KONE WORX and Business Jyväskylä take on the challenges of the urban environment together
Designing services grounded in experience and needs for Jyväskylä’s Kangas and Hippos
Nov 12, 2020
Business Jyväskylä, the business services unit of the City of Jyväskylä, and KONE WORX, a customer innovation unit at KONE, have been working together since March 2020 to develop new smart services for urban environments. These services may benefit both city dwellers and businesses active in the city.
KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, is an expert in helping people move within and between buildings. Their recently launched customer innovation unit, KONE WORX looks beyond traditional business models. It considers trends and disruptions, especially in the digital area, with a view to developing new kinds of services and business ideas. KONE WORX is exploring what is possible, given changes in behaviour, urbanization and what can be done with new types of digital technologies.
KONE WORX and Business Jyväskylä have spent the past six months using service design methods to identify needs for services and how to answer them. The cooperative relationship is focused on people and meeting human needs. After identifying potential areas, the development of technical solutions and technologies can begin. At the moment, KONE WORX and Business Jyväskylä have focused on the Kangas smart living and working neighbourhood, but they will also be looking at the new Hippos area.
– Jyväskylä is a smart city on the cutting edge of development. Despite its small size, it’s tackling many of the same problems seen in larger cities like Singapore and London. Jyväskylä shares a mindset and approach with us at KONE: the use of new technology to look for solutions in a human-centred way. says Timo Tiainen, Head of KONE WORX.
– We at Business Jyväskylä have begun to think about the digital transition in an entirely new way. We are increasingly focused on the benefits inhabitants, entrepreneurs and even Jyväskylä visitors can reap from digitalisation. The technology, or lack thereof, is no longer much of an obstacle to the development of new services; it’s more important to understand what technologies to apply in each service case. KONE has an extensive background in understanding service design and development, rooted in the latest technological developments in urbanization. Cooperating with KONE and building new insights together is an extremely valuable and welcome resource for us urban developers, says Mika Kataikko, Project Manager for Digital Solutions at Business Jyväskylä, the business services unit of the City of Jyväskylä.
Jyväskylä is known as the Athens of Finland, a cradle of civilization and innovation, where many private and commercial digital services have first seen the light of day. Jyväskylä strives to retain its position as the pilot project grounds of choice in Finland, and its cooperation with KONE WORX is an excellent means of supporting this goal. The cooperative relationship takes the partners from safe and familiar surroundings out of a comfort zone, where true growth is made possible.
– We expect this cooperation to result in solutions to real problems, ones that can eventually be scaled up to a global market and turned into commercially viable products and services. Our cooperation with Jyväskylä gives us an insight into the real challenges faced by inhabitants, businesses, neighbourhoods, and jurisdictions. When we solve problems with users and businesses, the work we do and the solutions we come up with can lead to something special, says Timo Tiainen.
– One of the most important goals of this cooperation is to make new, useful and easily useable digital services available to Jyväskylä inhabitants to help them in their everyday lives, says Mika Kataikko, elaborating on the goals of the cooperative relationship.
Mika Kataikko, Project Manager, Digital Solutions, Business Jyväskylä, City of Jyväskylä tel. 050 526 8622, mika.kataikko[at]jyvaskyla.fi
Timo Tiainen, Head of KONE WORX, timo.tiainen[at]kone.com