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Towards a forest-based bioeconomy strategy in Uruguay

October 25, 2018 Leave a comment

 

In the context of the ongoing VTT-led project on Strategic openings for key forest based bioeconomy areas (FBA) in Uruguay an Action Roadmap workshop was organised in Montevideo (Uruguay) on October 25th. The workshop was attended by carefully selected experts and stakeholders with the capacity and interest of shaping the future of the following five FBAs in Uruguay:

  • FBA1 – Forest management
  • FBA2 – Mechanical wood processing
  • FBA3 – Fibre-based biomaterial processing
  • FBA4 – Biorefining for chemicals and energy products
  • FBA5 – Bioenergy

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The workshop was designed and facilitated by the following organisations:

The background material (i.e. Draft Action Roadmaps) was also shared with a team from the Faculty of Engineering of the Universidad de la República as well as several other organisations from a wider FBA-Uruguay project ‘Governance Group’ (GG).

 

A total of 15 Draft Action Roadmaps were discussed at the workshop, which was part of the fifth and final step of the FBA-Uruguay foresight process.

 

At the end of the journey the VTT-LUKE-OPP-GG teams will produce a consolidated Action Roadmap aimed to pave the way towards a forest-based bioeconomy strategy in Uruguay by 2050. While the workshop results are currently being processed by the project team, an ad hoc progress meeting was organised with the Ambassador of Uruguay in Finland (H.E. Dr. Pablo Sader) in order to share key insights and support other ongoing initiatives between Finland and Uruguay in the bioeconomy, which is a highly strategic and important area for both countries today and in the future.

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With the Ambassador of Uruguay in Finland (H.E. Dr. Pablo Sader)

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ECLAC’s International Seminar on Planning for Development with a Vision of the Future (Santiago de Chile)

October 23, 2018 Leave a comment

eclac_70_banner_675x380_ingThis year the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) celebrates its 70th anniversary contributing to the forging of sustainable development with equality for all the peoples of the Latin American and Caribbean region.

As highlighted in an ECLAC’s press release:

ECLAC was founded on February 25, 1948 via resolution number 106 (VI) of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It is one of five United Nations regional commissions and is the only intergovernmental body of the United Nations Secretariat in Latin America and the Caribbean. It acts as a bridge between global and national levels with regard to development. Since its inception, the Commission has worked to contribute to Latin America and the Caribbean’s economic development, coordinate actions aimed at its promotion, strengthen economic relations among countries and between them and other nations of the world, and promote social development.

In the context of the 70th Anniversary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC, aka CEPAL in Spanish), the Economic and Social Planning Institute of Latin America and the Caribbean (ILPES) organized an International Seminar on “Planning for Development with a Vision of the Future”. The seminar was held in Santiago de Chile during 22-23 October 2018 and hosted over 180 delegates from 15 countries.

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Luis Mauricio Cuervo (ILPES/ECLAC), Elena Diez (Alerta Democrática),
Cielo Morales (ILPES/ECLAC), Rafael Popper (VTT), 
Freya Windle-Wehrle (ESPAS, European Parliament) and Javier Medina (Universidad del Valle)

This year ECLAC invited researchers, scholars, experts, civil servants and public administration authorities to present and discuss research studies, cases and experiences related to the following thematic areas:

  • Foresight for development.
  • Territorial development.
  • Planning: Management of planning systems for development, experiences of synergies between planning and budgeting, participatory planning and/or with a focus on gender issues.
  • Building public leadership competences for development.

 

The plenary sessions of the seminar were structured around four panels where ECLAC and international experts were invited to make keynote presentations on the following topics:

  • Panel 1: Global drivers of change.
  • Panel 2: New technological revolution and its challenges.
  • Panel 3: Democratic governance and future challenges.
  • Panel 4: Agenda 2030 and foresight.

Panel 1 on Global drivers of change focused on the main long-term global change and transformation trends in demography, society and the environment. The panel was moderated by Luis Riffo (Senior Researcher at ILPES/ECLAC) and included three keynotes:

  • Keynote 1: Dynamics and challenges of demographic change in the LAC region by Marta Duda-Nyczak (Associate Officer of the Population Affairs at CELADE/ECLAC).
  • Keynote 2: Dynamics and challenges of climate change in the LAC region by Joseluis Samaniego (DDSAH Director at ECLAC)
  • Keynote 3: Dynamics and challenges of social protection in the LAC region by Lais Abramo (DDS Director at ECLAC)

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Panel 2 on New technological revolution and its challenges focused on the main impacts on the production and labour markets as a result of technological change and the digital economy. The panel was moderated by Luis Mauricio Cuervo (Economic Affairs Officer at ILPES/ECLAC) and included three keynotes:

  • Keynote 1: The digital era: opportunities and challenges in the production, labour and social spheres by Jürgen Weller, Rodrigo Martinez and Mario Castillo (DDE-DDS-DDP Working Group from ECLAC).
  • Keynote 2: Technological change and its potential impacts on employment in Latin America – Possible actions by Sergio Bitar (Chilean Foresight Council)
  • Keynote 3: Global technological changes – Challenges of the future by Rafael Popper (Principal Scientist in Business, Innovation and Foresight at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)

