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New well-being solutions through piloting

New digital solutions that promote health and well-being are being developed in the Kalasatama Wellbeing piloting programme.

Kalasatama district is being built close to downtown Helsinki. Photo: Sami Lensu

News 10.9.2018

- In the future, instead of being a service provider, the City of Helsinki increasingly wants to be an enabler of new, innovative services. The Kalasatama smart district is leading the way in this development. It is a piloting platform that promotes new innovation, says Development Manager Kaisa Spilling from Forum Virium Helsinki, describing the background idea of the Smart Kalasatama project.

Forum Virium Helsinki is the City of Helsinki’s innovation unit that is making Helsinki the leading smart city in the world in cooperation with companies, the scientific community and the residents of Helsinki.

- Developer, facilitator, mediator, piloting agent, Kaisa Spilling lists the various roles of Forum Virium.

Startups and big corporations brought together

In autumn 2017, Forum Virium led the launch of the new project Smart Kalasatama Co-designing Wellbeing. Laurea is its research partner in the project, running until the end of 2018 and funded by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.

The Kalasatama Wellbeing piloting programme is implemented as part of the project. The objective of the programme is to add momentum to the development of digital solutions that promote health and well-being. SMEs and startups with ideas related to urban well-being have been invited to join the piloting programme.

The objective is to find ways for residents to take better care of their well-being using digital solutions.

The ideas chosen for the piloting programme will be co-created and piloted in the Kalasatama district.

- The participation of the large partner companies in the district introduces a new perspective into this project. The participants include SRV, which is the company building the REDI shopping centre, KESKO, whose new K-kampus main office building is being built in Kalasatama, and Forum Virium’s partner CGI, explains Development Manager Spilling.
- Cooperation between the public sector and large companies will result in new ideas and synergies, which is very interesting also for the startups taking part in the piloting programme.

Startups and SMEs were invited to join the programme early in the year. In early March, the 10 most interesting ideas were invited to the Jam co-creation event, facilitated by service design students from Laurea. The students had also collected material for support by interviewing city residents.

Agile piloting brings ideas alive

Eventually, three to five piloting sprints will be chosen from among the teams:

- The piloting will provide the companies with genuine user experience and valuable customer feedback for the development of their product and business model. In addition, the active network at Kalasatama provides them with a fantastic opportunity to find new partners for collaboration, Kaisa Spilling adds.

For a few years now, Kalasatama has been the home of the Programme for Agile Piloting, with over 10 small-scale pilots carried out so far. Social services and health care pilots have used the development and experimentation platform developed at Laurea in 2016.

One of the objectives of the Smart Kalasatama Co-designing Wellbeing project is the further development of this experimentation platform model to make it serve a new, more extensive ecosystem that includes both large and small companies.

- Agile piloting has helped us to create a model that will incorporate the urban community into the development and piloting of services in a new way, says Spilling as she summarises the benefits.
- Today, Kalasatama has 3,000 residents, of which over 800 have in some way participated in our projects, pilots and other activities.

Agile piloting speeds up the refining of ideas into real services, which is why the programme has often included early-stage prototypes.

- In many cases, ideas have advanced considerably in the process, Ms Spilling continues.


“The Kalasatama development and piloting platform unites different players and also provides a platform for learning. First, it is a learning platform for our Master’s level students who have had the opportunity to apply their service design competence. Second, this cooperation is a great opportunity for Laurea to learn the best possible ways to help companies learn and gain the maximum benefit from the piloting process.”

Anne Äyväri, Principal Lecturer, project manager for the Smart Kalasatama Co-designing Wellbeing project at Laurea.