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The Interface Between Higher Educational Institutions and Companies in Northwest Russia
Start date: Mar 31, 2007, End date: Dec 30, 2007 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The target group of the project was higher education institutions in Oulu and companies from the environment industry in North Finland. The goal of the project was to create preconditions for the increase and development of business cooperation in the nearby areas, and to significantly increase the amount of business activity of companies from the Oulu area in the Barents region. A goal was also to create a foundation for more extensive education and research cooperation between higher education institutions in Oulu and Petrozavodsk State University and the State Technical Universities in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. The intention was to create and develop networks which could be used by companies and higher education institutions in North Finland to implement operations related to cooperation with neighbouring areas as well as obtain contacts in Northwest Russia. A goal was also to organise operational models that would support cooperation of SME companies in the environment industry with the actors in Northwest Russia. In addition, the intention was to create plans for the research cooperation between the aforementioned educational institutions. As a result of the project, educational and research cooperation plans would be created for the aforementioned educational institutions in various disciplines. Achievements: The project arranged continuing education events for further studies, which were used to increase the ability of actors to operate in international projects. Through practical experience, expertise was increased in all participating higher education institutions: the capacity of units to operate at the interface of universities and companies was strengthened. In order to support the cooperation between SME companies in the environment industry in North Finland and the companies and universities in Northwest Russia, the project conducted market research. The results were used to assess the capabilities of companies to direct their operations to the market in Northwest Russia. Actors were brought together by arranging Business Workshops, which were used to present Finnish and Western expertise in the environment industry and as an opportunity to create new contacts. These events were used as groundwork to create a continuing education model, which can also be used in other Finnish-Russian continuing education seminars, and other similar events. A goal of the project was to structure the educational and research cooperation between the higher education institutions in Oulu, Arkhangelsk, and Murmansk. In order to achieve the goal, previous cooperation between the educational institutions was assessed and current areas of interest identifi ed. Th e project produced an extensive report of the potential cooperation areas, which will be used as the foundation for cooperation implemented in the future. One new project received external funding and was started during the implementation period of the project. Another was launched using internal funding by the actors, and several other projects are undergoing further discussions between the associated parties.
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