PoDoCo is a matchmaking program supporting long term competitiveness and strategic renewal of companies and employment of young doctors in the private sector in Finland.
Tampere University researchers from the Gamification Group and Emooter have started a collaboration backed by the Finnish Post Docs in Companies -program (PoDoCo). The purpose of this project is to study Emooter as a means to improve wellbeing of employees, and to boost Emooter’s product development with gamification and analytical methods.
From the very beginning, Emooter has been developed in collaboration with work and organizational psychologists. For example, the concept of Work Engagement and the Job Demands and Resources model have been adapted to Emooter’s core with support from their original creator, Dr. Wilmar Schaufeli.
This project offers a path for Emooter to expand research collaboration to the field of gamification. “We want to continue collaborating with academia in the future. This helps us study Emooter’s impact on the wellbeing of our users, e.g., through gradually changing their work or routines'', says Teemu Jäntti, co-founder of Emooter.
Gamification Group (GG), led by Professor of Gamification, Dr. Juho Hamari, is a multidisciplinary research group that examines the gamefulness of technology, society, culture, and economy. The group’s research covers several topics that are relevant for Emooter such as gamification and gameful experience, game-based learning, persuasive technologies, user behavior, and human-computer interaction.
Dr. Simo Järvelä is funded by the PoDoCo-program and leads the team of researchers and the collaboration with Emooter. He leads a broader Liikesivistysrahasto-funded research project within GG that focuses on gamified simulation training of emotion skills that provides a broader context for Emooter collaboration also. His background as a cognitive scientist who has specialized in affective interactions with media technology, psychophysiological methods, and well-being, is a perfect match for Emooter.
Co-operation between Emooter and the research team has started in a fruitful manner. “We have discovered new ideas for our product development already from our initial discussions with the research team. They are a bunch of really bright minds who can bring some outside-the-box thinking to the table as well as their vast experience on gamification and persuasive technologies”, says Dani Pärnänen, co-founder of Emooter.
For the research team, the project with Emooter has provided a perfect opportunity to both study the effects of research-driven app-based training but also to turn their researchers’ expertise into pragmatic design questions and solution suggestions. “Crossing over from research to business is always a huge step for a researcher, but the PoDoCo funding and the very research-driven attitudes of Dani and Teemu for developing Emooter service has really supported that transition. The flow of ideas has been very fluid both ways. Plus, it is quite rewarding to see ideas implemented at a quick pace that is not usually possible in pure research”, says dr. Simo Järvelä.
Emooter’s founding team believes that this kind of collaboration between academia and industry can bring significant benefits to both parties. Still, the ultimate goal is to create more value for the customers and users of Emooter by amplifying the positive impact Emooter can have on the wellbeing of employees around the world.
For more information on the PoDoCo-program (in Finnish) please visit: https://www.podoco.fi/news/podoco-tohtorit-valloittavat-yritysmaailman/
Gamification Group website: https://webpages.tuni.fi/gamification/