Research and development projects

Project activities

TSE Pori unit implements numerous development and research projects in cooperation with companies and public organizations. On this page, we present our most significant ongoing and completed projects.

The project team focused on development projects is led by research manager Päivikki Kuoppakangas. The Pori unit has also several multidisciplinary research groups.

Ongoing projects

ProDigy - Sustainable competitiveness for Satakunta with productivity and digitalization

Project objectives 
To identify the reasons for the low productivity in Satakunta and, through data-driven solutions, to identify the key areas for productivity improvement in the maritime industry, using constructed data models and solutions such as digital twins. The project seeks to strengthen research and innovation activities contributing to a sustainable transition, aligning with the Satakunta regional strategy to enhance expertise and reinforce key industries.

Project duration 1.4.2023-30.6.2024.

Lead organizations 
Turku School of Economics, Pori Unit, and the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the Faculty of Technology, University of Turku.

Päivikki Kuoppakangas (TSE, Pori), Jani Heikkinen (UTU, Mechanical Engineering), and Anne Erkkilä-Välimäki (TSE, Pori). 

Project team

  • Macro-section: Jari Kaivo-oja, Teemu Haukioja, Jarmo Vehmas, and Tuomas Pohjola. 
  • Micro-section: Jani Heikkinen and Rida Kamal. 
  • Project leader Päivikki Kuoppakangas and project manager Anne Erkkilä-Välimäki. 

The macro-level objective of the project is to strengthen the smart specialisation of the Satakunta region in terms of productivity growth and competitiveness. . The green transition in industry can be effectively promoted by utilising AI and data analytics in industrial value networks. 

At the micro level, the project aims to support co-creation between industry and research by utilizing research infrastructures and promoting testing and experimentation. This practically involves, among other things, building ship data models through the use of digital twins.

The project will strengthen coordinated R&D activities based on RDI concepts of the TSE Pori unit and mechanical engineering, contributing to the sustainable competitiveness of the industry in Satakunta. 

The project will promote sustainable transition and competitiveness through productivity and digitalization. The ProDigy project (A80028) has received funding from the Regional Council of Satakunta through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the Innovation and Skills in Finland 2021−2027 program.  




MERIMERKIT - Maritime Network Hub Finland

The Finnish marine industry consists of marine equipment manufacturers, turnkey suppliers, design offices, system suppliers, software providers and shipbuilding, ship repair and offshore yards. At the moment, sustainability represents the key point in all actions of Finnish maritime companies. The transition of Finland's blue economy companies towards carbon neutral and more digital business operations offers a considerable number of opportunities for Finnish maritime companies. Many of these companies have risen to the challenge by developing current and new operations and products. The MERIMERKIT project brings together the knowledge of two different organisations, namely the Lahti Region Development (LADEC) and the Pori unit of the Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku.

Objectives and results
The main objective of MERIMERKIT is to strengthen the competitiveness, vitality and resilience of maritime companies by offering them new solutions facilitating their innovation activities in collaboration with their networks. These innovation activities are targeted to support companies within the maritime industry in their path towards carbon neutral operations and actions. Environmental, economic and business aspects play a key role in the operating models to be built during the project.

The sub-objectives support the achievement of the main objective:
1. Analysis of the current state of the maritime industry (the state of the maritime industry domestically and internationally)
2. Promoting national and international partnerships
3. New operating models and innovation in the maritime industry
4. Communication and information sharing

The implementation of the project is based on interviews, workshops, surveys and studies, and events where support is provided for the development of the models to facilitate the renewal fo the business network. The target group of MERIMERKIT is the entire maritime business life in the area of South and Southwest Finland covering large companies as well as SMEs and micro enterprises.

MERIMERKIT offers a comprehensive information package of the current state of the maritime industry and supports the networking of actors in the business both in Finland and abroad. The main result of the project measures will be the strengthened ability of the maritime companies to implement and coordinate the new sustainable innovations.

The project duration is 1 January 2023–31 December 2025.

MERIMERKIT is a project co-funded by the European Union and implemented by the Lahti Region Development (LADEC) (project code A80495) and the Pori Unit of the Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku (project code A80496). The funding authority is the Regional Council of Satakunta from the EU Regional and Structural Policy Programme ”Innovation and Skills in Finland 2021–2027”.

