During a recent speech Professor Yrjo Sotamaa, former Rector of the University of Art and Design Helsinki (TaiK), described Finland's educational strategy to remain at the forefront of innovation:
The new strategy aims at strengthening the core competencies of Finland through a radical university reform. And it is turning innovation thinking 180 degrees around to human-centric thinking. It does not lessen the importance of technology and business know-how, but in the future the innovation drivers are stronger tied to the needs of users and the opportunities on the market. The shift to user-driven innovation highlights the importance of design. Design has a huge and very new potential for innovation."
Aalto University, scheduled to officially open its doors in Autumn 2009, is a new university being created through a merge between the Helsinki School of Economics, the University or Art and Design Helsinki and the Helsinki University of Technology. The merge between the three universities will create a new science and art community from the three universities of technology, business studies and art and design and provide possibilities for multidisciplinary and strong education and research.