Karostech has been deeply involved in business development of Polarsol Oy since January 2015 till April 2016. During that time Polarsol has received both Phase 1 and Phase 2 SME Instrument funding from the European Commission, in total 2.1 MEUR. Polarsol still remains the only SME from North Karelia region to be approved to this funding instrument. You can have a quick view on Karostech’s role in developing Polarsol’s relations to the EC in the interview of Erik Raita given for European Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises EASME in Brussels in January 2016. Keywords: EU funding, Polarsol, Horizon 2020, Advisory services

↑ Back to top


Since October 2016 Karostech was deeply involved in business development of health tech start-up Physilect Oy. We helped Physilect to attract public funding to support commercialization activities. In addition, Physilect has received SME Instrument Phase 1 funding from the European Commission. Keywords: EU funding, Physilect, Horizon 2020, Advisory services

↑ Back to top

Part-up BV

Since early 2017 Karostech was involved in internationalization of Dutch community building and talent platform start-up Part-up BV. We helped Part-up to attract SME Instrument funding from the European Commission and participated in the implementation of their Phase 1 project. Keywords: EU funding, Horizon 2020, Advisory services

↑ Back to top

netWork Oasis

netWork Oasis was an ambitious development project by Joensuu Science Park (JSP). It was initiated and managed by Ilkka Kakko, who at that time was a member of Directors Board in JSP. The vision in the beginning of the project 2002 was to design and implement a new type of collaborative working environment, which could serve as a platform for incubation services and a breeding environment for innovation communities. The project unfold in a creative way and many new ways of facilitation were created during the process. Soon after the Training Camp Kick-Off event also serendipity related issues begun to gain momentum. The pilot space “FlexLab” opened 2004 and offered valuable experiences and insights to the mechanisms of serendipity management and community building. netWork Oasis opened in the top floor of extension building of JSP in December 2006 as the first ever coworking environment in the world, which is purposefully designed in order to harness serendipity and support active community building. With the embedded GLOW virtual collaboration platform it was the state-of the art pilot for “hybrid space” thinking, blending real and virtual. You can have a glimpse of netWork Oasis and an interview of Anthony Townsend, Research Director of Institute for the Future, here. Keywords: co-working, hybrid space, community building, 3GSP, serendipity management, CNOs, regional development, sticky knowledge

↑ Back to top

Institute for the Future – participation in a technology foresight

Institute for the Future and Research Triangle Park published a comprehensive scenario report ”The Future Knowledge Ecosystems – The Next 20 Years of Technology- Led Development”. The objective of the report was to give guidelines for the further development of innovation intermediaries like science and technology parks, universities and regional development organizations. Ilkka Kakko participated in the process as a member of an international online expert panel, which developed future scenarios based on the weak signals available. As a result three scenarios were created:

  1. Science and Technology Parks 3.0
  2. Rise of Research Clouds
  3. The Decline of STPs

Participation to this work was an important move from Karostech’s competence building perspective. It gave us the insight to the latest methodologies used in the technology foresight field and helped us to widen our network reach to the leading foresight experts in the world. The report can be downloaded in Keywords: technology foresight, research clouds, community building, sticky knowledge

↑ Back to top

ECOLEAD, Joensuu Science Park

Ilkka Kakko was acting as the Project Manager for Joensuu Science Park’s part in the project 2004-2008, first as a Manager at JSP but later 2007-08 finished the project based on commercial agreement between JSP and Karostech. ECOLEAD was an ambitious 6th FramSaveework EU -research project (IP =Integrated Project) with the total budget of 15 M euros and 26 partners – universities, research units and industrial partners. JSP and especially its netWork Oasis department managed by Ilkka Kakko was a demonstration and research partner in the Professional Virtual Communities (PVC) area. ECOLEAD is acknowledged widely as the main achievement in the research discipline of Collaborative Networked Organizations (CNOs). The methodologies and practices of CNOs were researched, developed, piloted. Based on the results of the project Springer published three books: ”Network -Centric Collaboration and Supporting Networks”, edited by Luis M. Camarinha Matos & Hamideh Afsarmanesh & Martin Ollus, 2006 ”Methods and Tools for Collaborative Networked Organizations”, edited by Luis M. Camarinha Matos & Hamideh Afsarmanesh & Martin Ollus, 2008 ”Collaborative Networks: Reference Modelling” , by Luis M. Camarinha Matos & Hamideh Afsarmanesh, 2008 The reference model ARCON and the methodologies and tools developed and piloted in ECOLEAD have been the theoretical basis for the development of our 3GSP (Third Generation Science Parks) – concept and have also given the building blocks for our approach towards the way we build innovation communities. The understanding of the virtual organizations and teams and especially the vital role of Virtual Organization Breeding Environments (VBEs) are useful in the creation of networked business ecosystems and can be utilized also when supporting cluster development in regions. The PVC and VBE models are further developed by Karostech and in the pipeline we have a new ”freelancers and coworkers in cloud” service, which is soon ready for the piloting phase. Keywords: CNOs, VBE, PVC, networked business ecosystems, community building