Lead organisations
Lahti Region Development (LADEC)
Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku, Pori Unit (TSE Pori) 

Project Team
Ville Uimonen | +358 50 574 3222 | Lahti Region Development LADEC
Anne E. Suominen | +358 40 779 9494 | University of Turku


compilation of six organisation logos
MALAMA - The surface preparation of the surface to be painted in the Marine context

The MALAMA project has been developed to meet the need for advanced laser-based cleaning, surface treatment, polishing and texturing in the shipbuilding industry. Laser beam is used in a number of different material processing processes and is typically a truly digital machining method. Applications are numerous, and in many cases, the laser-based process is displacing traditional technology as it is environmentally friendly, economic, and digital.

The preparation of the surface to be painted and the cleaning of the surface before painting are done in several stages in the shipbuilding industry. The work is typically a heavy, dirty, and difficult craft with a substantial and vague carbon footprint. The project aims to explore the potential of advanced laser-based cleaning, surface treatment, polishing, and texturing technology and bring the surface preparation to the level required by shipbuilding applications so that the potential of the technology is known economically and from the environmental aspect. The project will in particular target companies in the maritime cluster and packaging industry as well as other technology industry clusters and stakeholders potentially benefiting from the technology.

In addition, the MALAMA project aims to study and compare shot blasting technology and laser processing, especially from the perspectives of their environmental impact and economy. It will test the suitability of advanced laser-based cleaning, surface treatment, polishing, and texturing technologies and later, based on the laboratory results, test the most promising laser processing in a real operating environment. The project also aims to identify the most economically advantageous laser processing in the context of shipbuilding and analyse the effects of the introduction of digital technologies on companies’ business models, especially from the economic point of view.

The project duration 1 May 2023 to 30 April 2025.

The MALAMA project is a project co-funded by the European Union and implemented by the Pori Unit of the Turku School of Economics (TSE Pori) and the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering of the University of Turku (project code A80056). The funding authority is the Regional Council of Satakunta from the EU Regional and Structural Policy Programme ”Innovation and Skills in Finland 2021–2027”.

Lead organisations
Turku School of Economics, Pori Unit (TSE Pori), and the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the Faculty of Technology, University of Turku.

Project Team
Project Director Päivikki Kuoppakangas, TSE Pori, University of Turku
Professor Antti Salminen, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University of Turku
Project Manager Kirsi Laitio, TSE Pori, University of Turku
Senior Research Scientist Heidi Piili, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University of Turku
Communication Coordinator Anna Huusko, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University of Turku




Euroopan unionin osarahoittama lippulogo ja teksti


Satakuntaliitto - vaakunalogo ja nimi


SATUMAA – Satakunta peatlands: from peatproduction to new livelihoods and meanings

Project objectives:

The project supports the new multi-use of Satakunta peatlands and just transition by generating, compiling and sharing information to support private and public decision-making and by bringing stakeholders together. Stakeholders are those whose lives directly or indirectly are connected to peatlands, including those living near the peatlands. The project will identify suitable uses for three different types of former peatland. It will also identify new uses that have already been introduced and their feasibility in Satakunta. The project produces an information tool that supports landowners, companies and authorities in selecting a new use for each peatland that creates new livelihoods and meanings in an ecologically sustainable way and maximizes the socio-ecological benefits.

The implementation of the project is based on workshops, where the views of the operators are mapped and information and support are provided for the development of the new uses of peatlands. Actors are seen as everyone for whom the bog can provide ecosystem services. As a result of the project, the ability of the landowners and other stakeholders to develop new activities and see new meanings of peatlands is strengthened.

Project duration: 1.11.2023-30.6.2026

Lead organizations: University of Turku: School of Economics, Pori Unit and the Department of Landscape Studies and Finnish Environment Institute SYKE

Funding: Satakuntaliitto – The Regional Council of Satakunta

Contact: Päivikki Kuoppakangas (University of Turku, TSE Pori Unit)

Project team: University of Turku: Reeta Hautaniemi (TSE Pori Unit, project manager), Jarmo Vehmas (FFRC), Eeva Raike (Department of Landscape Studies), Laura Puolamäki (Department of Landscape Studies, starting 1.4.2024)

Finnish Environment Institute SYKE: Anu Lähteenmäki-Uutela, Antti Sallinen




The project aims to create a sustainability metric system for small and micro-enterprises in the primary production and food supply chains, and associated bio and circular economy sectors in the Satakunta region. The project is part of the concrete implementation of sustainable and intelligent transitions in key sectors in Satakunta, supporting the integration of research, development, and innovation (RDI) activities in the development of Satakunta's industry ecosystems.

