As the home of the Aaltonaut program, the Design Factory is one of the spearhead initiatives in Aalto University encouraging and enabling fruitful interactions between students, researchers, and professional practitioners. We, at Aaltonaut want to do our share in bringing these groups together and are committed in developing new and exciting ways of university-industry collaboration.

The university-industry collaboration in Aaltonaut aims at matching education with working life requirements. Our students are a carefully selected, interdisciplinary group of Aalto University Bachelor’s students looking forward to changing the world! They are conducting real-life problem-based learning projects related to product development, being coached by Aalto professors and alumni, taking on summer internships and foreign exchange studies as well as doing their Bachelor theses within Aaltonaut.

We aim to provide businesses with an easy way to rethink their development and innovation processes while providing students with the possibility to conduct problem-based learning and have the best coaching possible. The partnering companies are also welcomed to join our development discussions to bring the programme and collaboration to the next level. Since 2013, we have had several industry partners – many of which are still ongoing!

Are you interested in collaborating with Aaltonaut?

Check out what we have to offer below and don’t hesitate to contact our teacher in charge for details, Elina Kähkönen.


Summer studio is a platform which is designed to help companies tackle different development and innovation challenges. In the summer studio, an interdisciplinary team of Aaltonaut students (≥2) works according to the brief of the collaborating company during the summer. We propose – you decide – a team for your task. The deliverable of the project is according to the agreement, e.g. report, presentation, video, prototype, or a combination of these. The project price is dependent on the number of the students, the stage of their studies, and the project duration.

In this project three students from Aalto University, one from Science and two from ARTS, were given an assignment to create video material for the Aaltonaut Minor Programme.

In this project two Aaltonaut students, one from Business and from Design, were given assignment to create the brand for an already existing Bright Light product.

More about the process here:
Part 1
Part 2

In 2015, continuing the two year co-operation with Aaltonaut, the paint manufacturer Tikkurila gave a summer assignment for two Aaltonaut students. The goal was to bring an outside opinion to painting and find fresh solutions to painting tool development.

In the summer of 2014 three Aaltonaut students worked for Fortum on Project Greenland where the objective was to conduct a desktop study on the hydropower potential of Greenland. This included site identification for power plants, understanding the unique environment and related risks as well as the challenge of transporting electricity long distances.

For companies, course collaboration is the simplest form of co-operation that Aaltonaut has to offer. Aaltonaut courses rely on problem-based learning, and thus are an excellent scene for smaller product ideation and development projects. In the past, we have had course tasks provided by companies, and our students have conducted development and sustainability analyses on several different products.


Bachelor’s theses are usually completed by students for University research teams. The Aaltonaut minor program at the bachelor level is working on new forms of theses. The potential directions for this development include both company co-operation and interdisciplinary teamwork concepts. Join us for developing a mutually beneficial model!

Länsimetro photos by Rodrigo Prieto Padilla