2.2 Research, development, and innovation activities and artistic activities with impact

Assessment of the audit team

Haaga-Helia collects relevant information on its RDI activities in order to enhance its performance

Clear procedures have been defined to apply for and conduct RDI projects. The project manager of every RDI project produces a final report that explicitly describes the societal impact of the respective project. This aims to guarantee that project managers and other members of the RDI project team are aware of the importance of the societal impact of their RDI activities. An annual RDI impact report provides an overview at the Haaga-Helia level.

RDI projects are required to comply with the overall Haaga-Helia strategy. According to the researchers that have been interviewed, Haaga-Helia has a much stronger interest in developing effectiveness and business cooperation compared to traditional research universities. Nevertheless, the interviewed researchers did not feel restricted due to the frame provided by Haaga-Helia’s RDI strategy.

Haaga-Helia should increase the provided resources for RDI projects in order to improve societal engagement and impact

Existing regional and international networks are used to initiate Haaga-Helia’s RDI activities. A good example for RDI activities in the region is the engagement of Haaga-Helia in the project “Finnish AI region” with a total budget of approximately 3,2 million euros coordinated by the City of Helsinki. It addresses mainly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region and the topic is both application and future-oriented. The auditors encourage Haaga-Helia in this venture as it presents many future potentials.

Despite the intrinsic motivation of many staff members, there were signals that human resources for RDI projects at Haaga-Helia are limited. Currently, only 39% of teachers are involved in externally and competitively funded RDI projects, and just 9% of their time is dedicated to RDI activities. To improve and expand RDI activities, the audit-team recommends that Haaga-Helia should acquire more external funding for RDI projects. Doing so would likely lead to an increase in the number of permanent researchers at the institution, which is currently comparably low.

Refereed publications should increase the visibility and acceptance of Haaga-Helia’s RDI activities

Haaga-Helia´s management is clearly committed to open science. Haaga-Helia has signed a declaration for Open Science and Research. Recommendations and guidelines are available and accessible via Haaga-Helias’s Open RDI website, which is updated frequently. The number of publications has increased significantly during the last few years. In the time span from 2018 to 2021, the number of publications almost doubled. However, only a minority (in 2021 app. 11%) of the publications were refereed articles. It is recommended that the percentage of refereed publications should increase. That would increase Haaga-Helia´s impact and visibility in the research community.

Approximately half of all articles have been published via Haaga-Helia’s own open publishing channel eSignals. Haaga-Helia is responsible for ensuring that scientific quality requirements are met. This is the responsibility of the editorial committee. The audit team recommends that Haaga-Helia should evaluate the application of Open Science recommendations and guidelines in their RDI projects on a medium-term time span.