EWLP 2024: 17th European Workshop on Lignocellulosics and Pulp

EWLP 2024: 17th European Workshop on Lignocellulosics and Pulp

From 26 to 30 August 2024, Åbo Akademi University will organise the 17th European Workshop on Lignocellulosics and Pulp (EWLP) 2024. EWLP. An event that gathers researchers, students, and industrial representatives to discuss the latest advancements in lignocellulosic research.

Wood chemistry, lignocellulosic structures, analytical techniques, biorefinery technologies, and biotechnological approaches for producing new materials and products are some of the topics to be covered during the event.

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Helsinki Biodiversity Day

Helsinki Biodiversity Day

On 23 May 2024, join the CircHive team for the Helsinki Biodiversity Day at the University of Helsinki campus. The event focuses on biodiversity in businesses and cities with international examples. Businesses and representatives of cities and municipalities are invited to register for and participate in the discussions, knowledge sharing and networking.

Topics

  • Business and Biodiversity
    • Integrating biodiversity and economy
    • Accelerating the nature positive transition: valuation and measurement as drivers of systemic change
    • Biodiversity initiatives within the CircHive consortium & panel discussion
  • Biodiversity Initiatives in Cities
    • CircHive’s work with cities
    • Presentations of the case-study cities

Visit the CircHive website to check out the agenda and register for the event here.

Start Me Up 2024 business idea competition

Start Me Up 2024 business idea competition

Start Me Up 2024 business idea competition seeks future business ideas for North Karelia, Finland, and offers prizes, coaching, and visibility for the participants.

The competition is open from 1 February to 31 March 2024 and welcomes participants from diverse backgrounds and locations.

An expert jury will evaluate the proposals based on novelty, feasibility, market potential, sustainability, and vision.

The winners of the competition will be announced on 15 May 2024 at Science Park in Joensuu.

Image of Business Joensuu

  • Deadline: 1 February 1–31 March 2024
  • Type: Competition
  • Location: Joensuu, Finland

Bioregions trainee

Bioregions trainee

The Bioregions Facility aims to be a knowledge center of innovation for the regional forest bioeconomy. FIRE-RES project is developing open innovation approaches to speed up innovation uptake to mitigate wildfire risk. The trainee will support activities related to exploitation of innovation in the forest bioeconomy from the Bioregions Facility and in wildfires from the FIRE-RES project, as well as awareness raising activities.

Your tasks will include:

  • Support the organisation of online matchmaking events such as “Forestry Speed Datings”, as well as in-person innovation / pitching days.
  • Support the implementation of activities aimed at speeding up innovation, facilitating the replication, access to market and upscaling of novel solutions in forestry and forest value chains.
  • Support the development of communications activities and content on innovation topics.
  • Other activities as agreed during the traineeship period.

Traineeship conditions:

  • Duty station at EFI HQ in Joensuu, Finland
  • Paid monthly traineeship allowance
  • Duration of traineeship is for a period of 6 months
  • Starting date: April-May 2024

For more information about the post, please contact Siebe Briers, Expert: siebe.briers@efi.int.

Closing date for applications is: 15th March 2024.

Job requirements

  • Academic background in forestry, natural resources, wood industry or similar
  • Interest in innovation
  • Hands-on, proactive, independent
  • Ability to work with Microsoft Office
  • Experience in organising events is an asset

Image by Mongta Studio – stock.adobe.com

  • Deadline: 15 March 2024
  • Type: Traineeship
  • Locatiton: Joensuu, Finland

Draft Program helps you to launch your business

Draft Program helps you to launch your business

From the Draft Program® you’ll get funding and entrepreneurship coaching to help you to launch your business and become a successful service- and product developer. In the first phase, the funding is EUR 1,000 and in the second phase EUR 3,000.

All residents of Kuopio and students, staff and alumni of Karelia, Riveria, Savo Vocational College, Savonia and UEF can apply for the program.

