Visit to University of Alcala, Spain (2-5/2010)

University of Alcalá, founded in 1499 by Cardinal Cisneros, is one of the oldest universities in Spain. Today University of Alcalá is a modern institution which offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes adapted to the European Higher Education Area and covering all fields of knowledge, from the humanities to engineering, and from the social sciences to experimental and biomedical sciences. Around 27,000 students—approximately 19,000 undergraduates and 8,000 postgraduates—are currently reading for a regulated degree at University of Alcalá.

Juha Vänskä worked as a visiting researcher at University of Alcala for three months (2-5/2010). During the visit, Juha worked closely with professor Luis Rubalcaba, one of the leading experts in Europe in the field of service innovation, and his multi-national research team with members from Italy, Argentina and Mexico. The main objective of the visit was to prepare and carry out a joint study targeted to develop the yet limited understanding on the intensity and significance of customer- and user-interaction in new service development in the field of Spanish tourist industry. The first results of this study will be presented during the Reser 2010 conference that takes place from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October in Gothenburg, Sweden. Overall, the visit was a first step for the more persistent cooperation between research organisations.

The highlight of the visit was ‘Innovation in services: Towards New Sources of Competitive Advantages’ –business workshop that was organised in cooperation with University of Alcala (Spain), Fraunhofer IAO (Germany) and Telefónica, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world.