The Erasmus+ staff exchange made it possible to get acquainted with Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences

When I heard about the open Erasmus Mundus Design Measures (EMDM) call in January 2024, I saw it as an opportunity to start planning a curriculum leading to a Master’s Degree in International Rehabilitation and Technology, to which we would need partners from both Europe and beyond. When mapping partners, Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences (TH Rosenheim) in Germany, was selected as one of the best institutions of higher education. I received enthusiastic reception and TH Rosenheim promised to participate in the call. After receiving the information needed for the project application and a description of TH Rosenheim’s offerings and opportunities, I wanted to get to know both the activities and the people on the site in more detail. Fortunately, I was welcomed and so the exchange week already took place in April. The trip to Rosenheim via Munchen was smooth and I arrived at Rosenheim in the evening, where the temperature was +28. So, I can say that I received a warm welcome.

Lilac flowered already in Rosenheim in April.
Lilac flowered already in Rosenheim in April.

TH Rosenheim is founded in 1971. In March 2024, there were 32 undergraduate Bachelor’s degree programmes, 3 part-time Bachelor´s degree programmes, 11 consecutive Master’s degree programmes and 6 post-graduate Master´s degree programmes. TH Rosenheim offers studies in technology, economy, design, health and social affairs. The number of students is around 6,400. For now, there are over 100 laboratories and workshops, and new facilities are planned. TH Rosenheim is very famous for wood technology which was shown e.g. in the exhibition in the entrance hall of the Campus.

The exhibition in the entrance hall of the Campus.
The exhibition in the entrance hall of the Campus.

My host department was the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences. Based on my wishes, they had drawn up a very interesting and rewarding programme. In addition to future-oriented project negotiations, I had the opportunity to see different laboratories (Engineering Labs, Medical Technology Lab, Nursing Skills Lab) and simulation situations (Medical Technology simulations) as well as to have fruitful discussions with nursing students. Especially medical technology simulations were an eye-opening teaching situation where students became familiar with the technical and functional characteristics of the equipment and devices. In the design of the equipment, the teachers had used their ingenuity and creativity – great innovations at low cost.

Medical Technology Lab with ultrasound and ECG simulations.
Medical Technology Lab with ultrasound and ECG simulations.

On the last day, I got to know Freilassing and the Dein Haus 4.0 there. It is a residential competence centre at the Freilassing and Rosenheim sites in the administrative district of Upper Bavaria, which reminds a lot of MeWet Home. MeWet is multifunctional environment for Well-being enhancing technology involving SAMK’s and Sataedu’s students. Dein Haus 4.0 combines, among other things, new technologies and their design, sustainable development, economy and accessible health services, especially for the elderly, as well as research.

An innovation that fits in a small space but allows an elderly person, for example, to sit while putting on their shoes, and produced by a student.
An innovation that fits in a small space but allows an elderly person, for example, to sit while putting on their shoes, and produced by a student.

Bavaria with its beautiful scenery and friendly colleagues left an indelible impression. The international exchange succeeded just as I had hoped, i.e. I learned and saw much, and I created new contacts that make it easy to continue working together. Until next time…

Text ja photos: Senior Lecturer Anu Elo

Sustainable humanity in NEMO

Sustainability, human resources (HR) and the European maritime single window environment sound as these three terms having nothing in common.

Maritime logistics consists of transporting of goods and passengers from point A to point B with ships. In these processes, a lot of digital information requiring cooperation and human skillset is generated, transferred, and shared between different organizations.

The maritime sector has traditionally focused on making profit and, in recent years, it has also placed significant emphasis on reducing CO2 emissions. Reducing CO2 emissions is one part of sustainability. Sustainability is balancing social, economic, and environmental aspects in different actions.

Traditionally, human resources (HR) are related to work contracts, managing aspects of the workforce, such as hiring, performance or safety. Sustainability, human resources, and the European maritime single window environment are united under one umbrella in NEMO CEF project both with scientific and practical aspects.

NEMO combining digitalization and sustainability in maritime logistics

European maritime single window environment (EMSWe) consists of harmonized and digitalized reporting procedures in maritime transportation. NEMO is the Finnish Maritime Single Window, which has been nationally developed several years and is taken in to use in August 2025.

