Grants from SUE (the Finnish Foreign Trade Promotion Fund) to students of service design and law


Service design student Kirsti Ikonen and law student Hilja Autto have received grants for their theses from SUE.

The University of Lapland, the University of Eastern Finland, and SUE signed a collaboration agreement in spring 2020 with an aim to support master's theses that address the internationalisation or export of companies in Lapland and eastern Finland. Following the spring 2021 application round, two students from the University of Lapland were rewarded: law student Hilja Autto and service design student Kirsti Ikonen. The grants are worth 2,500 euros each.

"This application round nicely brought out two rewarded students as well as the contribution of the scientific and artistic educational programmes of our university from the viewpoint of international trade. It feels good to see how versatile, multidisciplinary, and business-oriented the research of our faculties is already in the thesis phase," notes Satu Uusiautti, Vice-Rector for education.

User-friendly terms of agreement through information design

In her thesis, Hilja Autto uses information design to create more user-friendly terms and conditions. She builds her thesis on the terms and conditions of Nordic NL 17 concerning the supply of machinery and other mechanical, electrical, and electronic equipment. Autto strives to make them more functional and user-friendly by using pictures and information design.

"I analyse the terms and conditions with cross-disciplinary tools and produce alternative, user-friendly terms of agreement through theoretic knowledge and information design. The solution proposals are intended for the design of all types of agreements at the national and international levels," Autto says.

The purpose of the study is to produce solution ideas for the design of terms and conditions, to enhance the possibilities for B2B trade and collaboration, and to inspire agreement designers to engage in more courageous information design and visualisation.

"Information design and visualisation are means to reach common goals. By investing in user-friendly agreements, users are able to better understand the terms and conditions, which improves the chances of reaching a mutual understanding," says Autti about the impact of her study.

The possibilities of service design in small enterprises in Lapland

Kirsti Ikonen, a student in the Service Design Master's Programme, examines in her thesis the possibilities of service design in micro enterprises that lean on international tourism in Lapland.

Building on action research, the thesis strives to produce new knowledge about service design in small tourism enterprises and to create a digital design toolkit for small companies through the methods of service design.

"Service design is a process that is mostly seen used in large companies and projects. There is considerably less research on service design in micro enterprises. With my thesis, I intend to show how service design could also be utilised in small tourism enterprises," notes Ikonen.

SUE grants in support of master's theses

Students of the University of Lapland and the University of Eastern Finland are eligible to apply for the SUE grant, provided that the thesis fulfils at least one of the following criteria:

  • It is related to the internationalisation or export of businesses in Lapland or eastern Finland.
  • It is related to the internationalisation or export of the Finnish business sector.
  • It is written in cooperation with one or several local businesses aiming for internationalisation or in cooperation with a local actor promoting internationalisation (e.g. ELY or the chambers of commerce).

There will be a separate bulletin on the next application round.

Further information:

Hilja Autto, hoinonen (at) ulapland.fi
Kirsti Ikonen, kiikonen (at) ulapland.fi
Satu Uusiautti, Vice-Rector for education, satu.uusiautti (at) ulapland.fi