JAMK Centre For Competitiveness

enhanching competitiveness and prosperity

Category Archives: FYI

JAMK Centre for Competitiveness presented at Nordic Business Forum

By Murat Akpinar


JAMK stand at the forum

JAMK Centre for Competitiveness was presented at the JAMK stand at the Nordic Business Forum in Jyväskylä during September 20-21, 2012.

The two-day forum focused on growth from business, personal and well-being perspectives. Keynote speakers from abroad and their topics were Sir Richard Branson (leadership strategies for growth), Brian Tracy (sales), Daniel Tracy (human motivation and performance), and Prof. Hans Rosling (growth of well-being). The forum enjoyed full-participation of about 2,300 individuals from Finland and abroad.

My three eye-opening take-aways from the conference:

  • What we think we know about the world today is mostly based on beliefs from the past, and they are false in today’s ever changing world (Hans Rosling). See www.gapminder.org for fact-based world views and future trends.
  • External motivation factors (rewards, money) work out for improving performance to achieve short-term goals in simple, mechanical tasks. As research shows, they have an adverse effect in more complex tasks which demand creativity (Daniel Pink).
  • Growth entrepreneurship requires personal courage and hunger for success. As we are living in the best of times in history (in terms of individual well-being), it is difficult nowadays to get such “hunters” in Finland. (Mika Anttonen, Peter Vesterbacka, Anne Berner, Taneli Tikka).

More about the conference in the Nordic Business Report at http://www.nbforum.fi/nbreport

What can branding offer for high-tech SME companies?

By Murat Akpinar


Heidi Neuvonen

In this month’s webinar by JAMK Centre for Competitiveness the importance of branding was emphasized by specialist Heidi Neuvonen from JAMK who has many years of working experience in brand building and currently finalizing her doctoral thesis about this subject.

At the beginning of the webinar, Heidi Neuvonen elaborated on branding strategy and how its right application contributes to company competitiveness. She then went through challenges of building brands in high-tech companies, and the webinar ended with recommendations for both company managers and administrators of regional development and support organizations for improving branding. To access the branding webinar, click the link below:


The webinar sessions are being recorded and available online at http://blogit.jamk.fi/cfc/ . To access past sessions, click the link in the appropriate webinar description. For further information regarding the content, we encourage you to contact the key speakers after the event. The contact info is provided in the video.

We also welcome your opinions on potential topics to be included in our webinars. For suggestions please make a comment in the blog post or contact Murat Akpinar at murat.akpinar@jamk.fi

The Future of European Competitiveness

By Murat Akpinar


European competitiveness challenges were discussed by politicians, business leaders, academics, and new graduates during the Global Business Leaders Conference on July 6, 2012 at INSEAD Business School in France. European crisis emerged from the need to finance high levels of public debt in Greece, Portugal, and Spain. Speakers, however, address main challenges for future European competitiveness as combination of high wages and low innovation, structural inflexibilities in European labor markets, high levels of unemployment among the youth, aging population, mismatch between current skills and job offerings, and most importantly the lack of political consensus and leadership to respond fast to these issues.

To gain more insight, you can watch videos from the conference here.

Living Lab – a User-centered Open Innovation Ecosystem

By Heidi Neuvonen

Piotr Krawczyk

A series of JAMK Centre for Competitiveness webinars started this week by introducing the Living Lab – concept, which was presented by a specialist Piotr Krawczyk from JAMK. Murat Akpinar from JAMK acted as a host. It was possible for the audience to participate in the discussion by asking questions.

At the beginning of the webinar, Piotr Krawczyk elaborated on the basic concepts. Living Lab and user-driven innovation are topical concepts globally, nationally and locally. Living Labs are innovation environments in real-life settings which are integrated within social context of service and/or product developments. Several actual examples and future activities were provided in the discussion. The webinar ended with recommendations for improving the potential contributions of living labs on regional competitiveness. To access the Living Lab webinar, click the link below:


The webinar sessions are being recorded and available online at http://blogit.jamk.fi/cfc/ . To access past sessions, click the link in the appropriate webinar description. For further information regarding the content, we encourage you to contact the key speakers after the event. The contact info is provided in the video.