NEMO is a part of the digitalization in the maritime sector. Different stakeholders, such as the system developers, users and customers have their values, mindset, and expectations to the NEMO. Some stakeholders are early adapters with sufficient resources, while others will react on the last minute. The human aspects vary between organizations, as well as between individuals. Each individual has an inner model on values, which develops in interaction with other people. Existing societal environment often hamper changes towards sustainable actions, as the environment favors individuals behaving according to the existing systems  (Zabel, 2005). Sustainability in HR helps to ensure organization culture and community practices are inclusive and motivate employees (Lavri, 2023).

The sustainability of human aspects within NEMO must be considered in all phases of the process, in organizations’ planning and in short term and long term when NEMO is taken in use. There will be needs in skills update and training. Sustainable human resources management (HRM) can promote workers’ creativity and digitalization skills and to have an entrepreneurial mindset in the digitalized world. Sustainable HRM can reduce employees’ stress related to new online platforms, such as NEMO (Dapic et al., 2023).

Human resources management for sustainability

Different HRM’s have contributed to different aspects on responsibility, as Socially Responsible HRM to economic and social values, Green HRM to economic and ecological values, Triple Bottom Line HRM to triple bottom line values, and Common Good HRM to common-good values. The first three HRM’s have emphasis on economic values, while Common Good HR has an emphasis on finding solution for grand sustainability challenges (Aust et al., 2020). Nowadays, contribution to the economic values is not enough in maritime sector, so in development and in use of NEMO Common Good HR must be the basis of sustainable humanity.

The thriving of employees at work consists of vitality and learning. When employees are thriving, they are simultaneously proactive to co-create their job environment which will enable more thriving (Spreitzer et al., 2012). In NEMO, organizations have potential of not just taking the NEMO in use as a mandatory digital tool, but can get employees to thrive on the system, so the employees learn and develop the organizations further.

The EU has long been committed to improving worker well-being, employees’ sustainability has become an integral strategy for corporate growth (Bersin, 2023). SAMK’s Maritime Logistics Research Center will study and develop concepts sustainable humanity in NEMO, as this will ensure the success of employees’ planning, developing, and using in the digital system and will link sustainability and HR in European maritime single window environment.

Text: adj. prof., chief researcher Minna M. Keinänen-Toivola

Figure: Minna M. Keinänen-Toivola


Aust (Ehnert), A., Matthews, B., & Muller-Camen, M. (2020). Common Good HRM: A paradigm shift in Sustainable HRM? Human Resource Management Review 30, 100705.

Bersin, J. (2023). Sustainability Is About Your Workforce, Too. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from 

Dabic, M., Maley,  J.M.,  Svarc J., & Pocek, J. (2023). Future of digital work: Challenges for sustainable human resources management. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge 8, 100353.     

Lavri, O. (2023). Sustainability in HR: benefits, tips, and use cases. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from

Spreitzer, G., Porath, C.L., & Gibson, C.B. (2012). Toward human sustainability: How to enable more thriving at work. Organizational Dynamics 41, 155-162. 10.1016/j.orgdyn.2012.01.009  

Zabel, H.-U. (2005). A model of human behaviour for sustainability. International Journal of Social Economics 32, 717-735.  

Towards internationalisation, multidisciplinarity, innovation and growth of expertise 

In the contemporary academic landscape, the facilitation of international research collaboration has become notably streamlined, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These ways of working have become more widespread due to the expansion of communication technologies and applications, the ease of remote meetings, cost-effectiveness and considerations for environmental sustainability. This trend has also improved possibilities for international collaboration.  

Multidisciplinary international cooperation facilitates the exchange of academic ideas, increases the ability of researchers to examine, discuss and share experiences. The constructive questioning and critique of researchers’ own ideas and opinions within an international network of collaborators is crucial to the production of high-quality research outcomes. It also plays an essential role in the growth of the researcher as an expert, as well as in the development of new, open-minded innovations [1]. Particularly in an international collaborative network, not only between universities, but also the third sector and businesses, play an important role in the development of high-quality, impactful and relevant innovations. This article explores the development of smart clothing and smart furniture technologies as an example case, and describes the dimensions of international cooperation and the good practices and pitfalls learned from collaboration.

Real needs as the starting point of joint development and research

Many of today’s unresolved problems and challenges in social and health care are complex and global. Solving of the challenges requires international and cross-cultural expertise.  At present, for example, the world population is ageing everywhere, which means an increase in the number of social and health care clients in societies [2]. Although ageing is a natural process, the associated decline in functional capacity, susceptibility to injury and various diseases pose a range of challenges for both older people themselves and societies [3,4]. This trend, combined with a global shortage of caregivers, has led many stakeholders to look for different strategies for accommodating to the increasing numbers of clients and for ensuring equitable access to essential services.

