Customer Story: Economy and youth TAT

Customer Story: Economy and youth TAT

Familiarising young people with intellectual property rights

In autumn 2019, thousands of young Finns learned about the opportunities provided by intellectual property rights (IPR). In a pilot project, jointly prepared by the PRH and Talous ja nuoret TAT (Economy and youth TAT), intellectual property rights were integrated into entrepreneurship studies.

The PRH’s expertise on intellectual property rights is reflected in the contents of the course material, while the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) provided funding for the unique pilot project, which is seen as having potential for expansion.

According to Lauri Vaara, TAT Pedagogical Expert, the purpose of the pilot project was to make young people understand the importance of intellectual property rights by highlighting the opportunities and benefits offered by them.

For example, at lessons, students discussed how their companies can distinguish themselves from competitors and what would be their strengths in the world market.

Lauri Vaara, Pedagogical Expert at TAT

With the teaching material, students also find out how to protect ideas by putting them into an IPR-compatible form.

“At the same time, they also learn how they can use outputs produced by others. Misunderstandings are corrected, which also reduces the fear of accusations that copyrights are infringed," Vaara explains.

He is happy about the feedback received from young people that took part in the preparation of the material: it seems that intellectual property rights have been fully integrated into entrepreneurship studies.

Introducing young people to the process of setting up a business

The Yrityskylä (enterprise village) learning concept launched by TAT in 2010 is used in eight Finnish regions. In autumn 2019, the IPR material prepared for the pilot project was in use in all Yrityskylä upper comprehensive schools intended for ninth-graders.

According to Jasmiina Tuominen, Yrityskylä Coordinator in the Helsinki-Vantaa region, in Yrityskylä upper comprehensive schools, intellectual property rights are discussed from the perspective of the trademark concept.

“Students design a symbol for their company, which can be a logo, slogan or a product name. The symbol is then ‘sent to the PRH’, and the ‘registered’ trademark is a useful tool in loan negotiations and sales efforts because a brand with a good reputation is also successful," Tuominen explains.

Jasmiina Tuominen, Yrityskylä Coordinator at TAT

About 4,500 of the nearly 20,000 ninth-graders visiting the Yrityskylä learning environment each year also took part in the pilot.

Upper secondary level students are introduced to entrepreneurship in business courses arranged by TAT. Intellectual property rights are discussed in the sales, marketing and commercialisation course. These new contents are already studied in many education institutions and the feedback received so far has been encouraging.

Moreover, on the Opopassi website, prepared to support guidance counselling in general upper secondary schools, IPR is part of the process of setting up a business.

Intellectual property rights as part of entrepreneurship education

• Joint project of PRH and Economy and youth TAT
• The pilot project ran from April 2019 to March 2020
• Collaboration will be continued as an extended project until end of 2020
• The project was tested by upper secondary schools (business courses and Opopassi website) and Yrityskylä upper comprehensive schools
• The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) provided 90% of the project funding.

Economy and youth TAT

• TAT promotes collaboration between schools and companies, sparks young people’s interest in entrepreneurship, supports them in choosing education and career options, and helps them develop skills in economics.
• TAT was founded in 1947 and was earlier called Taloudellinen tiedotustoimisto, Economic Information Office.
• TAT’s operations are financed, for instance, by industries' and employers' TT Foundation, the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), companies, foundations, the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, and municipalities.

Finnish text: Päivi Helander
Photos: Päivi Mäkelä (front page), Niko Jekkonen/Täydenkuun Kuva, Economy and youth TAT