Digital Smart Otaniemi shaping up in Aalto University IDBM course

New perspectives, new knowledge, and fresh ideas – students are here to brush the dust off Smart Otaniemi. The visionary students from Aalto University are breathing new life into Smart Otaniemi digital structures and creating better interfaces through customer-centered design.


During the past couple of months, a group of students from Aalto University’s International Design Business Management Master’s Degree Programme, IDBM, have been diving deep into the possibilities of data and different digital layers of Smart Otaniemi. City of Espoo, VTT, Nokia and Kone joined forces to drive the project, and are providing the students background material and support. The aim is to find efficient ways to boost the innovation with data, and to combine design into digitality in Smart Otaniemi’s future plans.

The project is now in mid-way, and the solutions are starting to shape up – the final results will be published in the end of May 2022.

Multidisciplinary view and variety of skills

The team “Digital Smart Otaniemi” is an extraordinary combination of skills and ambition. The five bright minded students, Jasmin, Antti-Mikael, Nikolas, Milla and Fanny, have remarkable knowledge to bring to the case. The studies and degrees of the team cover areas fromindustrial engineering,management,architecture anddesign to humanities and business administration, including even a Master of Laws. Above all, the team has a skillsetthat provides an outstanding perspective on data and digitality, including elements from visual design to human centered living environments and service design, to mention few.

In many ways, the team represents the values of Smart Otaniemi in full. Besides of being truly multidisciplinary, Digital Smart Otaniemi team is open minded, values new angles, emphasizes prototyping and appreciates learning and teamwork for common goals. This team of talents is now part of the Smart Otaniemi family and are definitely pushing us forward in developing the innovation hub onwards.

Prototypes, research and hard work

The starting point of the assignment was not easy. Data and digitalization are blurry concepts, and at Smart Otaniemi the co-creation adds a new twist to the plot. How can data be shared safely within the network? What’s the wisest way to use data in co-creation of innovations? Undoubtedly, data is needed to develop, test, and implement new sustainable products and services.

From the very long wish list for a digital Smart Otaniemi, the team has managed to narrow down the customer-centered design directions to advance. During the process, the team has created informative prototypes that have been tested with different stakeholders. The journey from prototype to another and the lessons learned along the way are already very valuable for planning the next steps of Smart Otaniemi.


The project is led by City of Espoo, VTT, Nokia and Kone. Read more on IDBM>>