Universities and businesses are jointly developing a virtual service environment

Submitted on Tue, 02/13/2018 - 12:53

Digital User Services in Real Estate Business, a joint project of universities and businesses, is developing new services that utilise active user participation and learning by experimenting.

The Digital User Services in Real Estate Business (Virpa-D) project aims at developing excellent user experiences for the users of business premises in order to improve productivity and to drive easier and healthier daily activities.

The project is based on learning by experimenting and close cooperation between the various parties. In addition, the project commissions research into the future needs of user services, user experience design, business models, data collection and analysis, and digital platform architecture.

“The University of Tampere is developing an intelligent system for recommending buildings, user interfaces and furniture that is integrated in intelligent facilities, as well as analysing the data created in the project,” says Professor Jyrki Nummenmaa.

The companies and universities participating in the project form an ecosystem, which is developing new scalable user services for the real estate and business premises sectors. The project is based on learning by experimenting and close cooperation between the various parties. In addition, the project commissions research into the future needs of user services, user experience design, business models, data collection and analysis, and digital platform architecture.
 
Developing new user-based services for international markets

Helvar, Lassila & Tikanoja, Sodexo and Tieto are leading four mini ecosystems that connect the business sectors involved. The services produced within these mini ecosystems are divided into four themes: well-being, the restaurant branch, data driven user services, and the emphatic building. The network-based project model ensures the commercial application of the results by consulting and pilot projects.
 
“Ecosystems are a modern, but also a future-oriented approach that combines the expertise of different actors to benefit the industry as a whole,” says Jarmo Lehto, coordinator of the ecosystem.

“In the real estate sector, innovations and new ideas are often hidden. Development, experimental learning and the involvement of researchers provide unique opportunities for the real estate sector. With these projects, we will also shape intelligent cities of the future,” says Lehto continues.
 
Ecosystem solutions with a profound societal impact

 
The ecosystem will produce significant benefits for companies, research institutes, society, and the customers of real estate services.

The project supports the development and commercialisation of services that encourage changes in the work culture. The services may be offered to both companies and individuals.

At the heart of these solutions is enhancing the user experience, which will bring added value and business benefits as well as drive commitment to the company. One of the most significant operational principles is exporting the new ecosystem services internationally. The Virpa-D project will produce an estimated €740 millions’ worth of new turnover, €342 millions’ worth of new exports, and 1,569 new jobs.

“The Virpa-D project team is a part of Business Finland’s Feelings program that finances high-quality research on, among other things, emotions, new technologies and digital customer experiences. The parties involved have recognised the possibilities of intangible value creation for new business development,” says Program Manager Sanna Piiroinen.
 
For further information, please contact:
Project coordinator, CEO Jarmo Lehto, Jalecon Oy,  tel. +358 40 833 1131, jarmo.lehto@jalecon.com
 
The Digital User Services in Real Estate Business (Virpa-D) project is a part of the Virpa consortium focusing on ongoing development projects within the real estate sector, and on developmental projects that link various sectors closely connected to the field. The project is formed by Granlund Oy, Helvar Oy, Lassila & Tikanoja Oyj, M-Brain Insight Oy, Newsec Asset Management Oy, Sodexo Oy, Suomen Yliopistokiinteistöt Oy, Tieto Finland Oy, Valossa Labs Oy and the University of Oulu’s facilities services and data management. In addition, the research and development in the project is supported by the University of Oulu, Tampere University of Technology, the University of Tampere and the University of Turku. Jalecon Oy is undertaking the preparatory work and coordination of the project. The project is jointly financed by Business Finland and the participating companies and research institutes.