Pasi Vakaslahti joins the Business and Industry Services TeamPasi Vakaslahti took up his new appointment as Business Liaison Manager and leader of the Business and Industry Services Team in early February. The team helps companies initiate collaboration with TUT and access the academic expertise and services that are available on campus.
In addition to Pasi Vakaslahti, the Business and Industry Services Team comprises Business Liaison Manager Marja Hyypiä and Network and Partnerships Development Officer Marjut Kemiläinen. Pasi serves larger companies, while Marja focuses on SMEs. Marjut develops the company services available in Kampusklubi and the Kampusareena building in collaboration with University Properties of Finland Ltd. In addition, the team organises events for companies as well as promotes and productizes TUT’s company services.
“Our small team works in close collaboration with the other Support Services Units and the faculties to raise awareness of the expertise offered by TUT among companies and communities”, says Vakaslahti.
“We’re not here to dominate the collaboration between TUT and industry but to strategically direct our team’s efforts, so that we can best serve and support the already thriving collaboration.”
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Pasi Vakaslahti is already a familiar face on campus, as he has worked at TUT’s Innovation Services Unit for the past five years. His former duties have been divided between Pasi Keinänen and Aino Siiroinen in the Innovation Services Unit.
“My current position is more human-to-human than business-to-business,” describes Vakaslahti.
TUT places a high priority for maintaining close relationships with companies. Active dialogue with companies allows the University to foresee their changing needs concerning expertise and research.
Marja Hyypiä highlights the importance of dialogue in the process of identifying, refining and responding to concrete and mutually beneficial collaborative needs. Vakaslahti agrees.
“Universities must be able to challenge existing knowledge and produce new knowledge rather than focus solely on problem-solving. When we collaborate with companies, it is important to manage the expectations of both parties,” he says.
TUT offers a wide range of platforms, tools and services that support co-creation and interaction. They provide an excellent stepping-stone to further collaboration in the conventional forms, such as MSc projects and commissioned research.
New opportunities for interaction
Marjut Kemiläinen reminds that university-level stakeholder relations must be managed deliberately, systematically and strategically to ensure that our partners are committed to the collaboration.
Pasi Vakaslahti is excited that new Tampere3 higher education community will open up new opportunities for broader and increasingly international interaction with society. The Business and Industry Services Team is participating in the assessments and activities that aim to identify elements that will enable the new university to stand out in this area.
Pasi Vakaslahti (born in 1969) has graduated from TUT with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. His family includes his wife, daughter and a cat.