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Posts Tagged ‘VTT’

Europe is a global leader in foresight, science, technology and innovation

November 28, 2018 Leave a comment
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Expert Panel on FUTURE PAST: QUO VADIS INNOVATION – POLICY?
(European Parliament, 28 November 2018)
From left: Frans van der Zee (TNO and JIIP), Rafael Popper (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland), Robbert Fisher (JIIP), Nicholas Vonortas (George Washington University), Wolfgang Polt (Joaneum Research), Jos Leijten (JIIP), Dirk Pilat (OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation) and Hielke Hijmans (EU law consultant).

JIIP Symposium on Future Past: Quo Vadis Innovation – Policy?

Research and Innovation are driving forces for growth, jobs and well-being. Over the past 10 years research and innovation policy in Europe faced a period of deep financial and economic crisis, slow recovery, the rise of populist anti-globalism and widening disparities between the Member States. In this period Europe’s research and innovation policies, partly because of the crisis, managed to address a number of pressing issues, some successfully and others rather inconsequentially.

10th_eis_website_new-1One of the more recent big issues has been the policy toward open science, open innovation and open to the world. Progress can only be reported with regard to open science. Open innovation and open to the world remained rather empty, not in the least because globalisation and international collaboration are under pressure (e.g. mixed feelings and strategies about collaboration with China, failed trade agreements, Trumpism).

 

In the understanding that excellent research does not automatically lead to wide spread innovation which is also due to the increasing complexity of the innovation processes and systems and to cultural and regulatory issues, new policies and policy instruments are needed.

In the current EU framework programme for reach and innovation (Horizon 2020) and the running up to Horizon Europe we see new approaches taking shape:

  • from programs, to challenges, to missions
  • more room for bottom-up initiatives and for multi-stakeholder initiatives such as PPP’s
  • a slow shift from grants to investment
  • more risk-capital, more start-ups/scale-ups and entrepreneurship
  • from clusters to ecosystems to smart specialisation strategies

These developments give direction to the R&I policies that aim to keep the EU innovative and competitive. But the past 10 years also revealed a number of high complexity policy challenges, mostly relating to the socio-economic framework of the EU:

  • Excellence vs cohesion in view of the widening gap between Member States,
  • The dominance of the platform economy by non-EU companies
  • How flexible should labour and labour markets be?
  • Can the example of GDPR (or some would say, a standard for the rest of the world) inspire further development of an EU driven regulatory environment for innovations?

The JIIP symposium at the 10th European Innovation Summit reviewed the past developments, looked at the current situation and discussed the challenges to be faced in the next 10 years. It provided an open space to share VTT‘s expertise in the use of foresight and horizon scanning to both co-create research and innovation intelligence and co-create action roadmaps to better address a wide range of growth opportunities for industry and society related to VTT_Lighthouses.

EU Top 50 Founders and Tech Festival

The Summit created the opportunity to engage with Europe’s Future Innovation Leaders at the EUTOP50 Founders and Tech Festival in the heart of Europe.

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One of the #EUtop50 winners was Susana Núria Guerrero López from ALDstone who represented a promising UK-based start-up providing ground-breaking circular solutions for the built environment (click here to watch video about ALDstone solutions).

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With Susana Núria Guerrero López (ALDstone) winner at the EUtop50 Festival

A week promoting EU research and innovation impact and foresight

In addition to the Innovation Summit and the EUTOP50 festival, two other major events helped to further position foresight research and innovation into European debates:

  • The European Parliament conference on Impact of EU research and innovation on your daily life, which brought together researchers and politicians to reflect on past and present achievements. There were panels on: Health and wellbeing, Sustainable environment, Putting innovation on the market and Safe and secure society for all.
  • The ESPAS 2018 Conference on Global Trends to 2030: Shaping the Future in a Fast-Changing World, focused on generating fresh insights for the next edition of the ESPAS Global Trends to 2030 Report, which was first published in 2015 under the title: Global Trends to 2030: Can the EU Meet the Challenges Ahead?

 

Of equal importance, and despite the busy agendas, the various events allowed participants to expand their networks and spend quality time with new and “old” friends!

 

 

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Highlights from Skills for the Future: Managing Transition (Turin, Italy)

November 22, 2018 Leave a comment

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More than 350 people from 50 countries in Europe and beyond – entrepreneurs, training providers, policy makers, innovators – gathered in Turin, Italy to discuss the skills needed to prepare people for the job market in a rapidly changing world, with a new perspective: the one of transition and developing countries.

Read ETF Press Release

In the context of the 2018 UnConference (Nov 20) and Conference (Nov 21-22) on ‘Skills for the Future: Managing transition’ organised by the European Training Foundation (ETF), the EU Agency in charge of developing training and education in the EU neighbouring countries, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and Sapar Oy prepared a Working Paper on The Future of Work and Skills that helped to frame some of the messages in the speeches of ETF Director (Cesare Onestini) as well as ETF Head of Operations (Anastasia Fetsi).

