NATUREACH – Nature Reachable for all

Interreg aurora
Region Västernorrland
Lapin liitto

The main goal of the project is to improve human health and well-being by developing new digital nature-based service models for social and health care. This project will respond to existing needs and the increasing interest in including nature-based methods as a complement to institutional and pharmaceutical therapy and rehabilitation to social and health care by combining the newest VR/digital technology, multidisciplinary research and the competence of care units and nature entrepreneurs in the project area. The genuine cross-border and cross-sectoral collaboration enables the development of innovative research-based service models providing reachable natural environments and multi-sensory experiences to promote the individual's health and well-being in a sustainable way.

The design of the virtual nature-based interventions is based on the shared knowledge and collaboration between health and social care personnel, local entrepreneurs, VR-experts and researchers from 6 Swedish and Finnish universities in the field of Nature and Health. The interventions will be used in five different client groups in Finland and Sweden: clients with developmental disabilities, eating disorder patients, patients in palliative care, patients with diabetes type 2, and clients in elderly care, including care professionals in all respective units.

The aim is to measure and analyse the effects of the virtual nature and to transfer knowledge and know-how on the feasibility of virtual nature interventions in social and health care and the extension of audio-visual experiences into a multi-sensory experience. High-quality digital applications can achieve resource efficiency and improve access to nature-based services for different client groups.

Planned outcomes:

  • Innovative and effective nature-based digital service models for the health promotion of vulnerable client groups with special needs
  • Support for occupational health by creating easily used recharge-tools for care professionals to reduce stress-related symptoms and to support recovery during, and also after, demanding work shifts
  • Enhanced research and innovation capacities and the uptake of advanced technologies within social and health care organisations, SME:s and research units in the project area
  • Public benefit by producing cost-effective and sustainable service models enhancing human well-being, bio-economy, green and responsible business, and regional development
  • A strong, active and collaborative Nordic Finnish-Swedish research cluster focusing on the relationship between nature, wellbeing and digital service innovation from a multidisciplinary perspective.
Project duration
External funding for the University of Vaasa
398 943€
Total budget
1 816 630€
Units and groups
Project actors at the University of Vaasa
Digital Economy
Public policy and governance
Marketing and Communication
Principal investigator at the University of Vaasa
Organisation coordinating the project