KIRA-InnoHub development workshop May 30, 2018 in Maria 01

A lot has happened since our previous blog post in January.

  • The Finnish Built Environment Hub is to be born soon, and its name is KIRA-InnoHub, at least for the time being. KIRA means kiinteistö- ja rakentamisala, the real estate and construction sector.
  • We have conducted 12 interviews to understand the motives and perspectives of different KIRA stakeholders towards the Hub; why we need it, what purposes it serves? We interviewed KIRA-associations, government, and other public and private organizations.
  • After the interviews, we felt that the stakeholders needed to be brought together to discuss the purpose of the hub; what different stakeholders need from the hub and what they can offer to the wider Hub ecosystem players. Together with Kira-digi project and RAKLI (The Finnish Association of Building Owners and Construction Clients) we invited different stakeholders to a KIRA-InnoHub development workshop on 30th of May in Maria 01….and what happened there? This blog post will shed light on it.

The feedback from the workshop was great, the participants felt it was successful because they had a chance to discuss with so many other stakeholders and create ideas for collaboration. Almost 80 participants were present from 45 different organizations; associations, government, cities, companies, and research organizations. The event was facilitated by Janne Saarikko, and we (Rita Lavikka and Antero Hirvensalo).


Antero Hirvensalo and Rita Lavikka reporting stakeholder interviews (photo by Miimu Airaksinen).


The agenda of the day was divided into three topics: background for the KIRA-InnoHub, co-development of KIRA-InnoHub services, and finally wrap-up during which participants had a chance to tell about what they considered important topics for the future.

During the background, digital officer Teemu Lehtinen told about the Kira-Digi project, ideas for global collaboration (namely the network of global hubs), coming events (such as a joint hackathon with Bloxhub and the Singapore week) and showed a video on Bloxhub. After that, Jyrki Laurikainen, CEO of Rakli told why it is important to continue Kira-digi principles and ideas after Kira-digi project ends, and how to finance KIRA-InnoHub for the first three years.

After that, we told about the stakeholder interviews that we have conducted in spring 2018. The interview findings were summarized into a KIRA-InnoHub’s mission:

  1. Continue the work of KIRA-Digi together with private and public sectors
    • Boost the collaboration in innovations in built environment and across sectors
    • Understand new business opportunities and use of new technologies
  2. Enable data flow and harmonization
    • Continue collaboration between public and private organizations
  3. Help in business scaling and internationalization
    • Build global network of built environment hubs to help Finnish companies to the global markets

KIRA-InnoHub conducts its mission by

  • Connecting ecosystem actors around customer needs, business activities, and data harmonization.
  • Working as a neutral player in the Finnish built environment ecosystem
  • Sharing best practices over different industries

After the interview summary, Mikael Långström from Rakli told about the next steps in developing the KIRA-InnoHub, its coming website, its potential users, and how to join the community. Please, feel free to join by following this link. After Mikael, Ola Sundell from Hub13 was telling about Finland’s first Proptech accelerator.

The slides of the presentations are available here.


Participants actively listening!  (photo by Aarni Heiskanen)


Next, the participants were divided into six groups based on their interest towards a predefined topic. Each group was given two questions to answer:

  1. What kinds of needs your group sees on your topic?
  2. How could your organizations together contribute to the needs?



Participants engaged in a group work (photo by Rita Lavikka)


Next, we present a short summary of the results gained in the six groups:

1) “Research” group facilitated by Rita Lavikka

Participants: A private company and research organizations (Aalto University, Metropolia)

  • Business needs research. However, the companies don’t know how to contact researchers. There is a need for a university contact person but also the researchers would need a company contact person to inquire whether the company would be in need for research.
  • Companies don’t know how to buy research. Therefore, the Hub could help in creating contacts with research organizations, and help in buying research.
  • Accelerate business-oriented research and accelerate research-driven research. This has been an important topic in the current government’s agenda.
  • Recruitment platform for business organizations to hire researchers. “Buy a researcher for an hour.” Researchers could tell about their research results to companies through a one hour lectures that companies would pay for.
  • Make the sector interesting and attractive to young people. This should be one the key things for the hub to do.
  • Highlight the role and value of research in business. Business is about serving customers.
  • Hub could suggest topics for thesis, the topics could come from companies.


2) “Data flow and harmonization” group facilitated by Antero Hirvensalo

Participants: Telia, EFIMA/Alkio, Congrid, Nobileo, RALA, L&T, CGI, Isännöintiliitto, Sähkönumerot, KTI, Tilaajavastuu, RT, City of Turku. The biggest needs of the group members:

  • Knowing what data each of the participants can offer
    • need open communication of available data
    • people know trough projects what is available
    • existing Kiradigi projects to open up data sources (experimental projects, Rasti..)
  • User needs for data
    • this was the first time to share ideas of user needs between different stakeholders!
    • make different user groups and their needs starting point for events
  • Guiding legislation
    • incentives to share data, not forcing
    • minimum level for what has to be shared
  • Opening up boundaries
    • different sectors, private companies
  • User interfaces, addresses
    • Action point: invite startups to develop these
  • Data producers’ needs
    • business critical data: to share or not to share, who pays for producing the data


3) “Digi service co-creation/piloting with customers” facilitated by Erkki Aalto

Organizations could together contribute to the following need areas by participating in ”KIRA-InnoHub” activities:

KIRA-InnoHub_Topic 3.png

(Slide created by Erkki Aalto)


4) “Accelerators/internationalization/hubs” facilitated by Janne Saarikko

This group draw a concept map of how the group participants are linked:



5) “Best practice sharing/events/matchmaking” group facilitated by Samu Viitanen

  • Example cases should be collected and examined in the hub. The best practices could be shared with the whole community.
  • Hub should provide some concrete base rules to address how the built environment sector should cooperate and in what terms. Win-win situations should be achieved with cooperation. No stealing or bluntly ripping off others’ solutions.
  • Hub should be the “glue” of the whole ecosystem, kicking off development and bringing people in the ecosystem together and making them conscious of each other.
  • Hub could be used to crowdsource a solution for a problem. Also, risk of innovation could be shared across the hub actors.
  • Hub could help balance positions of different actors in the ecosystem. For example, the position of architects or contractors could be improved through the hub.
  • The potential of innovations and digital transformation should be brought deep in to the different organisations in the ecosystem, all the way to the construction workers, project managers etc.
  • Hub should sell solutions, not consulting hours.
  • Hub could collect people interested in different themes and topics, for example innovative public procurement, gather subecosystems around them for the purpose of developing them further.


6) “Other: Engagement” group facilitated by Mikael Långström

Engagement needs:

  • Communication and participation are usually taken as granted.
  • Group discussed how they would participate Hub operations as individuals and as a company.
  • Group thinks that hub should focus A LOT in communication, interaction and participation with it’s community
    • Proper budget for communications
    • Active community
    • Constant event / happening offering to target groups
  • A table of stakeholders’ needs and offering:
Association Corporation Agent/Activist
Gets Global perspective (networks, contacts, information, events, projects) A single communication channel (New ideas from the network, need to keep brains active and information about what is happening in the ecosystem) Information sharing

(It is easier for me to share information across silos. Fe. To every association, Also gets connections, content and stories)

Offers Communication resources (Communication help by sharing and spreading information to close stakeholders and to members) Testbed (Possibility to act as a mini node in the network -> offer to test tech/apps) Visibility

(International visibility to the hub, some connections, content marketing services and marketing services)

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