A13: Aligning RDI Projects with University Strategy and Sustainable Development Goals

Perttu Heino & Hanna-Greta Puurtinen, Tampereen ammattikorkeakoulu
Aiheet: 1. Vastuullisuus, Yleinen

Every staff member of Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) is encouraged to take part in the efforts resulting with new research, development and innovation (RDI) projects and increased volume of external RDI funding. A process idea process to support that was launched over 10 years ago, and during the years there has been a lot of further development of the process to make it an efficient tool for aligning the RDI activities of TAMK with TAMK’s strategy and the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Every project idea gets equal and transparent treatment regardless of the topic and the individuals behind the idea. The process promotes a culture where ideas are expressed in written form before they can proceed and encourages to consider the idea from different angles. The repository of project ideas supports overall understanding and serves as a tool to locate expertise in TAMK and to recognize opportunities for multidisciplinarity.

The project idea process is an important part of TAMK’s management system. The idea form to be filled in forces each project team to consider how it can contribute to the implementation of TAMK’s strategy. Same questions dealing with TAMK’s strategic goals are repeated for funded projects in the beginning, in periodical quality assurance meetings, and after the project has been completed.

The SDGs are currently used in the project idea process as a tool for considering the societal impact of the project and aligning it with the sustainability related strategic objectives of TAMK. The project team is expected to select from the 17 SDGs those which their project will support, and to write an explanation on how this will be done. Information about the selected SDGs will later be recorded in the project management system of TAMK, allowing the reporting of the SDG linkage of TAMK’s RDI activities as a whole.