The project responds to the upcoming changes in the EU financing system, particularly in relation to sustainability reporting and EU regulations. These regulations connect financing with the implementation of climate and environmental goals. The goal of the project is to support the significance of sustainable development and responsibility in improving the added value and cost-effectiveness of the business in the Satakunta food cluster, thereby contributing to the economic development of the region. The metric system and its development process directly support the sustainable business development of companies and make the formation of value chains and networks transparent. It helps companies and development stakeholders identify opportunities and areas for development in the sustainable green transition of business, which can be addressed through RDI activities. The metric system and development process strengthen the innovation capabilities of companies, involve bio and circular economy actors in the development of food industry value chains, and enhance the RDI and innovation ecosystem of the food cluster in Satakunta.

Lead organization: University of Turku, TSE Pori

Project duration: 1.1.2024-31.12.2024

Funding: Satakuntaliitto – The Regional Council of Satakunta

Contact: Päivikki Kuoppakangas

Project team: Siina Kallio (projektipäällikkö) ja Ville Salonen (projektityöntekijä)

Completed projects

ASKO – Expert economy development program

The goal of the ASKO project is to support the development of the regional economy and organizations, to produce high-level research information on the themes of the expert project, and to participate in the RDI activities of the region by supporting the intelligent specialization of the region and the new integration of areas of expertise.

Project implementation period: 1 January 2015 – 31 December 2018

Main funder: Satakuntaliitto (EAKR)

Responsible manager: Kimmo Laakso

EAKR EU-logo Vipuvoimaa EU-logo
Bugs and Brands

Bugs and Brands is a research and regional development project of the Pori unit of the University of Turku School of Economics focusing on the insect economy.

The practical goal of the project is to promote the regional competitiveness of Satakunta by creating sustainable economic growth and jobs based on the insect economy, especially in the rural areas of the region.






DigiLuonto Satakunta

DigiLuonto Satakunta is a project coordinated by the Pori unit of the University of Turku School of Economics, which promotes the digital renewal of nature and cultural travel destinations, international capabilities and the sustainable growth of destination areas in Satakunta. The Pori unit of the University of Tampere acts as a partial implementer.


  • Improving the accessibility of natural sites
  • Interactivity and digitally expanded experience contents
  • Increasing attractiveness in new target groups
  • Co-development of business connections and open data solutions
  • Development and capabilities (MR, IoT, open data)

The measures will increase the attractiveness of natural attractions, customer satisfaction and visitor loyalty, with the following sustainable growth effects in the selected pilot areas in particular: an increase in the number of tourists and diversification of target groups, the creation of innovative tourism products, as well as positive effects on employment and the number of new companies.

The project operated during 1 April 2019 - 31 March 2021


HygLi – From Hygiene to Business

The aim of the "Hygiene to Business" project is to support Satakunta's intelligent specialization in indoor hygiene and resource-wise building technology and to network the research of Satakunta's universities, companies and the public sector.

In addition, the goal of the project is to 

  • Increase Satakunta's innovation openings with training, workshops and Living Lab innovation platforms
  • To implement a new building technical design guideline for the implementation of a hygienic indoor environment as a Living Lab innovation opening
  • To support identifying new business opportunities in the business network and transforming innovation openings into business. 


The leading implementer of the joint project is Satakunta University of Applied Sciences' Water Institute WANDER, partially implemented by the Turku University School of Economics' Pori unit.

Project implementation period: 1 January 2015 – 31 August 2017


Main funder: Satakuntaliitto (EAKR)

Co-financers: City of Rauma, Abloy Oy, Aurubis Finland Oy, Biolan Oy, Genano Oy, Halton Oy, Isku Interior Oy, ISS Proko Oy, Lankapaja Oy, Merivaara Oy, Oras Oy, Progman Oy, SCDA, Väinö Korpinen Oy


Responsible manager: Kimmo Laakso



The main implementer of the IHMEC project is the Turku School of Economics, Pori unit.