 

Panel 3 on Democratic governance and future challenges focused on the current state of democracy in the world and the LAC region with particular emphasis on future challenges for governments and the political system. The panel was moderated by Alicia Williner (Senior Researcher at ILPES/ECLAC) and included three keynotes:

  • Keynote 1: Shaping the Future – Strategic Foresight in the European Parliament by Freya Windle-Wehrle (Member of ESPAS, European Parliament).
  • Keynote 2: The future of democracy in Latin America by Elena Diez (Alerta Democrática)
  • Keynote 3: Governing the future – The pillars of a new State for citizens by Alejandra Naser (Open government and public management division of ILPES/ECLAC)

 

Finally, panel 4 on Agenda 2030 and foresight: theory and experiences focused on the linkages between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Agenda 2030 and foresight. The panel was moderated by Cielo Morales (Director of ILPES/ECLAC) and included three keynotes:

  • Keynote 1: International experiences in the use of foresight to implement the 2030 Agenda and SDGs by Catarina Tully (SOIF).
  • Keynote 2: Future scenarios for the region and challenges of the SDGs by Carlos Sandoval and Luis Mauricio Cuervo (ILPES/ECLAC)
  • Keynote 3: Challenges of foresight as a discipline and a tool to address current and future challenges of the LAC region by Javier Medina (Universidad del Valle)

 

Bioeconomy-led development: Opportunities through Nordic-Southern Cone countries cooperation

October 19, 2018 Leave a comment

As part of the Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID) network activities, an International Seminar on Bioeconomy-led development: Opportunities through Nordic-Southern Cone countries cooperation was held on 18-19 October 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Seminar background

Since 2013 the UniPID network has coordinated the FinCEAL initiative aimed to support research and innovation cooperation between Finland, other European countries and the LAC region; and build on EU-CELAC STI policy priorities.

Seminar objectives

In order to support partnership building and increase the number of joint projects in specific themes of mutual interest, including bioeconomy, the seminar aimed at:

  • Increase dialogue and synergies between existing bilateral initiatives between the Southern Cone and Nordic countries
  • Incentivise new multilateral R&I cooperation projects in different bioeconomy subtopics
  • Promote collaboration between CIECTI, FinCEAL, Finnish Natural Resources Institute (LUKE), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Lund University and other supporting organizations

The seminar included four plenary sessions on the following topics:

  • The meaning of bioeconomy for development;
  • Three central thematic areas;
    • Forest bioeconomy
    • Agro-based new technologies and innovative uses of agro biomass material
    • Blue bioeconomy 
  • Funding opportunities for R&I cooperation in bioeconomy; and
  • Prospective analysis on bioeconomy in the Southern Cone and the social impact of bioeconomy (on employment, skills, labor migration, etc.) as topics to expand the cooperation agenda.

7EBDC92B-A3EC-4D20-9BC0-84C85025AD8AIn addition to the plenaries, two parallel sessions were organized for each central thematic area. The sessions were not open to the public, but were convened by invitation. The thematic sessions were aimed to be constitute platforms for experts from the Nordic and Southern Cone countries to:

  • deepen the exchange started in the plenaries,
  • identify specific topics for concrete joint project ideas, and
  • connect relevant actors with the necessary expertise and interest to get involved in the projects that might emerge.

Key cooperation areas on ‘Forest bioeconomy’

  • Bioproducts and bio-refineries as options for the integral exploitation of the biomass coming from forest plantations
  • Non-wood forest products (NWFP) from the native forest
  • Forest bioenergy

Key cooperation areas on ‘Agro-based new technologies’

  • Sustainable agricultural intensification
  • Small-scale agro biorefineries

Key cooperation area on ‘Using sea biodiversity and sustainable use of water’

  • New technologies for the sustainable use of water and the production of new bioproducts

Next steps for all participating organisations

  • More precise definition of the topics for future projects as well as the experts and institutions that would be involved in each one of them

Innovation 2050 – Responding to the social and technological megatrends of the future

October 17, 2018 Leave a comment

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Conrad von Igel (Director Ejecutivo del Centro de Innovación UC), Rajesh Kalidindi (Senior Manager, Microsoft Seattle), Ignacio Sánchez (Rector, UC), María de los Ángeles Romo (Gerenta Corporativa, CORFO), Ricardo Paredes (Rector, DUOC UC), Riel Miller (Head of Future Literacy, UNESCO) and Rafael Popper (Principal Scientist of Business, Innovation & Foresight, VTT).

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The Innovation Centre UC Anacleto Angelini of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile organised an international seminar aimed to position, promote, discuss and establish innovation capacities around some social and technological megatrends that will impact on quality of life by 2050, such as digital transformation, ageing society and sustainable cities, among others.

