Tuija Hirvikoski is a director at Laurea University of Applied Sciences responsible for the creation of a new non-profit company in Helsinki metropolitan focusing on Urban Sustainability and Holistic Wellbeing. The company aims for purpose driven research, development and innovation (RDI) together with the academic, private, civic and public organizations. Based on her work on impact driven RDI and education and on behalf of the European Network of Living Labs (ENOLL) she received the Innovation Luminary Award for the best Open Innovation Infrastructure Creation (EC OISPG). She is currently a member of the EC Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP) and has assisted CoR members Mr. Markku Markkula and Anne Karjalainen as an innovation expert.
She has held various managerial positions at different Finnish higher education institutions and governmental institutions focusing on sustainable regional and societal development. Hirvikoski’s specific area of expertise is related to the orchestration of purpose driven multi-stakeholder and user-centred innovation design and ecosystem development (Open Living Labs).
She is a former long-term Vice-President of Laurea, during that time the Laurea become the most awarded university of applied science in Finland. Laurea had a nine-year continuous succession of nominations as a National Centre of Excellence (both for the Excellence in Regional Impact and the Educational Excellence) by the National Evaluation Council. This success has been due to Laurea’s innovative leadership model (Freedom within framework) and its operative methods (such as the Learning by Developing, LbD, and the Living Labs) integrating university’s curricular and RDI activities to the needs of its stakeholders. Laurea’s methods are based on innovation co-creation and experimentation with different national and international stakeholders and they provide Laurea graduates with excellent employment opportunities and high numbers of new Start-Ups. Consequently, Laurea is currently one of Finland’s most popular Higher Education Institution among the university applicants.