A branch of the University of Turku's degree program in machine and materials technology is also available on Salo IoT Campus as of February 2nd. Class activities on campus bring the University and companies in the Salo area closer together and also introduce battery-based materials research into the collaboration.
"The collaboration between the University and Salo IoT Campus will solidify even further once the University begins its operations here in Salo," says Jukka Vakula, CEO of Salo IoT Campus.
Vakula further describes aspects about the operations of the University in Salo, which aim to cooperate more closely with local companies in the area: "Students have a better opportunity to familiarize themselves with campus businesses. With the diploma work and internships having been completed, there will be a skilled workforce available for companies in the region."
"By working together, we create new relationships and opportunities"
The University's branch at Salo IoT Campus is linked to the Professorship of Battery and Material Technology, jointly funded by the City of Salo, Lounea, Lounaismaan Osuuspankki, Someron Säästöpankki, SSO, LähiTapiola Etelä, Tehtailija Juho Leinon Säätiö, Salo Chamber of Commerce, Valmet Automotive, Kesko, Finnfoam, Salon Seudun Elinkeinomessut r.y., Fortum and Juha Punta säätiö.
The Professorship of Battery and Material Technology is one of seven university donation- funded professorships and is expected to last for five years. Pekka Peljo serves as Professor of Battery and Material Technology at the University of Turku.
Peljo also emphasizes that the operations in Salo are accelerating networking: "By working together, we create new relationships and opportunities between us and the companies on the campus," explains Peljo. In addition, Salo IoT Campus offers work facilities for different student projects.
Peljo emphasizes the long-term nature of the project and its employment role in the coming years: "We aim to ensure that in the future, Masters of Science in Technology can be employed at local companies."
The Machine and Materials Technology bachelor’s and master's programs in mechanical and material engineering began last fall. "35 Bachelor’s and 10 Master’s students began the Material Technology training program," says Peljo. He also mentioned that battery materials relate to this research area.
Southwest Finland as a Center of Battery Technology
Like the Campus and the University, Yrityssalo emphasizes the importance of cooperation as part of future growth and development. "We too aim to have a broad partnership between companies and universities," says Johanna Valio, Project Manager of the Kasvua sähköistymisen yritysekosysteemistä (growth from an enterprise ecosystem of electrification) project.
Kasvua sähköistymisen yritysekosysteemistä is a joint venture between Yrityssalo and Turku Science Park, which aims to strengthen Southwest Finland’s position as a center of expertise in battery technology and electric mobility.
The project, which also works with the University's battery research, emphasizes that the demand for battery-powered applications, battery solutions and various support services will increase even further with electric-based transport.
"The goal is to find new business potential and to sharpen the whole of Southwest Finland's role as a part of the national battery value chain," Valio describes the objectives of the project and reflects the importance of the circular economy as part of the overall package.
Valio also emphasizes seeking new paths: "There are already strong players in this area and it is important to support their efforts in a variety of ways. We also encourage you to consider where new business could be found."
Experts and Innovators under the Campus Roof
With the University of Turku branch, higher-education operations and classes on campus will expand even further. Already beforehand, the Turku University of Applied Sciences and their Cyber Laboratory have begun operations on campus.
Vakula welcomes the development process and other universities and educational institutions to the campus: "Salo IoT Campus brings together start-ups, growth companies, large anchor companies and educational institutions offering different degrees under the same roof."
The CEO specifies that the campus will focus particularly on cooperation between different groups in the future: "We are investing heavily in new innovations right from our own campus."