Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland strengthening their bioeconomy collaboration
Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland organised a seminar on bioeconomy in Dipoli Congress Centre on 7 September. The focus of the seminar was on outlining the significance and different sectors of bioeconomy and on finding research topics that would allow Aalto University and VTT to join forces in a concrete way. The goal is to weld together the shared know-how of Aalto University and VTT, making Otaniemi the powerhouse of the bioeconomy development.
The seminar was opened by Tuula Teeri, President of Aalto University, and Anne-Christine Ritschkoff, Executive Vice President of Strategic Research from VTT.
Multidisciplinary collaboration required for breakthroughs
Having a doctorate in biogenetics as her background, Teeri explained that she was particularly pleased about the seminar taking place. She discussed the importance of multidisciplinarity in the development of bioeconomy.
The state-of-the-art know-how in technology and science alone will not be enough for the development of bioeconomy in the future. Skills in business, design and societal thinking will also be required. Combining research resources across scientific boundaries and sharing knowledge and infrastructure can bring on new and decisive breakthroughs in the promotion of bioeconomy.
”The beauty of collaboration between different research fields is that you come across things that you would not have even thought about otherwise,” Tuula Teeri emphasised.
From societal perspectives to bio-based chemicals
At the seminar, bioeconomy was approached in five different ways. The topic was explored from an economic and societal perspective as well as in relation to bioenergy, bio-based chemicals, biomaterials and wood construction and design. The participants were divided into groups based on their expertise and the seminar’s themes. Each group pondered and planned concrete research projects and goals and presented the results to the others at the end of the day.
The bioeconomy seminar ended with Outi Krause, Dean of the School of Chemical Technology, giving thanks to the participants.
“This seminar will lay a strong foundation for the way the Finnish sustainable development can be promoted in Otaniemi,” Dean Krause stated.
Perhaps the groups that were formed during the seminar will evolve into research projects that will act as the forerunners of the Finnish bioeconomy development.
Research related to bioeconomy holds a strong position both at Aalto University and VTT. Altogether 40 to 50 researchers specialised in the field participated in the seminar from both institutes.