Turku School of Economics to Collaborate with Seven International Large-scale Enterprises for Research and Development of Disruptive Innovations

​The aim of the Laboratory of Business Disruption Research is to study business disruption as a phenomenon and develop new operational business models and concepts to support the development of business and innovation. Key themes include artificial intelligence and machine learning, pricing innovations, competition methods, platform economy, change in ecosystems, and organisation management in disruptive business environment.

The research agenda has been advanced in collaboration with the business partners which are Aller Media Finland, Bayer Nordic SE, IBM Finland, OP Financial Group, PwC, Rolls-Royce Oy Ab and Valmet Automotive Inc.

– Our society and business life are currently in turmoil due to different strong driving forces which, when used to their fullest potential, enable business leaps. For example, fast developing internet technology has enabled breakthroughs, such as Airbnb, Uber, Netflix and Onnibus, elaborates Director of Laboratory of Business Disruption Research Thomas Westerholm.

Thomas Westerholm at the launch of the Laboratory of Business Disruption Research collaboration at Turku School of Economics on 17 January 2018.

The research portfolio of the Laboratory contains academic research, applied research in collaboration with companies, and bilateral projects focusing on business development. First projects will be launched during early spring 2018.

– Disruptive innovations are typically created in highly uncertain environments where there might not even be a market in the first place, but instead it should be found or created. The purpose of the Laboratory is through experimental research and pilot projects to create models for business life to develop disruptive innovations and to seize opportunities created by the driving forces, says Westerholm.

New Collaboration Models between Corporations and University

The research laboratory is part of the Centre for Collaborative Research of Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku which promotes and conducts research collaboration with corporations and public organisations.
– As a School of Economics, we wish to stay in the van of development and keep up with the times. This also requires creating new collaboration models between corporations and the University. Investing in the disruption theme enables new type of research collaboration, says Dean of Turku School of Economics Markus Granlund.
Rector of the University of Turku Kalervo Väänänen notes that the Laboratory is a strategically important investment for the whole University.
– We need extensive interdisciplinary research collaboration in order to understand complicated disruption phenomena, for which the Laboratory offers a great platform, says Väänänen.
Head of Innovation and Technology Sauli Eloranta from Rolls-Royce also emphasises that, for example, the development of digitalisation and platform economy places requirements for combining expertise in a new way.
– In order to develop vital business models, we must break the traditional boundaries of science and development, says Eloranta. 
A central international research partner of the Laboratory is Harvard Business School which is one of the world’s leading centres of excellence in innovation research. Together with HBS, the Laboratory is preparing projects related to innovation management which are to be launched in autumn 2018.
Text: Taru Suhonen
Translation: Saara Yli-Kauhaluoma
Photo: Antti Tarponen
Published date 1/17/2018 11:00 AM ,  Modified date 1/18/2018 10:26 AM

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