The trend is to support older people to live at home for longer and reduce the need for institutional care. In order to live safely at home for longer, new services, new ways of providing existing services as well as new methods and tools are needed.

In recent decades, there has been considerable and growing interest in the development of Active and Assisted Living (AAL) systems to support independent living [5]. The integration of new technologies can improve the quality of daily life, enable living at home and facilitate the use of many activities remotely. In developing technologies, particular attention must be paid to identifying needs and wishes from end-users. One potential solution is to ”embed” intelligence in existing products like furniture and clothing that are available to everyone.  Although the potential of smart furniture and smart clothing is significant, they are not yet widely available on the market. One reason is that their development requires the pooling of expertise from many sectors and new models of cooperation. The market for smart furniture and clothing is international and collaboration is needed between different industries (technology, wellness, furniture/clothing manufacturing & design), as well as between researchers and companies.

Experiences and lessons learned  about international, cross-sectoral collaboration

Multidisciplinary international cooperation doesn’t happen overnight. Establishing and, in particular, keeping it alive is hard work and requires a long-term effort that lasts for many years. Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and elderly people in Satakunta were first involved in the development of smart furniture in 2016 with eight other partner countries as part of the EU-funded BaltSe@nioR project, which developed and tested smart furniture in the home environment of elderly people.[6] The BaltSe@nioR 2.0 project then continued to improve the age-friendliness of public places. In 2020, a national TEKOS project coordinated by Satakunta University of Applied Sciences started to look for a smart clothing solution alongside smart furniture. Through the above-mentioned projects, first prototypes and permanent partnerships were built. These partnerships and development activities are currently being continued in the ReactiveToo researcher mobility project.

Already in the first cooperation projects, it was learned that cooperation across international borders and sectors requires long-term, dialogical and intensive dialogue. In addition, the involvement of the target group – the end-users of new innovations – has proved extremely valuable in matching product and user needs. Companies and research organisations each have their own interests, but also complementary interests, which need to be smoothly integrated into a partnership. Applied research helps to translate research results into innovation, thus creating a clear common goal for cooperation. A mutually agreed goal will help to find ways to navigate challenges that may arise from different cultures and practices. Insights from previous research and development activities should also be applied in order to avoid repeating past errors.

During the ReactiveToo project, international collaboration has involved SAMK researchers in the innovation of needs-based smart clothing and furniture to promote the inclusion and functional capacity of older people. In addition to crossing national and sectoral boundaries, collaboration has taken place between researchers from different backgrounds and at different levels. Experienced and early-stage researchers from different disciplines have been able to learn from each other’s approaches and increase their understanding of each other’s practices. For example, having a shared understanding of general research ethics may not be enough as practices, legislation and authorization processes differ between countries. Thus user-centered research and development requires patience and a considerate approach to mutual preparations and, above all, significant time investment.

The ReactiveToo project has, among other things, organised multidisciplinary and multicultural workshops. The first workshop (the photo above) was planned and implemented together with researchers from the Faculty of Health, LJMU, in the context of a researcher exchange. The planning of the workshop started remotely before the exchange, but the detailed preparations were only possible on-site during the actual exchange. The workshop was attended by a heterogeneous group of working partners and end-users.

The needs assessment survey for the ReactiveToo project was prepared and carried out with researchers from the University of Wolverhampton (School of Pharmacy and School of Engineering), mainly through remote meetings and on the basis of guidelines agreed during the researcher exchange. The face-to-face meetings (Figure 2) and initial discussions with the researchers facilitated the remote design work. The approach of involving potential end-users of the technology in the projects through questionnaires and workshops has generated a lot of discussion and brought out different perspectives. The discussions have proven productive, prompting researchers to critically evaluate   their own ideas. By engaging in collaborative discussions and constructive questioning, researchers avoid getting stuck with their own assumptions and ways of thinking and acting.  

Building guidelines and trust face-to-face is an essential part of cooperation.
Building guidelines and trust face-to-face is an essential part of cooperation.

In technology design, identifying the needs of end-users and taking into account cultural variations is crucial to obtain the most comprehensive and diverse outcomes. Surveys and workshops are proven to be good tools. Workshops typically create deeper insights where as surveys help in mapping the needs in wider and generic level.  Although differences in cultures, policies and practices may have varied widely between countries, the basic needs of older people in managing their homes and the challenges of using technology were very similar. Concrete international cooperation helps to understand how research is conducted in another society and culture and to see the potential for implementing research findings in different countries. The internationalisation of researchers creates new research opportunities and increases cultural sensitivity. It also brings added value to education through international networks to advance teaching methodologies, curricula and degrees. For businesses, this creates entirely new opportunities for product development and exportation.

Next steps and conclusions 

At Satakunta University of Applied Sciences the collaboration with a diverse international network of experts has facilitated the translation of cutting-edge research into practical innovations and products. This collaboration has led to the development of many prototypes including a talking desk, a cushion for assessing sitting, a smart mirror, and stress-measuring clothing. Achieving true collaboration at international level requires dialogue, time and an open mind to find our own ways of working together and to discover each other’s strengths and ways of working by getting to know each other. It is not easy to maintain productive cooperation while navigating through hectic schedules and time zone disparities.

The combination of multiple competences offers both potential for research and innovation. However, allocating additional time for collaborative efforts and bridging cultural differences is imperative.  Although finding this resource may seem challenging, there are new opportunities to be found in collaboration. The development of smart furniture and clothing is just one example of these opportunities. We would like to highlight the importance of finding sufficient time to build trust and common understanding. Be open, approachable, recognise your own expertise and acknowledge the expertise of others!

In particular, this article described the cooperation and insights related to the initial phase of development. Further development and adaptation of prototypes according to user needs, as well as various laboratory and field tests, will follow. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, the final stage of the development process is clearly more straightforward once the foundation has been built together. Multidisciplinary and multicultural development is a long-term process, involving many stages from initial enthusiasm to frustration and renewed excitement. It is a long journey together, and one that is well worth embarking on. Throughout the journey, you gain valuable things, both about yourself and about the world around you.

Article photo: Creating a common understanding in the workshop. (Antti Koivisto)

Other photo: Rose Makamdem-Magaia

Text: Jenni Huhtasalo, Senior researcher, D. Soc. Sc. and Taina Jyräkoski, project manager, M.Sc. and Sari Merilampi, Adj. Prof., D. Sc. (Tech)


[1] A. Laajalahti, Vuorovaikutusosaaminen ja sen kehittyminen tutkijoiden työssä. Jyväskylä Studies in humanities, 225, 2014.

[2] WHO, Ageing and health (online). Haettu 18.8.2023 osoitteesta: news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health.

[3] D.R. Seals, J.N. Justice, T.J. LaRocca, Physiological geroscience: targeting function to increase healthspan and achieve optimal longevity. The Journal of physiology, 594(8), 2016, 2001–2024.

[4] B.H. Alexander, F.P. Rivara, M.E. Wolf, The cost and frequency of hospitalization for fallrelated injuries in older adults. American journal of public health, 82(7), 1992.

[5] G. Cicirelli, R. Marani, A. Petitti, A. Milella, T. D’Orazio, Ambient Assisted Living: A Review of Technologies, Methodologies and Future Perspectives for Healthy Aging of Population. Sensors. 2021, 21(10):3549. 

[6] S. Merilampi, A. Poberžnik, S. Saari, T. A. Magne, A. Serrano, J. Güttler, K. Langosch, T. Bock, Modular smart furniture system for independent living of elderly – user experience study, Gerontechnology, 2020, 19:4.

The supplier network ecosystem models the interconnections between different factors

There were plenty of summer job opportunities in various fields. I ended up working for a project at SAMK. The goal of the LaivaDigiLab project is to develop of pre-testing concept of digital systems for shipbuilding. Alongside the concrete tasks, I believe the journey until end-August will be interesting, and I will learn a lot of new things.

My name is Sami Alatörmä, a 24-year-old international trade student at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences. This summer, I am working at the Maritime Logistics Research Center in the LaivaDigiLab project, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and SAMK. I am involved in finalizing the project in the role of a project researcher, together with an experienced team.

The main task of my job is to create a visible and creative ecosystem model of the supplier network related to shipbuilding and digital systems. This helps the field of stakeholders to grasp the big picture and it will also enable equipment suppliers to see the connections between their operations and other factors.

The benefit of these models is to increase knowledge and understanding beyond one’s own work: a change in one system or supplier’s product can have implications beyond just the immediate surroundings. This visibility of system dependencies and, on the other hand, supplier relationships can aid in the maintenance phase of the ship’s life cycle, but it can also be a useful tool for pre-testing.

I will also help developing a mind-map for pre-testing in shipbuilding. The mind-map will house the different stages of shipbuilding and the associated best practices.

What is LaivaDigiLab?

To carry out the ecosystem modeling for suppliersd, I have familiarized myself with the LaivaDigiLab project. Its goal is to support the pre-testing process of digital systems in shipbuilding in Satakunta. The project started with analysing the current state of digital systems on ships. In response to the challenges of coordinating digital systems and proactively solving problems, the project is piloting the concept of pre-testing. It also aligns with the green transition and supports energy efficiency goals.

Based on my current understanding, potential risks to business can be prevented by developing pre-testing methods. The results of the project – when taken into practice – can save time and money.

The project does not create a physical testing laboratory but tries to create conditions and a concept that proactively addresses changing factors. The success of the project is important for Rauma and the maritime cluster in Satakunta. Drawing on my educational background, I feel that the project’s results could be presented abroad, which would enhance the reputation of the entire Finnish maritime industry. While the maritime industry and shipbuilding in Rauma may be small players globally, uniqueness and pioneering in many aspects are strengths on the global scale. The benefits of the pre-testing concept could serve as an example for other countries in the green transition.

Boosting my thesis with summer work

I have only been working since the beginning of May, getting to know the project, the project world, and SAMK’s way of working. The project world seems complex and challenging, but I trust that as the work progresses, the pieces will come together, and after the summer, I will have a better grasp of many things. My colleagues are experienced, and there is support available for learning. The work ethic is also high: we work hard but with a relaxed approach.

It is important for me to gain an understanding of the LaivaDigiLab project. However, the most important aspects that need to succeed are mapping and visualizing the supplier networks as a comprehensive entity as well as pre-testing concept. Hopefully, I will also gain inspiration for my thesis, which I am working on with the support of experts from SAMK’s Maritime Logistics Research Center. The summer is going to be busy but motivating and even significant for my career: I will get to see how projects are brought to completion and what kind of skills the current job market requires.

Text: Sami Alatörmä, a summer employee and a 3rd-year student at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences.

The article was written as part of ÄlyMeri project which was funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and SAMK.

New educational tools respond to the increase in demand for coastal and maritime tourism

The unique features of operating tourism businesses and developing tourism destinations in the European cold-water regions need specific expertise.

Tourism is and has been rapidly changing

SAMK’s Center for Tourism Business Development has been leading a joint European Erasmus+ project for the past three years to develop new educational tools in European coastal and maritime tourism.

This is highly relevant as Europe’s cold-water coastal and maritime regions have been the biggest winners in the post-Covid-19 era. Records were broken as the number of local and regional tourists grew due to the pandemic. Many travelers found hidden gems in their own region or in their own country, the existence of which was not previously known.

Tourism in these regions is based on their unique characteristics and resources. Micro and small tourism enterprises prevail and focus on creating blue experiences based on direct encounters with nature, cultural heritage, and special interest activities.  On the other hand, seasonality, limited infrastructure, and lack of local capital for investments hamper tourism competitiveness.

New European tools for higher tourism education

As tourism in this context requires specific skills, the Erasmus+ Skill4CMT project sought a solution for skills development in coastal and maritime tourism. The partners from Finland (Satakunta University of Applied Sciences), Estonia (University of Tartu, Pärnu College), Latvia (Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences), the Netherlands (HZ University of Applied Sciences), and Ireland (Dundalk institute of Technology) designed new occupational profiles by interviewing 90 different tourism stakeholders across European cold-water regions. Based on these results, a European level curriculum for coastal and maritime tourism was developed with open educational resources.

  • The first course in the curriculum introduces the basic features of coastal and maritime tourism, its resources, blue well-being, the sustainable development of coastal areas and the legislation affecting tourism activities.
  • In the second course, participants will learn more about sustainable coastal and maritime tourism, climate change and the development of sustainable business operations.
  • The third course examines the coastal destination design, and
  • the fourth course focuses on designing blue experiences.

The curriculum and other project outputs such as occupational profiles and self-study materials can be used by all organisations that want to develop their staff’s expertise on the subject. Educational institutions can use the outputs when revising their curricula or when upskilling entrepreneurs.

Great lessons – also for the lecturers!

In the end of the project, lecturers evaluated the project implementation and its impact on their organisations and their personal development. According to the lecturers, the most important impact was the skills development in online teaching and learning of the lecturers. The lecturers expressed that they learned a lot about digital pedagogy and teaching in general. In the project, they were able to test online pedagogy in a different way than they normally do in their own organisation. They got tools for online teaching and learning, a change to reflect their own teaching contents and methods and compare it with other lecturers and higher education. institutions. This in turn gave ideas about developing these in the own institution.  

Furthermore, the project improved the lecturers’ skills in developing an industry-driven curriculum, because the curriculum was developed based on industry interviews. These research activities enabled a deeper understanding of the skills gaps and needed skills as well as the common skills for the European cold-water destinations. It also increased learning about the similarities and differences in coastal and maritime tourism around European cold-water destinations. The industry-academia collaboration also encouraged the industry stakeholders to reflect on their skills and their development.  

Text: Sanna-Mari Renfors, Specialist Researcher, SAMK

Photo: Sanna-Mari Renfors and Skills4CMT project

Cyber security in maritime logistics

The increase of digitalisation and automation of operations channels emphasis into cybersecurity and preparedness for security threats. Cybersecurity generally refers to the protection of sensitive information (such as personal data), data components, networks, and systems from unauthorised parties. Precautions against cyber-attacks are well-acknowledged theme also in maritime logistics.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping, has taken a position on maritime cybersecurity. The IMO refers maritime cyber risk to ‘a measure of the extent to which a technology asset could be threatened by a potential circumstance or event, which may result in shipping-related operational, safety or security failures as a consequence of information or systems being corrupted, lost or compromised’ [1]. Cyber risk management aims to support and achieve secure operational resilience.

Cyber security and threat preparedness have gained resources. However, not every sector or application is equally attractive to attackers. The likelihood of being the target of a cyber-attack due to the attractiveness of data is not very high throughout the whole maritime logistics transport chain.

– It is true that the more data is shared, the higher the risk of an attack. But in the timber logistics chain in the region of Satakunta, other risks to logistics operations are more significant than, for example, the crash of a single application, says Janne Lahtinen, an expert in a SAMK-led ÄlyMeri project, which is developing a risk management model for timber logistics chain.

Damage can still be caused and, according to a news report by Yle, attempts have been made to hack the largest container warehouses during the pandemic. The worst known cyber-attack was on the Maersk shipping company, which had to rebuild its entire IT infrastructure: a 10-day delay in operations and remedial measures cost $300 million. [2]

The threat of a cyber-attack depends on the scale of the IT infrastructure

Marko Löytökorpi, a sea captain and lecturer in maritime studies, believes that cyber-attacks on individual ships are less likely than attacks on port and shore-based operations, for example, and the impact would not necessarily be as significant.

– Even if a cyber-attack were to hit a ship and bring its systems down, the ship is in a way such a ‘simple piece’ that an attack might only slow down processes, but not stop them completely, Löytökorpi states.

To take an example from BIMCO’s ”The Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships” on the IMO website, an unknown virus found its way into the Electronic Chart Display and Information System, i.e. ECDIS, causing delays for the company, as the ship was not designed for paperless navigation. The system was eventually recovered. [4]

More serious disruptions would occur on the ground operation, for example if port systems fail: ships cannot unload or load cargo, port processes would slow down causing delays and costs throughout the logistics chain. Reputational damage is also a significant factor.

Preparing for cyber threats is important for Finland

The consequences of cyber-attacks are limited only by the imagination, but in the worst-case scenario, they include loss of vessel and staff safety, and environmental damage. Hiding, deleting, or frozen position data can cause physical damage and so-called ‘ghost ships’, messing up schedules, and unnecessary waiting times. Today, and especially in Finland, cybersecurity preparedness is particularly relevant as around 90% of imports and 80% of exports are by sea [5].

Text: Aku Suomi, SAMK, student trainee and Hanna Kajander, SAMK, Project Manager

Photo: Pixabay

[1] Maritime cyber risk, IMO. Available:, retrieved on 2023-03-24.

[2] Tuomaala, Erja. (2021), Kyberhyökkäyksen uhka kasvaa merillä ja satamissa – kaikkia suurimpia konttivarustamoja on jo yritetty hakkeroida. Yle. Available in Finnish:, retrieved on 2023-03-24.

[3] “The Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships”, BIMCO, p. 23. Available:, retrieved 2023-03-28.

[4] “The Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships”, BIMCO, p. 14. Available:, retrieved 2023-03-28.

[5] “Merenkulun avainluvut”, Suomen Varustamot. Available in Finnish:, retrieved on 2023-03-24.

SAMK participated in the BUP Teachers’ Course to integrate UN SDGs into the International Tourism Management programme

Baltic University Programme (BUP) Teachers’ Course 2022–23 focused on integrating UN SDGs into Higher Education. The Teachers’ course was relevant for me as the International Tourism Management programme was undergoing a renewal process with the aim of integrating sustainability into the programme. I participated in the Teachers’ course along with two lecturers from the Environmental Engineering programme.

The course taught us participants hands-on ways to implement SDGs into teaching and study programmes. The UN SDGs are a set of 17 global goals adopted by the UN in 2015 to achieve a sustainable future. The goals address a range of social, economic, and environmental challenges.

The Teacher’s course of BUP incorporated the principles of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as a pedagogical approach to promote sustainable practices.  ESD is an approach that seeks to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to promote sustainable practices. Education, particularly ESD, is recognized as a key driver for achieving the SDGs.

By incorporating ESD principles into tourism education at SAMK, we can create responsible and environmentally conscious tourism professionals who can address challenges facing the industry. Students are empowered to become active agents of sustainable tourism practices. They promote cultural diversity and preserve natural and cultural heritage for future generations. Incorporating sustainability into tourism higher education can lead to a more responsible and ethical industry.

Integrating ESD Principles in the International Tourism Management programme: Ideas & Strategies

  • Incorporate sustainability themes into curriculum and course content
  • Use participatory learning approaches
  • Foster critical thinking
  • Emphasize local to global perspectives
  • Incorporate experiential learning opportunities
  • Encourage ethical reflection

The Baltic University Programme (BUP) is a network of universities and other higher education institutions in the Baltic Sea region. Its aim is to promote cooperation in education, research, and sustainable development. SAMK is a member in this network.

Text: Jaana Ruoho, International Tourism Management

Image: The participants of BUP Teachers’ Course 2022–23 in Kaunas, Lithuania in March 2023. Participants and teachers came from several European countries. Image from BUP.

Digital Literacy Workshop at Lissu

”Let’s say, about 80% of these things are new to me. Thank you for teaching us these things.”

This was a comment from one participant in the workshop on digital literacy conducted by project researchers from Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) in Pori on February 21, 2023.

The event was part of the HyHy (Hyvinvointia Hybridisti) and TEKOS (Teknologialla osallisuutta – verkostolla vaikuttavuutta) -projects. HyHy project aims to promote digital interaction through co-creation, workshops, and training. TEKOS project on the other hand aims to improve social inclusion and participation through technology.

Project researchers from SAMK teaching about using email.
Project researchers from SAMK teaching about using email.
Photo: Lissu Social Club, kynnyksetön palvelupiste.

During the workshop, SAMK researchers worked with participants to develop their digital literacy skills. They learned how to better use email, getting familiar with google services and learning cyber security. The training was designed to help individuals develop the necessary skills to navigate the increasingly digital world, from online communication to remote service access.

The Lissu Social Club which is located in Pori center was an ideal location for the workshop as it is a community-based organization that provides a safe and welcoming environment for vulnerable individuals to gather and socialize. The workshop was well-received by participants who appreciated the opportunity to learn and improve their digital skills.

The participants and the staff from Lissu Social Club expressed their gratitude for the learning opportunity. They all agreed that this knowledge is practically necessary so that they, especially the clients from Lissu, can have equal opportunity in accessing social and health services.  

Overall, the SAMK digital literacy workshop at Lissu Social Club was a successful event that demonstrated the importance of digital literacy training in today’s world. The HyHy and TEKOS projects are exciting initiatives that will continue to support the community in developing essential digital skills and making sure that no one is left behind when it comes to digital development in our society.

For more info:

Hyvinvointia Hybridisti -hanke:

TEKOS -hanke:

For inquiries related to the event, contact:

Text: Project Researcher Ryann Deloso

Article photo (Ryann Deloso): SAMK’s project researchers with Tiina Mäkitalo (far right) HyHy’s project manager in SAMK.

Tourism student’s Erasmus+ exchange week in Belgium

As a student in University of Applied Sciences, students are given the opportunity to go abroad to study as an exchange student.

What was it like to do this kind of exchange?

Every year many students awaits impatiently about the information on the subject. This is a wonderful opportunity to go abroad, meet new people, gather different kind of knowledge, and get familiarized with different cultures.

