Clustering Expertise for Research and Innovation

North Karelia is bringing together expertise in the natural sciences and technology to develop new opportunities.

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The high-technology research in North Karelia is attracting international attention. The high-technology research in North Karelia is attracting international attention.

" The project is having an increasingly international impact, attracting the European Optical Society to move its headquarters to Joensuu in 2013. The cluster is also well positioned to play a substantial role in the upcoming UNESCO Year of the Light in 2015. "

Professor Pasi Vahimaa, Director of the Institute of Photonics

With an understanding that when it comes to innovation, two heads are better than one, the North Karelia region has combined the natural sciences expertise of the University of Eastern Finland with the technology background of the Karelia University of Applied Sciences. The result is a broad-based cluster founded on high-quality expertise in the fields of materials and precision technology and diffractive optics.

The four hubs

Since the programme’s launch, four hubs of high technology research, development and innovation activity have emerged. The Ultra Precision Unit provides state-of-the-art education, innovation and precision manufacturing environments for its clients. The hub specialises in the precision making of hard-to-cut materials, mould manufacturing, and micro- and nano-detailed optical components, along with integrating 3D optics, plastics and electronics.

The cluster’s Research Laboratory for Diffractive Optics and Photonics is a one-of-a-kind research infrastructure and laboratory operating in the field of diffractive optics and photonics. Its laboratory, which works hand-in-hand with the University of Eastern Finland, is conducting scientific research to assist companies in their product development and testing.

Activities at the Special Material Research Centre (SMARC Innovations) are founded on the deep expertise of its physical and materials chemistry laboratories. The hub is actively working to increase the competitiveness of the region by providing a versatile materials technology interface between scientific research and industry.

As a global leader in optics research, the InFotonics Centre Joensuu (IFC) concentrates on its core expertise of wave-optical engineering and spectral colour research. The hub established itself as the interface between industry and academia with the launch of a cooperation network dedicated to working towards the commercialisation of high technology and research.

Total investment and EU funding

Total EU funding for the project “Project cluster of materials and precision technology and diffractive optics” is EUR 10 000 000 from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund, for the 2007-2013 programming period.

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