News | 10.12.2020
Hippos will be Finland’s best spot to research sports and wellbeing
Jyväskylä City Council has approved the detailed plans for the Hippos project. In addition to the sports facilities, the total project of approximately 154 million euro includes a state-of-the-art skills center and modern research facilities for Finland’s leading research units of sports sciences.
Sepos Oy, a real estate investment company owned by Taaleri Sijoitus Oy, Timo Everi and Ilkka Kilpimaa, will become Hippos’ largest investor with 43 million euro in the detailed plan. In addition to Jyväskylä, Sepos is involved in hybrid sport real estate projects in Helsinki, Turku, Hämeenlinna and Oulu. The City of Jyväskylä has invested 23 million in Hippos and Lehto Group Oy 10 million euro.
A limited partnership formed by Sepos, the City of Jyväskylä and Lehto Group will be responsible for implementing the Hippos investment.
Facilities worthy of world-class scientific research in sports and wellbeing
Jyväskylä is known internationally for its solid research, development and education in sport and health sciences. Hippos presents Finnish top research with the best working conditions and laboratories available in the field. The Hippos campus has both the School of Health and Social Studies of JAMK University of Applied Sciences and the Sports and Health Science Laboratory of the University of Jyväskylä. 2–4 new international research, development and innovation (RDI) units are also planned.
The University of Jyväskylä’s strong expertise and top-level research in the field of sports are reflected in its recent top 10 rank in ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Sport Science Schools and Departments. The comparison includes 300 universities with sport-related units worldwide.
According to Ari Heinonen, Dean of the Faculty of Sports and Health Science at the University of Jyväskylä, the new sports and health laboratory at Hippos will be important in the development of the faculty’s research activities.
– Our faculty’s new strategy outlines that we want to be among the top five European universities in 2030 in sports and health science research. Maintaining that level of research requires quality content in international scientific journals, he says.
– The sports and health science laboratory is located in a new ecosystem of wellbeing and athletic performance. It opens a lot of new opportunities for the research practiced in the faculty. It allows us to really stand out as a more significant and influential societal player in sports and health research and its applications, Heinonen sums up.
Hippos also provides a growth environment for a growing number of companies in the wellbeing and sports sector. The HHub ecosystem, formed of technology, data, research and business experts, is accelerating new businesses, which are expected to grow at an annual rate of 30%.
Hippos is a major employer
The Hippos project is a major employer in Central Finland. The total employment effects during construction are estimated at about 1,900 person-years, of which 1,100 are direct. It is estimated that about 600 permanent jobs will be created.
If the plans proceed on schedule, it will be possible to start the construction project as early as autumn 2021. The estimated construction time is about 2 years.