on impact driven RDI and education and on behalf of the European Network of Living Labs (ENOLL) she received the Innovation Luminary Award for the best Open Innovation Infrastructure Creation (EC OISPG). She is currently a member of the EC Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP) and has assisted CoR members Mr. Markku Markkula and Anne Karjalainen as an innovation expert.
She has held various managerial positions at different Finnish higher education institutions and governmental institutions focusing on sustainable regional and societal development. Hirvikoski’s specific area of expertise is related to the orchestration of purpose driven multi-stakeholder and user-centred innovation design and ecosystem development (Open Living Labs).
She is a former long-term Vice-President of Laurea, during that time the Laurea become the most awarded university of applied science in Finland. Laurea had a nine-year continuous succession of nominations as a National Centre of Excellence (both for the Excellence in Regional Impact and the Educational Excellence) by the National Evaluation Council. This success has been due to Laurea’s innovative leadership model (Freedom within framework) and its operative methods (such as the Learning by Developing, LbD, and the Living Labs) integrating university’s curricular and RDI activities to the needs of its stakeholders. Laurea’s methods are based on innovation co-creation and experimentation with different national and international stakeholders and they provide Laurea graduates with excellent employment opportunities and high numbers of new Start-Ups. Consequently, Laurea is currently one of Finland’s most popular Higher Education Institution among the university applicants.
Since the early 1990s, Hirvikoski has enhanced the role of the Finnish higher education as a key driver of the Helsinki metropolitan innovation ecosystem. As a founding board member of two Finnish technology centres (TechVilla Ltd and Keuke Ltd), she has contributed to the development of different business and innovation ecosystems using the shared value co-creation methods among public and private stakeholders. She is a member of Helsinki Uusimaa Regional Coordinating Committee and belongs to its board of chairs. During the past decades, she has been composing several of the regional innovation and competitiveness strategies in Helsinki region; currently she is involved in two of the main projects implementing the Uusimaa Smart Specialization Strategy (RIS3). Moreover, she has helped the cities of Helsinki and Espoo to create an operative model to open their processes and to share theirs challenges for collaboration with the SMEs and academia. Her role as an expert of the CoR member and current president Markku Markkula at his rapporteur works provided Hirvikoski an excellent opportunity to network with the representatives of the European regions, the EC and the EU.
Hirvikoski has received a PhD in Industrial Management (Innovation and Innovation Ecosystem relationship), an MSc in Physical Education and an MSc in Administration. Her desire is to promote the human side of innovation and to understand and benefit from the systemic nature of innovation ecosystems.
Together with the various Laurea and ENoLL teams she has contributed to the development of several EU-funded RDI projects particularly in the field of holistic and citizen driven service innovation, eHealth and Wellbeing, Smart Citizens and Entrepreneurship. She has been an invited steering group member in several multi-stakeholder ventures such as the Sendai-Finland Wellbeing Centre, the Helsinki Information Technology Association (HITA) and the Talent Cultivation Program for Smart Living Industry Sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Taiwan R.O.C.
For these merits, she holds the award of Cross of Merit of the Order of the White Rose of Finland granted by Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland.