Areas of expertise

Karostech’s offering covers an important selection of expert services in the areas of Innovation ecosystems development, Business advisory, Strategies and foresights, Audits and assessments, Serendipity Management and EU funding. Our way of working is flexible and tailored to the needs of the customer. We are able to offer our expertise in various ways, from limited consultancy tasks of few days up to the comprehensive solutions and projects with ambitious goals.
The flexibility and multidisciplinary expertise is guaranteed by the help of our trusted partner network.  Due to this versatile approach we are able to screen customer’s challenges from various perspectives starting with a proper problem definition, which is the key factor to triumphant solutions. Our ambition is to offer expert services which qualify for the highest international standards. Read more about our references.

Innovation Ecosystems

We have during the years developed and tested a new concept for the innovation ecosystem development, we call it the 3rd Generation Science Park (3GSP). Our understanding of regional development challenges is that the global perspective is essential, while the access to global talent pool and the ability to create ‘sticky knowledge‘ are the key elements. 3GSP concept is built to answer these challenges.

The 3GSP concept is specially tailored for the future oriented agile STPs, which want to help their customers to succeed in the Postnormal VUCA Era. Some elements of 3GSP were already described in the scenario called “The Rise of Research Clouds” in a report ”The Future Knowledge Ecosystems”  published already in 2009 by the Institute for the Future. Karostech has contributed to this foresight conducted by team of international experts in order to evaluate different development scenarios for Science and Technology Parks.

The 3GSP concept is based on three cornerstones:

  • Sustainable and healthy ecosystem building;
  • Sophisticated use of various types of platforms;
  • Serendipity management

The superiority of our 3GSP concept is the comprehensive understanding of the innovation ecosystems. The strong support of individual and community level activities in ecosystem and smart use of platforms enable new combinations of competences to emerge. With the help of our partner network we are able to support our customers to build attractive communities and generate social capital. This all creates gravity which is the essential part in pulling also social entrepreneurs and enthusiastic individuals into the ecosystem.

In the incubation process our focus is in the pre-incubation activities. We aim to create physical and virtual environments, which complement each other forming a DNA of the ecosystem. The core element is the coworking space combined with a competence platform and especially designed for serendipitous encounters This model has been piloted already for six years and the proof of concept is attained with netWork Oasis development and implementation at Joensuu Science Park (JSP).

Our 3GSP concept can be geographically dispersed throughout the city, region, nation or even globally. It’s not focused on physical premises, so most of the investments can be directed to the technology and community building, and in many cases the existing buildings can be utilized with minimal investments. Our virtual collaboration platform solutions – like competence platform and the node, the coworking space, will keep the innovation communities linked to the core activities.

Both Erik Raita and Ilkka Kakko have given numerous speeches and presentations on the topics of innovation community building and collaborative working environments all over the world. Our understanding has evolved from the experiences of ECOLEAD project and “Oasis tribe” facilitation in the context of netWork Oasis design and implementation. We have been also lately active in the evolution of Living Bridges Planet community, which is originally founded by the members of our partner network Willi Schroll and Bert-Ola Bergstrand.

Ilkka Kakko is also a certified UNESCO expert in the field of Science and Technology Park management, participating in feasibility studies and development projects (like Nupharo STP as example) and giving presentations in global forums organized by UNESCO.

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Business Advisory

Karostech’s experts have broad and diverse management experience from different fields including

  • investment banking,
  • process industry,
  • ICT,
  • marketing,
  • renewable energy,
  • innovation environments,
  • science park management,
  • facility management,
  • photonics, etc.

These expertise forms the basis for Karostech’s Business Advisory services available mainly for companies whom we assist with Horizon 2020 SME Instrument applications and further implementation of Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects.

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Foresight and Strategies

It’s extremely important that all regional development activities have a strong future orientation. Having three leading European foresight experts, Willi Schroll, Risto Linturi and Jari Kaivo-oja, in our team and relying on our own proven experience combined with Lauri Kuukasjärvi’s and Kari Mikkelä’s competence of running regional development programmes in many countries, we can guarantee that the best possible global competence is at your disposal.

