The operations of the Small Business Center of the Aalto University School of Business in Mikkeli, Helsinki, Saint Petersburg and Tallinn will be transferred to Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences (Mamk) starting on 1 May 2016.
The transfer to Mamk will make the Small Business Center a part of the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk), following a merger which takes place at the beginning of 2017.
Operations supporting entrepreneurship to continue
The Small Business Center offers services and development solutions for entrepreneurship and SMEs. The operations are primarily focused on research and development work carried out with project funding as well as continuing education. The unit was established in 1980 and has over 20 employees.
As a part of its saving measures and reorganisation of operations, Aalto University decided to gradually give up the Small Business Center operations at the beginning of this year. At the same time, the aim was to find someone to continue the Small Business Center operations.
– It is great that a new owner was now found for the Small Business Center. Aalto University will continue its strong activities for educating and coaching growth entrepreneurs as well as commercialising research-based innovations. We aim to also continue cooperating with the Small Business Center in the future, says President of Aalto University Tuula Teeri.
Strengthening international project endeavours
It is considered at Mikkeli and South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences that the competence at the Small Business Center will support the strategic objectives of the university of applied sciences well.
– In particular, the move of the Small Business Center to the University of Applied Sciences will raise the development of business activities to a new level. We will also not lose the expertise that has accumulated in the Small Business Center over the decades, summarises Jyrki Koivikko, Chair of the Board of Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences.
The transfer of the Small Business Center will enhance the position of Xamk as a strong actor in research and development work also at the international level, especially in regions bordering Finland.
– The projects are well suited to Xamk's research and development focuses. The Small Business Center will particularly provide added value in relation to Baltic Sea programmes, direct EU applications and international network contacts. Supporting entrepreneurship and cooperation with the bordering regions suit the activities of our university of applied sciences operating in two provinces in every way', explains Jussi Lehtinen, Chair of the Board of Xamk Ltd.
The transfer is part of the structural reform and clarification of the division of duties in the field of higher education institutes in Finland.
– Mamk and Kyam have already been conducting this work actively for years. There is a desire to continue developing the collaboration with Aalto University, notes Lehtinen.
Aalto University will carry out close cooperation with the Small Business Center. Aalto University and Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences already have collaborative projects, such as the utilisation of the FiberLaboratory, which operates in Savonlinna.