Image by alotofpeople – stock.adobe.com

  • Deadline: 15 January 2024
  • Type: Funding
  • Locatiton: Joensuu, North Savo

Doctoral Researcher in Sustainability of Wooden Construction

Doctoral Researcher in Sustainability of Wooden Construction

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Helsinki invites applications for the position of a Doctoral researcher in Sustainability of Wooden Construction (puurakentamisen kokonaiskestävyys). The Doctoral researcher will work at the Department of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at University of Helsinki and the doctoral studies will be carried out within the doctoral program AGFOREE (Doctoral Programme for the sustainable use of renewable natural resources).

The Doctoral researcher will be appointed for a fixed-term 3-year contract (start date: March 4, 2024 or as agreed) to work in a project entitled “Hyytiälä Living Lab – Sustainable wood construction and human health’. The project will be supervised by Professor, Dean Ritva Toivonen and Postdoctoral researcher Jaakko Jussila (Department of Forest sciences, University of Helsinki), and Research professor Katja Lähtinen (Natural Resources Institute Finland, LUKE)

 
The “Hyytiälä Living Lab – sustainable wood construction and human wellbeing” -project aims at designing, building and pilot testing a physical, experimental, and multidisciplinary research environment to University of Helsinki Forest Research Station in Hyytiälä (Juupajoki, Pirkanmaa). The research project will utilize modern massive timber buildings (conference/learning and catering building and accommodation buildings constructed during 2021-2023). The project consists of several interrelated infrastructure and research projects. 

The work of the Doctoral researcher entails delivering new research knowledge on assessing overall multi-dimensional sustainability of wood construction and covering the building life-cycle (from raw material production to construction, use of building, and material recycling after the use-time of the building). Various sustainability dimensions (economic, ecological, social/cultural) and their potential interrelatedness are considered, as well as dimension-related indicators/criteria. The appointee’s research aims to understand how particularly human health and wellbeing are related to the dimensions, or how climate and biodiversity impacts, technological advancements, or financial viability of wood construction may be related to sustainability. It is also of interest to better understand potential inter-relatedness, or trade-offs, between sustainability impacts by life-cycle phases, or to whom do they accrue.

One goal for the research is to develop a framework/model that provides one basis for systematic (multi-dimensional) overall sustainability assessment of wood construction over the building life-cycle. The framework would also support assessing the impacts of improved sustainability from the point of view of various actors (incl. businesses, society and citizens). The research will utilize the new Hyytiälä Living Lab environment and the related data as the research material when relevant.

Doctoral researcher: We are looking for a highly motivated, skilled researcher with a Master’s degree, who is experienced in forest economics/environmental economics, wood construction/building technologies, or related field(s). Experience in quantitative methodologies (e.g., life-cycle analysis, statistical modeling), and knowledge on building/housing are considered assets.

A successful candidate should be able to:

  • Independently design, conduct, and report research within the scope of the project.
  • Contribute to undergraduate student supervision and teaching within the department.
  • Engage with the scientific community, and the wider public, internationally and domestically through scientific publications, conference presentations, blogs etc.

The candidate is expected to have:

Education, experience and technical skills

  • A relevant Master’s degree as described above.
  • Fluency in English, including excellent writing skills. Skills in the official languages of Finland (Finnish, Swedish) are an asset.
  • Experience in working within wood-forestry sector and construction/housing industry are considered an advantage.
  • Interest and experience in collaborating with forest/construction industry.

Personal attributes and competencies

  • Strong motivation in participating and implementing scientific research.
  • Excellent analytical research skills, active and goal-oriented approach.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Experience and willingness to work within multicultural and multidisciplinary teams.
  • High motivation and skills in working and communicating in academic-practice interface.

The appointee should either already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki by the start of the appointment or apply for the right and obtain it within the probationary period of six months of their appointment. If the candidate does not already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, it is to be applied for separately, please see: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/research/doctoral-education/the-application-process-in-a-nutshell

The starting salary of the Doctoral researcher will be based on level 2 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance. The starting salary of the Doctoral researcher will be ca. 2400-2600 euros/month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care, health insurance, unemployment and pension fund, a holiday package, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. A six-month trial period will be applied, and the workplace of the position is Helsinki. 

Image by rzoze19 – stock.adobe.com

  • Deadline: 31 January 2024
  • Type: PhD position
  • Location: University of Helsinki, Finland

24th Futures Conference: Futures of Natural Resources

What are Futures Conferences?

