On the 12 and 13 May, CRAFTS CODE held its first Interregional Thematic Seminar online via Zoom.

Project partners, stakeholders and participants of the project shared their 'Good Practices' which responded to the topic 'How to improve innovation in business models and process'.

On the 13 May, Vaasa University of Applied Sciences, Finland presented two 'good practices'. The first, was presented by Jari Ratilainen on CreAction. CreAction Hub is a practice developed in Vaasa in 2019-2020 as part of Creve 2.0 project. Creve 2.0 is a national service for creative companies at their early stage to promote their networking, creating and increasing business, and for international activity.

CreAction collects actors from different creative sectors, the craft sector included, to work on real-life cases and to find collaboration opportunities. CreAction Hub addresses the challenge of creating and innovating new business through clusters and looking beyond the traditional solutions which limit creating new opportunities, business, business models, innovation and income. It also aims to create transfer of value of the creative sector to the use of other sectors through recognising the value of the creative sector on other sectors, for instance, industry. Its approach is to combine four existing approaches together, hence creating something totally new:

1) To bring different actors together on a platform. CreAction Hub events offer a platform for finding synergies and opportunities for collaboration and to meet new people. The companies present themselves at the hub events.

2) Facilitating the process using design approach and innovation
The hub and networking activity aim for real and concrete outcomes using design approach and innovation (e.g. co-creation). Therefore, the process is facilitated by professional design, business, development and other experts. The spar and guide companies towards a concrete goal, prepare and document the work, and open and activate discussions.

3) Providing high quality cases and examples to help the companies look outside the box.
 High quality cases are provided by inspirational and high-profile forerunner companies on different aspects. This and bringing presenting examples aim to open minds and see beyond the obvious solutions and opportunities. For instance, one of the eye-opening cases was how Nasa uses origami artists to find solutions for solar panels.

4) Goal-orientation and working on real cases. The last point is to work on real cases provided by companies and organisations, and to find such solutions to these which have an impact and value to end users. 

Website link: https://www.creve.fi 

For further information contact: Jari Ratilainen, VAMK; [email protected] 

Tanja Oraviita: [email protected]

VAMK's second presentation was on the Kvarken Shop. Tanja Oraviita presnted on behalf of Ritva Vainio and Anelma Lehto. The Kvarken Shop Business is an independent handicraft shop established by eight craftswomen in a Unesco World Heritage region, Kvarken region. The idea was to sell crafts products with a more customer-oriented price without lowering the quality of the products. The product assortment mainly forms of the women running the shop but also some local products are presented. These include such as art ceramics, wool, silk, silver and glass products, paintings, knitwear, handicraft, wood works and natural cosmetics, and sometimes also local islander bread and canned lamb. The shop is in an idyllic old fishing shag with no electricity and running water. The craftswomen quickly solve this by producing electricity with solar panels and bringing water in canisters. The shop uses the history and the stories of its location as the source of inspiration. The shop display is carefully though, and the staff is dressed in traditional outfits and create stories around the activity. The shop collaborates with local actors and tourist information. It is  also visible in events, such as moving sheep to islands and post rowing between Finland and Sweden, and in social media. Yet most importantly, it has become a point of reference also for tourists. Tourist information has become an additional activity based on the need of the tourists. It has become a point of reference to tourists from where one can buy water, get an umbrella or mosquito repellent, where to get information how to move in the area, and from where a hiking path starts. The shop is run during the summer season. 

Website link: https://bjorkokvarkenshop.com/

For further information contact: [email protected]

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kvarkenshop/

See the presentations from the two-day seminar here: https://www.interregeurope.eu/craftscode/library/


Tanja Oraviita, VAMK; [email protected]