Co-producers are Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Royal Institute of Technology, Uppsala University, Tartu Business Advisory Service and Estonian Woodhouse Association.

Affiliate partner: Finnish Hospital Technology Association.

Project implementation period: 3/2018 - 2/2021

Main funder: Interreg Central Baltic

Budget: €2.18 million

Responsible manager: Tiina Mäkitalo-Keinonen


The KumppanuusAkatemia project's goal is to develop home and family care for the elderly. In the project, the partnership and network skills of the entities working with the elderly are developed, and the understanding of the importance of the customer orientation of services in the development of services is increased.

The project aims to promote the partnership of the public, private and third sectors in the multi-actor network of the elderly. The goal is that by developing the skills of the multi-actor network, it is possible to produce better integrated and more customer-oriented home and family care services for the elderly.

In the KumppanuusAkatemia-project:

  • an electronic platform will be developed for the networking of parties involved in the care of the elderly and the development of network skills
  • information is produced on the operation and management of a multi-stakeholder network involved in home and family care services for the elderly
  • network operators are involved in the customer-oriented development of services
  • enabling the development of service design and business opportunities for operators of the home and family care network
  • Workshops and seminars promoting networking are organized


Implementation period: 1 January 2019 – 28 February 2021

Implemented by: University of Turku School of Economics, Pori unit

Main funder: Satakuntaliitto

Learning Camp – Success in change management through think tank interaction (THINK TANK)

The project creates a new community-based think tank learning operating model in cooperation between experts and companies. The project includes interventions based on the joint learning of companies to develop change management using the Learning Camp operating model. The project is implemented in collaboration with the Satakunta BuzzBusiness network (Turku School of Economics - Pori Unit, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and Prizztech Oy).

Project implementation period: 1 January 2015 – 31 March 2017

Main funder: TEKES

Responsible manager: Ulla Hytti

OPI TOI! - Operating environments of student entrepreneurship

We are involved in the Student Entrepreneurship Operating Environments sub-project, which is part of the flagship project Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Activities.

The student entrepreneurship project is coordinated by Åbo Akademi, and in addition to University of Turku School of Economics Pori unit, the University of Oulu and the Novia and Centria universities of applied sciences are partners.

The goal is to develop the Pori University Center's operating environment so that it even better supports students' entrepreneurial skills and an entrepreneurial way of thinking and acting.

Implementation period: 1 August 2018 - 31 May 2021

Budget: €220,000

Main funder: Ministry of Education and Culture

Responsible manager of the project: Salla Siivonen

Plan4Blue WP1.1 Potential for Blue Economy - sector strategies and development trends

Turku School of Economics, Pori unit, is involved in the Potential for Blue Economy work package of the Plan4Blue project coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute. The project examines blue growth, the current state of coastal industries and strategies for Kymenlaakso, Uusimaa, Varsinais-Finland and the northern coast of Estonia. 

The project uses a multi-method approach: economic development trends have been analyzed with quantitative methods using national statistics and the Orbis Europe database as data. The understanding of future sector strategies and development trends has been built with qualitative methods together with the project's stakeholders both in workshops and through interviews and the delphi process. 

EU and OECD national policy papers have been used to form a picture of how the understanding created, based on the project's materials, is related to the broader economic development of the Baltic Sea region.

Project implementation period: 10/2016 - 9/2019

STRATOS - With strategy-oriented competence management, productivity and well-being at work for micro and SME companies

The goal of the project is to build a strategy-based competence management operating model suitable for micro and SME companies. The goal is to get the company's personnel and management to understand the principles of strategy-oriented competence management and to see the benefits that come from this, as well as to understand the mutual connection between productivity and work well-being in everyday practices and management.

With the help of a new operating model, companies' knowledge resources can be used more efficiently, increasing productivity. The operating model will be widely used nationwide. The project also produces national information about the most significant competence needs of micro and SME companies behind productivity and well-being at work.

Project implementation period: 1.1. 2016 - 30.4.2018

Main funder: Häme Ely Center (ESR)

Responsible manager:  Kimmo Laakso