We also welcome your opinions on potential topics to be included in our webinars. For suggestions please make a comment in the blog post or contact Murat Akpinar at murat.akpinar@jamk.fi


Visits of Competitiveness Institutes Abroad

International Competitiveness Research Institute (URAK), Istanbul, Turkey

On June 18, Murat Akpinar visited Dr. Melih Bulu, the general coordinator at the International Competitiveness Research Institute (URAK) in Turkey http://www.urak.org/uluslararasi-rekabet-arastirmalari-kurumu/ . The purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with the activities of both Centres and look for future cooperation possibilities. URAK has been established under the leadership of Ali Koc, a family member of Turkey’s leading industrial holding group, Koc Holding. The institute, sponsored mainly by the industry, employs two administrative personel and seven researchers from various Turkish universities. Researchers carry out research projects on competitiveness of Turkish industries as well as Turkish cities. URAK is a member of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils http://www.thegfcc.org/ .

Tusiad – Sabanci University Competitiveness Forum, Istanbul, Turkey

On July 18, Murat Akpinar visited Dr. Izak Atiyas, the general coordinator at the Tusiad – Sabanci University Competitiveness Forum (REF) http://ref.sabanciuniv.edu/ . REF has been jointly established as a research institute by Sabanci University (a private university owned by Sabanci Holding, a leading industrial holding group in Turkey) and TUSIAD, Turkish Industry and Business Association. Besides conducting research REF is also active in organizing seminars and congresses for industry representatives and businessmen. The institute is presenting competitiveness awards to companies during the annual Competitiveness Congress.

It was expressed during both visits to develop and organize joint research projects and activities between Finland and Turkey.

Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University

Group photo

By Sanna Sihvonen
Principal Lecturer
JAMK School of Health and Social Studies

The Global Health Delivery Project (GHD) at Harvard University recently (July 15-20, 2012) hosted a workshop for its Faculty Network. The network’s initiative is to teach its case-based curriculum in global health delivery to education professionals working in classrooms around the world. The eleven network members, including principal lecturer Sanna Sihvonen from JAMK, attended the workshop at Harvard and observed case teaching in the concurrent Global Health Effectiveness Program and engaged in intensive focused small-group discussion about how to utilize and integrate the cases into their own classrooms. Attendees represented faculty from a range of disciplines, including medicine, nursing, rehabilitation, business and the social sciences, and came to Boston from places as diverse as India, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, the Czech Republic and Finland. The workshop also marked the launch of a virtual private Faculty Network Community hosted on GHDonline.org  for ongoing exchange of lessons learned. Dr. Rebecca Weintraub, GHD Executive Director, anticipates that GHD will offer additional workshops as well as related learning opportunities based on the online community conversations. GHD has funded the development of over 26 GHD case studies based on the Harvard Business School case study teaching methodology. GHD cases (and teaching notes for faculty) are available for free download from Harvard Business Publishing.

Finland’s Transition to a Knowledge Economy

Pekka Ylä-Anttila

By Pekka Ylä-Anttila

Original news available at http://www.etla.fi/eng/index.php?did=1390

For anyone interested in economic change, Finland is an interesting case for two reasons. First, Finland has transformed itself in a relatively short period from a resource-intensive economy into a knowledge-based one. Second, the transformation coincided with major macro economic crisis in the early nineties – recovery from a deep recession and major structural transformation took place simultaneously. Among the OECD countries Finland is one of the late industrializing ones. Industrialization process really took off in the latter part of the nineteenth century, but the income per capita level remained roughly one half of that in the Great Britain – the leading economy at that time.

Still, during the post war decades, up the 1960s, Finland was in the catching–up phase of development — relying mainly on imported technologies and abundant forest resources. Physical investment intensity was among the highest in Europe, and foreign trade, financial markets and capital movements were heavily regulated.

Today, Finland is not only one of the most open economies in the world, but also one of the leading knowledge-based economies. Research and development expenditure in relation to GDP is one of the highest in the world – about 3,5 %. Higher education enrollment is well above the OECD average; number of researchers in relation to population is higher than in any other country. During the 1990s the economy oriented heavily towards ICT (information and communication technologies), and by the end of the decade the country was the most ICT specialized economy in the world.

Finland has been ranked top in virtually all international comparisons measuring competitiveness, or knowledge economy developments — including World Bank Knowledge Economy Index, and OECD’s Student Assessment tests (the so called PISA studies). This transition to knowledge economy is quite remarkable especially when considering Finland’s economic situation in the early 1990s. The country went through a severe economic recession characterized by a major banking crisis, unemployment rates rising over 15 percent, and the accumulation of government debt from modest levels to over 60 percent of GDP and approaching international lending limits. However, by the end of the decade the country’s macroeconomic performance was among the strongest in Europe. The rapid structural transformation coincided with fast improving of macro balances.

The Finnish experience shows that it is possible to make significant structural changes in a short time — as long as there is a real sense of urgency, supporting institutions, and political consensus of what needs to be done. What has actually happened in Finland between the early nineties and today? Can we explain it, are there any lessons to be learned?

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