Laureans' successful in the EU Women Innovators and Inventors Network competition

Regional Service Manager Pia Kiviharju and Senior Lecturer Sari Jääskeläinen won category Social Innovation in the competition of the European Union Women Innovators and Inventors Network. Kiviharju and Jääskeläinen represented Laurea University of Applied Sciences in the competition of the EU network of female innovators in London on 12 –13 October 2015.

European Union Women Innovators and Inventors Network's competition is arranged at 2-year intervals and the competition this year was the sixth one. The purpose of the competition is to raise general awareness of the need for new innovations in the EU as well as to promote women who engage in innovation activities. Awards were given to women who have developed new innovative products, services or concepts.

This year the 46 six candidates selected to the final were from 13 different countries across the world. The innovations were related to, for example, fashion, beauty, learning, health or well-being, and were different products designed to facilitate and support life.

The service website is an innovative web service developed during the InnoEspoo project. It is intended to support senior citizens in Espoo to cope at home and to also assist their families. Senior citizens need a lot of different information and help in carrying out their everyday activities and coping at home. A comprehensive range of products required by older people, services, useful information, topical issues, a nutrition blog, discussion forum and activities are available in the service – all in one place.

The site also lists events in Espoo and includes links to the service websites of the City of Espoo and other operators. The activities section includes several videos on exercise movements, brain work and relaxation to maintain well-being as well as links to different media and games, memorable digital stories from senior citizens and other pastimes. The section for facilitating the everyday life of family caregivers has been developed in cooperation with the family caregivers' organisation Espoon ja Kauniaisten omaishoitajat ry. There is also a dedicated website on the work of family caregivers.

In March 2015, already won the Best Practice 2015 award presented by the Design for All Foundation in Paris.
The conference and the exhibition of the women innovators competition was organised in London on 12–13 October 2015. In the event, the finalists introduced their innovations to the audience and to the jury. The jury selected the winners on the basis of the presentation, and the winners were presented with an award in the gala organised on 13 October 2015.

Pia Kiviharju is Regional Service Manager at Laurea Espoo and Sari Jääskeläinen Senior Lecturer of Business Management in the same unit. Both women are interested in promoting the well-being of older people and are active innovators of new, active and health-promoting solutions for the everyday life of senior citizens.

Modified 10/15/2015 12:20 PM

​Sari Jääskeläinen and Pia Kiviharju received the award in London on Wednesday evening.