News 2023
People working in the service design laboratory Sinco at the University of Lapland. Photo: Sinco.
Creative methods, such as service design, theater and audiovisual digital applications are utilised to study, test and develop new, digital service concepts. Photo: Sinco.

Business Finland funding for integrating digital service concepts and creative industries' expertise


The Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland has received a Business Finland funding of 349.500 euros for a two-year project which will study, test and develop – together with business partners – new, digital service concepts that utilise expertise in the creative fields.

In the co-innovation project "Empathy business: How to digitize service prototyping and business through creativity?" the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland and business partners Content Union Ltd, Zone Ii Ltd, Zone2 Pictures Ltd, Wetteri and Volvo Cars study, test and develop new digital service solutions and concepts that utilise the knowledge of creative fields and new technology. Especially the expertise of performing arts, design and audiovisual media is brought into the development of service concepts.

"Our goal is to promote the competitiveness of creative industries by producing new methods, models and tools for the use of companies and experts in creative industries. In areas that are strongly based on interaction between people, such as creative industries, new solutions have to be developed to productize knowledge and keep up with the competition. The share of creative industries in the gross domestic product in Finland is about four percent. This falls short of the international level, which is seven percent. With this project we are promoting the national goal of increasing the share of the creative economy to match the international level," says Dean, Professor Satu Miettinen from the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland.

Professor Miettinen states that the good competitiveness of the creative industries benefits other industries, too.

"Expertise in creative fields is crucial, for example, when determining the needs of service users or the usability of technological solutions. This kind of expertise is needed when organisations are renewing and developing their digital services, product solutions and operating methods," Professor Miettinen emphasises.

A new digital service solution that utilises expertise in the creative fields could be, for example, online testing of a new service with the help of a service sample, a simulation of the service experience using theater methods, or a completely new online service experience that utilises new audiovisual technology. The use of various creative methods, such as service design, theater and audiovisual digital applications, in digital environments using 3D technology, for example, is new nationally and partly internationally, too.

The results of the project will be actively shared at various events both to the scientific audience and to professionals in the creative fields, so that other companies and operators can also take advantage of new research information and knowledge.

The Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland, Content Union Ltd, Zone Ii Ltd and Zone2 Pictures Ltd implement the project together, each with their own sub-projects and funding. In addition, Wetteri and Volvo Cars are business partners in the sub-project of the University of Lapland. The project will run for two years during 2023–2024. The total budget of the University's project is 499.400 euros, of which the funding of Business Finland is 349.500 euros. The funding has been granted as part of the innovation funding call for creative industries, which implements Finland's sustainable growth program and is part of the European Union's Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The purpose of RRF funding is to revive the European economy and build an even greener and more digital society.

Further information:

Satu Miettinen
Dean, Professor of Service Design
University of Lapland, Faculty of Art and Design
Tel. +358 40 484 4367
satu.miettinen (at)