But unfortunately, this is not the case for every student. Some students would like to have the same opportunities, but might have aspects in their lives, that does not make it possible. Some might have children, or they are not able to have a long period leave-of-absence from their workplaces, for example.

As we were starting our second-year studies last autumn, we were given the opportunity, to embark in this short-term Erasmus+ Blended Intensive Programme (BIP). The intensive week of the course would last only a week, but would happen at PXL University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hasselt in Belgium. Funding granted from Erasmus+ Programme made the decision of taking a part in this project very easy. From the get-go, our whole group of classmates was willing and able to participate.

We were given a short introduction to the upcoming week in advance, and we then found out, that we would be doing and actual project for an actual commissioner. It was not revealed to us completely, but we had a little bit of information regarding the subject. The project would be taking place in an old castle and its surroundings.

Needless to say, we were excited!

Alternative ways to be an exchange student

When we were offered this kind of opportunity, we were thrilled to participate. We were excited to meet people from different cultures and experience studying in a different way. Even though most of us have travelled a lot, we were all equally excited to go! The week we spend in Hasselt was not an ordinary study week, instead we got to hear many interesting seminars, and the most important part was to work for a real-life case for a real commissioner. We got to create a business idea for an old castle in Maasmechelen, which was extremely interesting and definitely something different from our usual studies.

In addition to us from SAMK and the Belgium students from PXL, we were also accompanied by Croatian students for PAR University College. We all learned a lot from co-operating with different nationalities, and we had a really great time with everyone!

What did we learn?

By working with multiple other cultures, we had a lot of fun, but we also learned a lot from ourselves and about working all together. We also improved multiple skills, like working in a group, working with different personalities and people with different ways of doing schoolwork which can be challenging.

The good thing is we all remembered to have fun in the middle of the tight schedules and all, so our time management skills were on point. At some point it was difficult, as it is known that Finnish people are more punctual when others weren’t as much, we learned to be flexible, communicate and make compromises.

Overall, I think we can all agree that we learned a lot from this trip, whether it was through our successes or our mistakes. We gained valuable tools for the future and improved our skills we can benefit from in similar future projects!

Text: SAMK students Heli Kulju, Siiri Romoi and Johanna Ylioja

Images: PXL

Putting the learnt into practice through collaboration – Sales Pitch project with Rauma Chamber of Commerce

Collaboration with business should be embedded into business education. Studies aim to provide students with competencies needed for a successful career. As much as possible the learnt skills should be put into practice; both to strengthen them and to show that they can be useful in real life.

Sales Pitch is a project carried out in collaboration with Rauma Chamber of Commerce at SAMK Campus Rauma. The Chamber of Commerce grants an lnternationalization Award to a company or other active party in the region annually. 

The SAMK students work in small groups. They can be both degree and exchange students. This time they were a very international group of students coming from Belgium, France, Latvia, Vietnam and Australia, and  among them also one Finnish student.

In the project the students familiarize themselves with the finalists for the award both by searching information on them and also interviewing them. This way the students get an overview of who the finalists are and especially what kind of activities and operations make them potential candidates for the internationalization award.

The preparation stage for the students contains revising report writing and giving presentations. The  main focus, though, is on learning what pitching is, in what kind of situations it could and should be used. Understanding the general structure of pitching, and creating a sales pitch, are in the centre of practice. Learning about pitching is also appreciated by the students. One of the students comments that ”in my opinion public speaking is one of the most important skills in life”.

The students submit reports on the finalists to the judges of the Internationalization Award. The reports concentrate especially on how international the finalists are, what kind of international activities are part of their work. The students also look at the impact of the candidates on the region.

In their groups, the students design a pitch talk on the finalist they have familiarized themselves with. They rehearse the pitch and decide which member of their group will deliver it in the award event. The comment from a student shows the benefit of real life experience: “The fact that I had to do concrete work on an existing company was very interesting for me. I liked the fact that I had to present in front of the Chamber of Commerce and the company managers, although it was a little  stressful.”

The students, on top of getting an understanding of pitching and getting familiar with a local company, also build up their transversal skills. They learn about teamwork, scheduling and language skills, among other things. Last but not least, it is also essential to gain confidence and courage in a variety of skills and contexts. The core of it is stated by a student: “I am very proud of myself, for going outside my comfort zone for this project.”

Text: Marina Wikman, Lecturer

Picture: SAMK students with certificates for the completed Chamber of Commerce project (Marina Wikman).