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P. Mantere1, H. Lassila2

1Laurea University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
2Savonia University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
One of the most important tasks for Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Finland is to ensure a close connection between education and working life. According to the UAS law the three main tasks are education, research and regional development. The amount of research, development and Innovation work (RDI) is one of the parameters that regulate the funding of UAS functions.

In order to be able to correspond to the demand of development it is crucial that the personnel at UAS are competent to carry out research and development work. They should have competencies, skills and knowledge about different methods, approaches as well as a close relationship and social and interaction skills to operate in working life with the latest knowledge.

The staff and students of UAS are actively involved in research and development. Projects are funded by national or EU funding instruments, also private funding is becoming more common. RDI is partly implemented without funding or payment, for example with non-governmental and other non-profit organizations.

The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture has granted funding for a national project. The aim of the project is to develop a new model for co-creation, which strengthens the role of UAS in the national innovation ecosystem. It should improve business management and service management competences in the hospitality industry and competiveness in the international operational environment. This project organized around the joint development of hospitality management studies and business, is based on 8 work packages and all Finnish UAS with hospitality studies are involved in the project. Each work package includes an operational aspect but also information search, studies and research.

The one aim of the project is to study the competences of UAS personnel concerning RDI-skills and how to improve RDI competences. The main focus is to describe:
1) what kind of RDI work they do,
2) what kind of knowledge and skills they have,
3) what kind of lack of knowledge there is.

Research included a survey which was sent to the personnel in each of UAS in Finland that teach hospitality management. The results of the study will be presented in our conference paper. The results will be used to develop the skills and knowledge in RDI work among teachers and other personnel educating and encouraging them to share knowledge and develop cooperation. The theoretical framework and literature review focuses on RDI-work, competencies, skills and knowledge and co-operation with working life.