During my studies here at Tampere University of Applied Sciences, up until recently, I had a very thin knowledge of the New Factory Demola and the way they function.
I had a chance to take a closer look a while back when I visited the facilities together with TAMK’s International Coordinator Janne Hopeela. We also had an international guest with us, Mr. Blain Lambert from Fontys University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands.
Blain came here to strengthen the ties between Fontys and TAMK. He wanted to get some influences to bring back home, which he could then use to renew and enforce various projects and modules. One of Lambert’s former students, Clemens Pietza is an exchange student at TAMK. He is currently working on a project in Demola, so our visit was a good chance for them to catch up and swap news.
Demola is based in Tampere’s beautiful Finlayson area. It is a conjunctive platform for students and real-life companies. Companies approach students’ project teams – normally multicultural - with real-life problems. The project teams then try to come up with new solutions and concepts to tackle the issues. If the designed solutions are eligible for business use, and they do have a tendency to be so, the involved companies can buy the rights off of the teams or license the finished product. The pattern is safe for students, because before the possible sale all the immaterial rights stay with the project teams.
Demola accepts circa 400 new students annually. The academic year is divided in autumn and spring semesters, from September till May. The period between May and August is called InnoSummer, which is an awarded summer job campaign aimed for TAMK, TUT and UTA students, who are interested in project-focused summer jobs. A couple of dozen students are selected each year for InnoSummer.
When we first set foot in the Demola premises it was the positive overall vibe and atmosphere that stroke me first. Comfy couches, inviting work stations and colorful livery were all factors that gave out a good first impression. The place definitely seemed innovative.
We were given a tour around the facilities by a Demola representative, Bernard Garvey, who told us some basic information about the office facilities and the way things are performed there. The premises were bright and spacious, equipped with latest machinery and software. According to Garvey, Demola has plans to expand its operations abroad, such cities as Budapest and Stuttgart. Bernard himself has previously studied International Business at TAMK and graduated. He works in Demola as an international contact person.
We later met and sat down with Clemens Pietza to discuss Demola and the project his group was working on. Clemens and Blain also had the chance to swap news and discuss school-related issues.
|Clemens Pietza & Blain Lambert.|
Clemens works together with a few Finns and he said the process has run relatively smoothly. He explained there are some occasional differences between Dutch and Finnish working methods and ways of communication, but it is only natural with different nationalities working together. Their project partner is Insta Group, a rapidly growing high-tech company, which is divided in two core departments – Insta DefSec and Insta Automation. DefSec is the one the group is collaborating with.
Insta DefSec, according to its abbreviation, specializes in defence and security technology. It has both domestic and international customers, which it provides with communication systems, information networking and security.
Clemens and his group were assigned to develop a new approach to configure and maintain a large communication network. It is a subject that requires plenty of technical know-how, maybe sometimes to an excess. Therefore, Clemens’ group tries to come up with a relatively simple, interesting, yet usable concept for such system. The goal is to smoothly operate a communication network in dynamic environments. Project like that requires good engineering skills and know-how of the programming language Java, for instance.
After our short - yet mind broadening – visit to Demola there is no doubt Clemens, together with his group, has a great possibility in succeeding in the project. Demola offers great surroundings for it.
Text and pictures: Joona Jylhälehto, Trainee at Tampere University of Applied Sciences