Ounasvaara sport hub

Ounasvaara is a hill located close to Rovaniemi city center and hosts several institutions and activities e.g. hotels, ski resort and Santasport Lapland Sport Academy. Santasport consists of several indoor sport facilities, including football hall, ice rinks, running tracks, gym and multipurpose hall. It provides facilities to locals, athletes and the education and research activities of Lapland University of Applied Sciences and Lapland Sport Academy. Santasport also provides accommodation services, conference services and coaching services and hosts training camps for international teams.

Ounasvaara offers also nature for locals. It has nature trails for walking and cycling, in winter it also has 200km of ski tracks for cross-country skiing and ski resort for alpine skiing. Ounasvaara is also important to Rovaniemi’s tourism with two hotels and holiday cottages. Winter is important for Ounasvaara and due to climate change the winter season and snowfall is getting shorter. This is why the actors in Ounasvaara are developing technology for creating artificial snow and for storing snow from previous winter to the next. This year the cross country ski tracks were opened 24th October although there was no snow at the time. Having snow is important for Lapland’s tourism and winter sports and this is why Lappish actors are investing in new technology.

Ounasvaara and Santaport area are also important environment for businesses. During the visit we heard an introduction of Comeback Center, a business offering rehabilitation services to athletes. The location in Santasport is important to Comeback Center making it possible for the business to use the facilities in the area.

Service design lab

The second online visit of November was to University of Lapland and the Faculty of Arts’ service design lab SINCO. According to a study conducted in 2005, 80% of companies believed to have a first-class customer experience but only 8% of their clients agreed. In service design, the methods of design are applied to services instead of products. The main asset is the user-centric approach to services, which helps to address the needs and challenges future. To put it simply, in service design process the researchers take the perspective of the client and take a look at the customer journey in detail to find possible challenges.

One part of the visit was to take part in a practical demo of service design and the use of SINCO lab (Service Innovation Corner). We went through an example from ski school and how we could make it better. We started with hypothetical client and her ski instructor. With SINCO we were able to create a mock up version of the service. The whole ski school process was acted in the service design corner SINCO using video, sound and different props available. This helped us to get into the shoes of the client. During the process we were thinking how we could make the experience smoother and better by including digital solutions. One of these ideas was to embed technology and gaming elements to the ski slopes.

The Staff Exhange Week gave the participants better insight of Lapland’s sport ecosystem and aroused fruitful discussion on possible future collaboration in both Ounasvaara hub and service design expertise.

See example of SINCO here: www.youtube.com/watch