The seminar gathered national and international specialists with multiple visions of the future but a common and strong believe that innovation is one of the best ways to transform societal challenges into opportunities for sustainable development.

Around two hundred people attended the event, which also included participants via live streaming in Facebook and a much wider audience reached through mass media coverage from Radio Bio Bio and the National Television (TVN) of Chile.

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, represented by Rafael Popper, presented foresight as a systematic, participatory, prospective and policy-oriented process aimed to Scope, Mobilise, Anticipate, Recommend and Transform (SMART) technological, economic, environmental, political, social and ethical (TEEPSE) futures.

VTT’s presentation also focused on how to assess and manage sustainable innovation, understood as any incremental or radical change in the social, service, product, governance, organisational, system or marketing spheres that leads to positive environmental, economic and social transformation without compromising the needs, welfare and wellbeing of current and future generations (Read more at CASI Tutorial) .

Programme of the session on ‘Digital transformation and accessibility’

Opening remarks

  • Ricardo Paredes – Rector, DUOC UC
  • Ignacio Sánchez – Rector, UC

Chile by 2050: Challenges and opportunities

  • María de los Ángeles Romo – Gerenta Corporativa, CORFO

The importance of looking into the future

  • Riel Miller – Head of Future Literacy, UNESCO

Smart foresight for sustainable innovation

  • Rafael Popper – Principal Scientist of Business, Innovation & Foresight, VTT

Accessibility for human technology

  • Rajesh Kalidindi – Senior Manager, Community Experience & Accessibility, Microsoft Seattle

Panel on Digital transformation by 2050: Impact on quality of life (moderated by Conrad von Igel, Director Ejecutivo del Centro de Innovación UC)

  • Rajesh Kalidindi – Senior Manager, Community, Experience & Accessibility, Microsoft Seattle
  • Katherine Villarroel – Secretaria Ejecutiva, CNID
  • Jorge Vera – Director, Instituto de Ingeniería _Matemática y Computacional UC
  • Nayat Sánchez-Pi – Directora Ejecutiva, Inria Chile

The 10 capital sins in the design and development of social inclusion technologies

  • Ricardo Rosas – Director, CEDETI

Web accessibility: Are we allowing, facilitating or including everyone?

  • Pablo Chiuminatto – Director, OCULAB UC

 

Strengthening scientific collaboration between Colombia and Finland

October 10, 2018 Leave a comment

In the context of the 1st Congress on Bio-refineries and Renewable Energies supported by ICT (BRESICT) held in the city of Medellín (Colombia) on 17-20 September 2018, representatives from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia (UCC) have strengthened their collaboration in a wide range of scientific and technological areas.

The Rector of UCC (Prof. Dr. Maritza Rondón Rangel) and the Director of Research in Engineering at UCC (Prof. Dr. Fernando Colmenares) expressed their commitment to accelerate the transformation of ideas and opportunities generated during the various events and meetings into winning project proposals and concrete action roadmaps.

 

Some clear indicators of the success and immediate positive impacts of the Congress and its related Co-creation Workshop on Sustainable Bioeconomy & Foresight Cooperation Opportunities are 8 flagship collaboration ideas between UCC, VTT and several organisations from Finland, United Kingdom, Norway, France, Spain, Poland, USA, Israel, China, Greece and Colombia.

These flagship opportunities will be further discussed in a High-level meeting between VTT and UCC with the participation of the Ambassador and the Consul of the Embassy of Colombia as well as representatives from oil and gas companies form Colombia (ECOPETROL) and Finland (NESTE) on the 12th of October 2018 at VTT premises in Espoo (Finland). In addition, a strategic meeting between VTT, UCC and the Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC) from the University of Turku will explore new possibilities to advance research and education collaboration between Finland and Colombia.

 

The future of Innovation Diplomacy and the role of foreign & diplomatic services in handling complex innovation issues

October 4, 2018 Leave a comment

In the context of the Horizon 2020 EL-CSID project, focused on the analysis of developments in science and cultural diplomacy and the role of Europe’s foreign policies, the Joint Institute of Innovation Policy (JIIP) organised a workshop in Brussels to explore the impact of competition driven innovation in collaboration oriented science diplomacy.

Key questions of the EL-CSID workshop

  1. Do the principles of “open innovation” and “open to the world” hold as long-term guidelines in an increasingly competitive and sometimes even hostile global environment?
  2. Are there critical technology fields for Europe that need special attention (fostering, protecting), and if so which? What is the role of foreign policy and innovation diplomacy here?
  3. How can the foreign and diplomatic services handle the increasingly complex innovation related issues? Do they need to grow and adopt a different skills-profile? Or can networking fulfil the growing need for expertise? How?

The workshop was chaired by Dr. Jos Leijten and brought together some 20 experts and practitioners of science and innovation diplomacy. All participants gave their views on one or more of the questions raised. The outcome of the workshop will help to draft shared visions on the role of ‘innovation diplomacy’ and promote discussions on open issues in the final EL-CSID conference and research.

For further information, visit the EL-CSID project website: https://www.el-csid.eu/.