Each year the Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC) and Finland Futures Academy (FFA) at the University of Turku organises its annual Futures Conference, an invaluable opportunity for meeting, exchanging and debating current topics related in futures studies and foresight. With approximately 200–350 individual participants attending from all over the world, international researchers, organisational delegates, business people and students convene to the FFRC annual conferences in the spirit of futures-oriented information, research, analysis and collaboration. Read more about the previous events.

Learn more

Featured image by LightoLife – stock.adobe.com

Driving innovation: students and sustainable business models in forest-based bioeconomy

Within the bioeconomy, many new technologies and innovations have been studied and implemented, such as for wood construction, wood-based fibres for the textile industry, well-being, and non-wood forest products. But how can we guarantee the commercialisation and the knowledge transfer of these innovations into the market?

Dedicated to empowering and supporting aspiring entrepreneurs, the NOMADI Project organises workshops for students passionate about entrepreneurship and the bioeconomy. These workshops serve as transformative catalysts, fuelling innovation and paving the way for pioneering sustainable business models.

Networking event insights

Networking event: Woman and man wearing black standing. Behind a TV with a presentation open 'Start Me Up'
Kirsi Svärd and Janne Pakarinen, Business coaches at Business Joensuu.

On 24 October 2023, students from different areas of study attended the Networking Sauna Event in Joensuu, Finland. The first workshop of a series of three events was held by the European Forest Institute (EFI), Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and the Finnish Forest Centre (Metsäkeskus).

The event aimed at introducing sustainable business models in circular forest-based bioeconomy to students to spark their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit and underline the important role education plays in fostering a greener future.

The event also counted with a presentation from Business Joensuu – an organisation that provides support and expertise for the different stages and challenges of entrepreneurship – showcasing Start Me Up, a competition that awards the best ideas for the future that can grow into sustainable business activities and Hack Me Up, a competition for students to brainstorm climate-smart solutions for companies’ sustainability challenges. Applications are open until 17 November at 15:00 EET.

Attend online or in person: dive into the circular economy

Students from any field of study are invited to attend the second workshop on 22 November at 17:00 EET online or in Joensuu. The consultancy firm Ethica will present how they have been helping organisations transition to a more sustainable circular economy in a rapidly changing market environment and showcase how to create a circular business model.

Check out the agenda and register for the event here.

The NOMADI project supports companies in the forest-based sector by seeking new solutions through the digitalisation of forest services. The project also helps to create new marketing and business concepts, supporting new bioeconomy start-ups and the scaleup of innovations – particularly ideas targeted towards remote private forest owners and forest management services and tools are welcome.

NOMADI is funded by the Regional Council of North Karelia through the European Regional Development Fund as a part of the European Union’s COVID-19 activities (REACT-EU).

Featured image: ChayTee – stock.adobe

World BioEconomy Forum: Creating a global hub for the bioeconomy

World BioEconomy Forum Goes to the USA – Live from Washington D.C.

In response to the growing significance of the bioeconomy, the 6th World BioEconomy Forum is set to convene in Washington D.C., showcasing the latest global trends in the bioeconomy and highlighting the dynamic initiatives of both the USA and Finland. Notably, both countries recently renewed their bioeconomy strategies, demonstrating their commitment to this vital field.

The programme continues to adhere to the four-pillar structure, encapsulating the essence of the Bioeconomy in the year 2023. The annual Forum will be arranged in collaboration with the Finnish Embassy to the USA.

  • World BioEconomy Forum goes to the USA – live from Washington D.C.!
  • 12 December 2023 • Hybrid Event
  • Register here

View the programme here.

Exploring collaboration: Basque Country delegation’s visit to EFI

On 31 August 2023, a delegation from the Basque Country, Spain, visited the European Forest Institute (EFI) headquarters and the Bioregions Facility in Joensuu, Finland. The visit was part of a trip the delegation made to Helsinki and Joensuu to strengthen their relations and seek collaboration opportunities with different institutions working on the bioeconomy.

