Boards decide on merger of LAMK and SAIMIA

Lahden ammattikorkeakoulu
The boards of directors of the LUT Group have decided on the merger of Lahti University of Applied Sciences (LAMK) and Saimaa University of Applied Sciences (SAIMIA). They will compose a new university of applied sciences that aims to start its operation on 1 January 2020. The finalisation of the merger still depends on whether the Government agrees to issue an operating license to the new university of applied sciences.

The new institution will have campuses in Lahti and Lappeenranta, with a total of 8500 students and 360 teachers and experts in research, development and innovation (RDI). The turnover of the university of applied sciences will be roughly 65 million euros, and it will be Finland’s sixth largest university of applied sciences in terms of the number of students.

Name after merger: LAB

The name of the new institution will be LAB University of Applied Sciences. The name will be taken into use when the institution starts its operation on 1 January 2020.

A brand committee consisting of representatives from the LUT Group came up with the name. The committee was headed by Marco Mäkinen, VP Strategy, TBWA/Helsinki.

LAB represents the vision and operating culture of the new university of applied sciences focusing on innovation, business and industry. It depicts an active approach where different people and experts create something new together with business enterprises. The new name is easy to pronounce in both Finnish and English and establishes a link to the LUT Group.

The desire was to create a positive image of the research, development and innovation activities of the new institution and its active and experimental approach to work. Another objective was to stand out from other universities of applied sciences.

LAB presidents appointed

The boards appointed Turo Kilpeläinen, D.Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Admin.) as LAB’s President. He is currently President of Lahti University of Applied Sciences.

According to the organisational structure approved by the boards, LAB also has two vice presidents. The Vice President for Education is Merja Heino, Lic.Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Admin.), and the Vice President for RDI is Henri Karppinen, D.Sc. (Tech.). Heino and Karppinen are currently working at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences – Heino as President and Karppinen as Vice President. LAB’s other management will be appointed by summer.

Higher education institution focusing on industry, business and innovation

LAB University of Applied Sciences will be a higher education institution focusing on industry, business and innovation. It will operate on campuses in Lahti and Lappeenranta. LAB’s added value stems from the shared strengths of the campuses, their regional profiles and international impact.

The strengths of the higher education institution specialised in innovation include the circular economy, design, the commercialisation of innovations and service innovations for health and well-being. The institution’s activity emphasises the promotion of growth and internationalisation in its regions and their businesses.

Increasing the number of higher education graduates in the working world and the number of jobs created are the key indicators of LAB’s influence.

“The two campuses enable more wide-ranging cooperation between Lappeenranta and Lahti, and new growth is sought through collaboration in projects and education that profits all institutions involved,” explains Juha-Matti Saksa, Chair of the Boards of LAMK and SAIMIA. “Corporate collaboration will be made visible through the Business Mill concept and student entrepreneurship.”

Turo Kilpeläinen, LAB's President-elect and Managing Director, highlights that LAB’s vision – to be a higher education focusing on industry, business and innovation – requires a significant shift in operating culture.

“LAB’s development work challenges not only us but also the cities and businesses in the Lahti and Lappeenranta regions. We will work closely together with our partners to pinpoint the best possible operating models for systematic, long-term cooperation,” says Kilpeläinen. “LAB's experts and expertise must be harnessed to support the development of business enterprises.”

The LUT Group has a strong growth strategy that LAB University of Applied Sciences will observe. Targets have been set especially for increasing external funding, and achieving these targets requires strong cooperation with higher education institutions and businesses.

Further information:

Tuomo Rönkkö, Chairman of the LUT University Board | tuomo [dot] ronkkoattejusa [dot] fi, +358 50 387 6120

Juha-Matti Saksa, Rector of LUT University and Chair of the Boards of LAMK and SAIMIA | juha-matti [dot] saksaatlut [dot] fi, +358 40 016 6659

Turo Kilpeläinen, President of LAMK | turo [dot] Kilpelainenatlamk [dot] fi, +358 44 708 5085

Merja Heino, President of SAIMIA | merja [dot] heinoatsaimia [dot] fi, +358 40 760 5533