Service Design Research Group achieved success in the Spring calls of the H2020 Programme “Transformations”


The research grant applications of the Service Design Research Group (CO-STARS) achieved significant success during Spring 2019. Two of the European Commission Horizon calls under the programme H2020 Transformations were successful and are currently in the grant preparation process. The research group received funding to the amount of 3 million Euro for the project titled “Acting on the Margin - Arts as a Social Sculpture” (AMASS).

This project will address the specific funding theme “Societal challenges and the arts”. The principle investigator for AMASS is Professor Satu Miettinen and the project manager is senior researcher Dr Melanie Sarantou. Experienced researchers such as Professor Mirja Hiltunen and senior lecturer Dr Maria Huhmarniemi are part of the project team. Artistic experiments that utilise service design, art education and arts-based methods play a central role in the AMASS approach to addressing societal challenges in the European margins. The consortium members include Charles University in Prague, Corvinus University in Hungary, Paco Design Collaborative in Milan, University of Leeds in the UK, University of Borås in Sweden and Associação de Professores de Expressão e Comunicação Visual (APECV) of Portugal.

The second successful Transformations grant was received for the specific theme “Innovative approaches to urban and regional development through cultural tourism” for the project titled SmartCulTour (Smart Cultural Tourism). This project is led by the KU Leuven University in Belgium and focuses on the role of cultural tourism for regional development. The University of Lapland received a funding share of 360 000€ to lead a section of the work as a consortium member. The project is managed by co-principle investigatorI Satu Miettinen and senior researcher Dr Melanie Sarantou as part of a multidisciplinary team that is constituted by the Faculty of Art and Design and the Multidimensional Tourism Institute (MTI) of the University of Lapland. Miettinen and her team of service designers will collaborate with Professor Antti Honkanen and Dr Monica Lüthje from MTI.

The Service Design Research Group was inaugurated in Juanuary 2018 after receiving 300 000€ funding from the Steering Committee of the University of Lapland in Autumn 2017. One of the objectives of the group was to seek international research funding to secure the continuity of the research group, uplift the level of research and develop service design education. In a short time span the group has succeeded to meet these goals and will continue to seek funding in Autumn 2019 for additional research and service design education proposals. The group will apply funding from other H2020 calls, e.g. Marie Curie, that focus on the development and coordination of African and European Innovation hubs and research mobilities between universities and the third sector. The group is preparing another research proposal for the Business Finland “Smart Mobilities” program for developing a service platform between sea and road traffic with a national consortium. The group will also seek funding from the Academy of Finland and Kone Fund to develop service design and artistic methods for reconciliation.

The Service Design Research Group includes Principle Investigator and Dean, Professor Satu Miettinen, senior researchers Dr Melanie Sarantou, Dr Tiina Seppälä and Dr Enni Mikkonen, researcher Essi Kuure, junior researchers Mira Alhonsuo, Mari Suoheimo and Janne Kosonen as well as project manager Samuel Ahola, research proposals coordinator Piia Rytilahti and innovation manager Jari Rinne. The group is supported by the unit for research funding services led by Satu Pesola, Karol Kowalski and Petra Falin as well as the multidisciplinary steering committee. The Co-Stars herewith express their sincere gratitude for support received from the University of Lapland and their dedicated partner organisations.

Additional information:
Dean Satu Miettinen
Faculty of Art and Design
tel. 040-4844367

senior researcher
Melanie Sarantou