Thriving regions have a healthy balance of established companies, SMEs, startups and a variety of freelancers, lifestyle entrepreneurs and social enterprises. We have a widespread understanding of the dynamics in this kind of ecosystems. Our consultancy is based on strong community building approach. Our ability to create sticky knowledge and the dynamics to build attraction factors in order to pull talent into the region (either virtually or physically) are unique. These elements are essential in the global competition between cities and regions and may just be enough for your region to be a winner in the race.

Karostech’s experts have been involved in numerous regional strategy projects including

  • ”The Future Knowledge Ecosystems” foresight conducted by the Institute for the Future for IASP;
  • Lenoblast region development strategy via Finnish Consulting Group;
  • Innovation development strategies of Sarov, Khabarovsk, Zheleznogorsk, etc. via Centre for Strategic Research North-West;
  • Economic development strategy of Joensuu region via Joensuu Regional development Company Josek Oy;
  • East London science and technology park feasibility study and strategy work in the context of East London Industrial Development Zone, South – Africa via Finnish Foreign Ministry;
  • Feasibility study for strategic development of Nupharo Technology & Innovation capmus in Czech Republic via UNESCO;

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Serendipity Management

The original definition of serendipity by Horace Walpole is following:  “Serendipity is the quality of mind, which through awareness, sagacity and good fortune allows one frequently to discover valuable things while seeking something else.”

Our definition of serendipity management is as follows: “Serendipity management is a comprehensive set of tools and facilitation methodologies, which through workspace design, facilitation of unexpected encounters and collective insight will support the emergence of new combinations of competences and generation of breakthrough ideas.”

Serendipity management is a new innovation paradigm, which is rapidly gaining momentum globally.  The leading companies like Google have applied some of the serendipity management principles successfully in their business.  It is inevitably becoming a hot topic in the fields of innovation environment design, community building and talent pool development. Many emergent solutions will be introduced in the global scale and with the help of our extensive networks we are able to screen and study those initiatives and apply the most interesting ones in our activities.

Karostech’s unique competence of serendipity related issues is based on our long experience in studying and developing the approach (since 2004). The first principles and tools of serendipity management were piloted and tested already in the context of netWork Oasis design and implementation processes. We have continued the active development and piloting of the main methodologies in our own business activities.

You can find more about serendipity related issues on our dedicated forum . It covers the field of serendipity research and practices in the form of blogs, featured links, recommended literature, case stories and presentations.

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Audits and Assessments

We are living in a Postnormal Era characterized with an ever increasing Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Is your organization ready to thrive in this VUCA environment? Does your team have proper competences to lead your business to the global success? Karostech is developing in collaboration with our partnering foresight expert Dr. Jari Kaivo-oja a methodology to evaluate these prerequisites. We call it Vucability assessment and it will be introduced to academia and STP managers in the Global Innovation Forum in Indonesia on 20th September.

Vucability assessment tool, named as the evaluation and mapping system of the VUCA approach (EMS-VUCA 1.0), is a three dimensional model, where the vucability level of a company/community/region can be evaluated and further improved based on the evaluation results. Contact us for more details.

Another proprietary methodology is called Market segmentation analysis. The main idea of this study is to evaluate different market segments’ potential for the client company based on prerequisites they provide for quick go-to-market. Such criteria as market volume, growth rate, decision making chain, value chain, margins, average value of the single contract, after sales support and maintenance needs, PR value, etc. are carefully evaluated in order to select the priority market segments for initial introduction of product or service. This analysis is especially valuable for start-up companies, who have already successfully made commercial proof-of-concept on certain market segments based on pilot customer’s interest. Very often companies build their market proposition based on their experience from those POC projects without studying the potential of other market segments. Our Market segmentation analysis helps gathering objective information from a variety of market segments and thus focusing the effort on those with the highest potential or fastest time-to-market.

In addition, we also conduct more traditional feasibility and technology readiness assessments.

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EU funding

Karostech is an expert in various project activities related to EU funding. Our previous experience includes:

  • building project consortiums;
  • creating and elaborating ideas of potential development projects;
  • writing project proposals and supporting the submission activities;
  • evaluations for both project proposals and executed projects;
  • Living Lab activities in the context of ENoLL (European Network of Living Labs);
  • participating as a partner in ENPI project ”Open Innovation Service for Emerging Business” – OpenINNO executed in 2012-14;

Our current activities are focused to Horizon 2020 SME Instrument funding. We assist our customers with the application procedure as well as further implementation of project tasks.

Read our blog for more detail

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