↑ Back to top

Finnish Consulting Group

Karostech has been contracted by Finnish Consulting Group to develop an innovation strategy for Leningrad oblast region of Russia. Our work was a part of a large strategy development project aiming at increasing investment attractiveness of the region. In addition to innovation related topics, our responsibility covered also the action plan for IT and media promotion of the region towards potential investors. The end customer of that project was the Economic Development Committee of the Government of Leningrad oblast. Keywords: regional development, innovation strategy, Russia

↑ Back to top

Center for Strategic Research North-West

Located in Saint Petersburg, Center for Strategic Research North-West is one of the leading consulting companies in Russia focusing on regional development strategies and innovation system development. Our cooperation with CSR NW has started back in 2009. Since then we’ve participated in a number of CSR’s projects providing market surveys and reports on specific innovation related topics and also presenting at various conferences, forums and seminars organized by CSR around Russia. Our contribution has mostly focused on innovation communities, third generation of science parks and building knowledge ecosystems. The geography of this fruitful cooperation includes such remote locations as Khabarovsk in Russian Far-East as well as Khanty-Mansijsk and Krasnoyarsk regions in Siberia. Keywords: community building, technology parks, cluster development, regional development, 3GSP, Russia

↑ Back to top

Nupharo Technology & Innovation campus

Karostech’s founder and partner Ilkka Kakko has contributed the UNESCO mission in Czech Republic as certified UNESCO science park management consultant. The task force conducted the field study and submitted a technical report about the further development activities regarding to “Nupharo STP initiative” currently known as Nupharo Technology & Innovation campus. Nupharo was a new initiative strongly supported by the Czech government and big global corporations like ABB, Cisco, E.oN and Philips. Nupharo Technology Park focuses on smart energy and DC technologies in partnership with leading global universities in the field. The first premises were open in the end of 2014 on the highway Berlin – Prague about an hour drive from Prague. Keywords: Nupharo, technology parks, smart energy, regional development, UNESCO

↑ Back to top


EU funding consultancy

We used Karostech’s services for the preparation of our EU funding proposal related to startup ecosystem development. Ilkka and Erik were  knowledgeable, professional, honest, full of integrity and high work ethic. It was a pleasure working with them. For sure this won’t be our last project together.
Mahesh Kumar, CEO, Result Nordics AB

Facility Manager of the Year

Ilkka Kakko was recognized as “Facility Manager of the Year” because of his achievements in promoting the important development of facility management towards more collaborative working environments. His pioneering environments in Joensuu, FlexLab (opened 2004) and netWork Oasis (opened 2006), were the first coworking spaces in Finland. Ilkka contributed also greatly by giving numerous visionary presentations on many events and hosting tens of visitor groups in Joensuu 2004-2008. By the beginning of 2013 we are able to confirm that most of Ilkka’s visions are becoming realized.
Keijo Kaivanto, CEO of KIINKO Real Estate Education, Chairman of the Board of Finnish Facility Managers Association

Piimäen Syke

RAKLI – The Finnish Association of Building Owners and Construction Clients organized the Development Clinic “Piimäen Syke” for the City of Helsinki in 2011. The objective was to create necessary solutions to renew the image and revitalize the area, which suffered from extraordinary high vacancies of office facilities. The clinic gathered the stakeholders and key experts for a series of workshops to deliver an action plan. Ilkka Kakko from Karostech Ltd was invited and had a very positive impact. A strong shared vision and many ideas were created which set the practical actions underway.
Erkki Aalto, Development Director, RAKLI

Centre for Strategic Research

At Centre for Strategic Research North-West we have used Karostech’s expertise since 2009 in multiple projects mainly related to regional strategies planning in Russia. Both Erik Raita and Ilkka Kakko have contributed as speakers at different events orginized by CSR NW as well as experts participating in analytical work and written reports. Karostech has demonstrated high level of knowledge of international innovation networks and regional innovation ecosystem development practices.
Dmitry Sanatov, Project Director, Centre for Strategic Research


Karostech has participated as one of the key partners to ENPI SE-631 project ”Open Innovation Service for Emerging Business” – OpenINNO, implemented during 2012-14. The objective of OpenINNO was to contribute to economic development of partner regions through fostering pre-incubating stage of innovation lifecycle by developing, piloting and testing the open ecosystem for interregional cooperation with special focus on young entrepreneurs. Karostech was responsible for the design and implementation of co-working environment as well as developing community building practices in St. Petersburg. Ilkka Kakko and Erik Raita have given numerous presentations and master classes for the innovation support stakeholders and entrepreneurs. A book titled ”Oasis Way and the Postnormal Era-How Understanding Serendipity Will Lead You to Success” was written by Ilkka Kakko and published by the project. It’s a valuable practical manual for building a vibrant innovation community using serendipity management approach.
Yury Nurulin, Professor at St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University, Manager of OpenINNO project

Start-up ecosystem development in St. Petersburg

Karostech’s experts have played important role in the initial phases of start-up ecosystem development in St. Petersburg in 2013-14. Being well acquainted with main actors in the field and the local environment including universities and innovation support infrastructure Karostech has made a comprehensive assessment of prerequisites and suggested the implementation of some Finnish models (Demola and Design Factory) in order to boost the cooperation between local universities and industry. Thanks to proactive attitude of Karostech, an independent cross-university innovation platform now operates in St. Petersburg.
Igor Rozhdestvensky, CEO Martal SPb, during 2010-15 Managing Director of Ingria Business Incubator