Multidisciplinary Laurea University of Applied Sciences is an acknowledged developer that has been awarded with multiple Centre of Excellence awards in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.
Laurea has been nominated by Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council as a center of excellence five times; three times based on the education and two times based on the regional development. This is the best achievement among Finnish universities of applied sciences. Laurea is also a center of excellence for the period 2010 – 2012.
Laurea offers Bachelor and Master level studies for 8000 students in four fields of education. Laurea produces new competences in the field of service innovations and carries out professionally orientated education, regional development and R&D activities by the Learning by Developing (LbD) operational model. The educational and research profile of Laurea is Service Business, Health Care (especially coping at home), Security, and Entrepreneurship. Laurea has been in co-operation with Cambridge Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning for several years.
Laurea's strategic choice is to integrate its three tasks - education, R&D and regional development. It has created the Learning by Developing (LbD) model as a tool for reaching its strategic goals and implementing them in practice at the Laurea Living Labs Network. The basis for the Laurea Living Labs Network in Espoo are students, which develop and create new professional knowledge part of their studies together with other Living Lab actors, such as companies, 3rd sector, public sector and universities together with end users.
To facilitate professional knowledge creation and rich interaction Laurea operates in several permanent development environments, living labs such as Active Life Village (former Well Life Center), SID BarLaurea, Redlab, SID lab networks, SID lab security and temporary Living Labs projects utilize created knowledge and expertise from these development environments. Learning by Developing model brings together students, lecturers, working life representatives and experts of R&D activities in various sequential Living Labs projects.
Service design, ethnographical methods, participatory observation, interviews and focus groups methods are applied in living labs projects in the area of Service Business (e.g. HLL, Finlab, UDOI, MUMA, KOULII, CoCo), Health Care (e.g. CaringTV -programme, Going Home), Security (e.g. Saterisk, Mobi, Macico) and Entrepreneurship (e.g. Saterisk, Mobi Ballad).
In these Living Lab projects, talented people from all over the world carry out research and development projects for working life. Teachers, coordinators, researchers and students are working within the fields of Service Innovation and Design, Business Information Technology, Security Management and Business Management. The current research group at Laurea Living Labs in Espoo is multidisciplinary: the group of researchers represents service business, design and IT competences.
Link to Coco project