The Innovation ecoSystem for Healthy Active People in Europe (I3-INSHAPE)

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Kajaani University of Applied Sciences is involved in an EU-funded international project (I3-INSHAPE), which aims to respond the increasing mobility concerns of Europeans through innovation and digitalisation.

Duration of the project:

01.09.2023 - 31.08.2026

In cooperation with:

Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Hungary, Finland (Kainuu region, Lapland, Päijänne-Tavastia, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, CSE Simulation Ltd, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, LAB, Ladec - Lahti Region Development.


Cluster Sports and Technology/Holland


European Union

Finns spend most of their waking hours sitting or be laying around. This increases with the transition from younger to older age groups. Immobility is also a challenge in other European countries.  The I3-INSHAPE project contributes to meeting this challenge. Today's development work requires cooperation between different actors. The project will network with actors in different countries and develop knowledge on the subject. 
Companies in the sport and well-being sector play a key role in the project. Development work will focus on: 1) business support, including innovation and business advisory services, 2) market readiness assessments, 3) data-driven development (new data and digitalisation services), 4) workshops for companies, 5) identification of innovation ecosystem services and tools, and 6) collection of best practices (at international level). 

The project involves operators from five different countries:


Building bridges by sharing data: I3-INSHAPE project fosters international collaboration for SMEs

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Support through data, tailored to the specific needs of SMEs, is one of the cornerstones of the three-year (2023-2026) I3-INSHAPE project. This ambitious operation is one of the main activities of the project which specifically aims to build the I3-INSHAPE Data Portal and Services, as a future service for SMEs. The kick-off event of this activity in Valencia on the 22nd and 23rd of February marked the launch of this phase of the project work plan.  

Co-funded by the EU by the I3 program, I3-INSHAPE has a turnover of 9.5 million euros. Led by Cluster Sports & Technology (NL), it fosters collaboration between SMEs and project partners across different regions of European countries (South Netherlands, East Hungary, Lahti, Kajaani, and Lapland from Finland, Valencia, and Catalunya from Spain).   

Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, representing Kainuu Region, will contribute to this project by mapping the data portal services for sport and wellbeing companies in Kainuu Region.  

The overall aim of the project is to create an interregional, international, and self-sustainable hub where SMEs in the sports and vitality sector can scale up on the European market, building an innovative ecosystem for a positive impact on health and well-being in society thanks to SMEs’ services. The project's recent meeting in Valencia, hosted by Universidad Europea and 4iVLCESPORT, with the collaboration of Metric Salad and Blautic, marked the start of a significant step forward for the project. This specific data-oriented activity focuses on strengthening the digital infrastructure and facilitating data exchange across regions, ultimately empowering SMEs in the sports and vitality sectors along their innovation journey.  

Its goal is to build the I3-INSHAPE Data Portal and Services. This platform will serve as a central hub, fostering collaboration and data usage between flagship SMEs (already on board in the project), co-developer companies, and a second stream of additional SMEs from the participating EU regions. This will ultimately contribute to the growth and competitiveness of SMEs within the EU, facilitating the commercialization of services and attracting investments.  

In Valencia, project partners gained valuable insights crucial for supporting the specific needs of each SME and propelling them towards international success. The next appointment for partners, but also interested companies and stakeholders, is on the 8th and 9th of April in Lahti, one of the regions of Finland: SMEs will get matchmaking sessions with potential investors and other SMEs to further enhancing their opportunities for growth and expansion in the EU market.  

Follow I3-INSHAPE on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay updated and ask for information to the leaders Cluster Sport & Technology to know more. 
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EISMEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. 

Project team in Kajaani University of Applied Sciences

Katri Takala
Project Manager
Tel. +358 44 7101 625
Tommi Kyllönen
Enterprise and business expert
Tel. + 35840 154 3826
Tommi Kauppinen
Data Specialist