Robert Mavsar, interim director of EFI, introduced EFI’s work and strategic role in research and innovation, followed by Diana Tuomasjukka, who highlighted the ongoing projects and activities done in the Bioeconomy Programme to Estibaliz Hernáez, vice-minister of Technology, Innovation and Digital Transformation, Bittor Oroz, vice-minister of Fisheries, Agriculture and Food Policy, Leire Barañano, general director of Neiker, and Imanol Goenaga, advisor for environment and sustainability.

The Basque government has an ambitious bioeconomy roadmap. It aims to make the region a reference in the bioeconomy, promoting the generation and consolidation of high-value economic activities based on the optimal exploitation of regional resources.

Research and support

The delegation visited Luke’s wood technology lab and Metla’s wooden building. Photo by: Ekonomiaren Garapena via Twitter.

Presentations were followed by vivid discussions on the challenges that developing a sustainable bioeconomy has in the Basque Country and the rest of Europe, such as including biodiversity and social responsibility in industries, the role that perceptions and beliefs play in forest planning and management, and the need of models and tools that analyse ecological, economic and social aspects.

“The Basque Country counts with a lot of research information; what we need to develop further are models that can make information useable in a practical way. Effectively communicating the findings is also crucial to move from a traditional mindset to a more science-based one,” said Leire Barañano.

The work of EFI in providing tools that link knowledge to action and in communicating science to the population and industries is crucial in this scenario.

The Basque delegation at Business Joensuu. Photo by: Andrea Arancibia.

Lauri Sikanen, principal scientist and group manager of Luke—an organisation expert in the sustainable use of renewable natural resources—presented Luke’s research programmes and how they foster the forest-based bioeconomy in Finland.

Basque Country moving forward

The Basque delegation was received by Seppo Tossavainen, Business Specialist, and Kirsi Svard, Business Coach, at Business Joensuu, where they had the opportunity to learn more about the organisation’s development services and Forest Joensuu Innovation Ecosystems.

Companies supported by Business Joensuu—Hiil and WoodSense from Mielikki Nordic—pitched their solutions. They discussed the favourable conditions that Business Joensuu and the bioeconomy ecosystem in North Karelia provide for the development of forest-based companies.

Basque Country delegation at Arbonaut
The Basque Country at Arbonaut with Tuomo Kauranne. Photo by: Ekonomiaren Garapena via Twitter.

During the afternoon, they met Pekka Äänismaa, director and stakeholder relations at Metsäkeskus – Finnish Forest Centre, who presented the Centre’s work. Tuomo Kauranne, president of Arbonaut, gave a presentation on Living with fire: How to mitigate forest fires with digital twins of the forest.

Bittor Oroz, vice-minister of Fisheries, Agriculture and Food Policy, expressed his gratitude for the satisfactory relations that the Basque Country has with EFI as well as the membership of the region in the Bioregions Facility.

Featured image: Minna Korhonen by EFI

Nest Hackathon: develop innovative solutions for sustainable housing

Did you know that buildings and construction are responsible for 39% of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions? In Finland, more than one million detached houses account for a quarter of total household emissions, making the carbon footprint of housing a major challenge for combatting climate change and promoting sustainability. 

Nest Hackathon is here to change the narrative. No matter if you are a student, in the early stages of your career or further along, this is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself to develop concrete solutions for sustainable homes.

The hackathon is a weekend challenge competition that brings together professionals from various disciplines to develop innovative solutions for sustainable housing.

Nest hackathon timeline

Hackathon weekend happens from 15 to 17 September 2023.

Application period ends on 31 August 2023.

Prizes

There’s also 2000€ in cash prizes for the top three teams:

  • 1st place: 1000 €
  • 2nd place: 500 €
  • 3rd place: 500 €

Featured image by Nest Hackathon.

WOOD 2023

WOOD 2023

The Wood fair brings together companies and professionals from the entire industry in Jyväskylä, Finland, again from 6 to 8 September 2023. The event, which has been a flag bearer in the wood industry for more than 30 years, focuses on woodworking technology, the carpentry industry and woodworking technology. Efficient subcontracting chain and future innovations in the entire wood industry are strongly present at the fair.

Register now