The objective of the VTT-Sapar-ETF Working Paper was to analyse the impact of global developments on skills demand in the ETF Partner Countries (PCs) and discuss implications for policy reforms to manage transition of education, vocational education training and life-long learning system of the future. The Paper was related to the provision of international and national expertise to support the ETF by:

  • collecting and analysing information, data and new ideas on the skills demands of the future in ETF Partner Countries, and
  • exploring responses for better managing transformation towards an inclusive future for the benefit of people and societies.

The Working Paper covered the following issues:

  • Key global drivers of change on economies, work, labour markets and skills
  • Impacts of global trends on work and skills in ETF Partner Countries
    • Impacts of global trends on ETF Partner Countries
    • Insights for future development of skills and education systems
  • Type and degree of changes identified in the regions of ETF Partner Countries
  • Strategies and policies to manage work and skills transformation in the ETF PCs

During the ETF events participants focused their discussions around four main topics:

  • Mastering global trends
  • Tackling country-specific challenges
  • Addressing the future of skills, education and training
  • Supporting the transition toward the future

To do so, at the UnConference ad hoc groups were asked to co-create an agenda around 12 topics that were presented by topic leaders and subsequently visualised by a professional artist. Group 11 discussedGlobal Trends‘ and explored possible ways forward to prepare a public report on the topic, as well as potential opportunities to promote a pilot project to better assess and manage identified global trends (see below).

Global trends impacting the future of work and skills

As a result of the Group 11 discussions, VTT and ETF representatives highlighted the importance of working towards a joint publication that will help to promote a more structured policy debate on future prospects of the impacts of the following global trends in ETF Regions (Western Balkans, Eastern Partnership, Mediterranean and Central Asia):

  • Globalisation
  • Demographics changes and ageing
  • Migration, mobility and brain-drain
  • Digitalisation, artificial intelligence and automation
  • Climate change and diminishing natural resources
  • FDIs and offshoring threatened by automation
  • Youth and women unemployment
  • Growing inequality and political instability

Overall, the ETF events addressed challenging questions such as: How do global forces interact with local realities and how does this affect the demand for skills? How should governments, businesses, social partners, civil society, research institutions, communities and education and training providers work together to manage change? What skills policies work in different contexts?

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All in all, the ETF UnConference and Conference were inspiring events demonstrating that the moment is ripe to co-create a shared #vision capable of translating #future #opportunities into an action roadmap assessing and managing the skills for the future, and consequently managing transition towards a more resilient, innovation-friendly and future-proof ‘education ecosystem’ across EU Member States and ETF PCs.

UCC-VTT News Bulletin 1: Inspiring futures beyond the obvious – Towards a circular economy and bioeconomy

November 22, 2018 Leave a comment

 

This News Bulletin reports on ongoing research and innovation (R&I) cooperation initiatives between the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia (UCC) and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, with the support of the Embassy of Colombia in Helsinki.

Inspiring futures beyond the obvious on:

  • The need for science and innovation diplomacy
  • Scientific cooperation ideas between Colombia and Finland
  • Multi-stakeholder and high-level meetings with VTT and UCC
  • Opportunities in the areas of circular economy and bioeconomy
  • The way forward and future actions by UCC and VTT

Pan de Bono Diplomacy (PBD) powers up scientific collaboration between Colombia and Finland

November 2, 2018 Leave a comment
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‘Pan de Bono Diplomacy’ in action with
Colombian Ambassador in Finland (H.E. Dr. Betty ESCORCIA BAQUERO) and 
Colombian Consul in Finland (Dr. Jose Camilo SANDOVAL ROJAS)

Longlasting strategic partnerships are built on trust and a common agenda. With this in mind VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and UCC Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia have been co-creating scientific research and innovation collaboration opportunities between Colombia and Finland.

On October 12th and November 2nd VTT successfully piloted a new and rather promising Pan de Bono Diplomacy (PBD) approach while hosting a series of high-level meetings in Finland with representatives from:

At some point during the discussions my lovely, caring and thoughtful Polish wife (Monika Popper) brought a special package – still warm from the oven! – full of homemade Colombian cheese bread (aka Pan de Bono), which is very difficult to find outside of Colombia (It was a big surprise indeed. A real wild card!).

Our original idea was to make the Ambassador and the Consul of Colombia feel at home in VTT-organised meetings but, due to its positive impact in the group dynamics, this innovative “approach” was soon baptised as Pan de Bono Diplomacy (PBD), as it proved to be an excellent trust-building and multi-stakeholder engagement tool 😉

The overall purpose of the PBD meetings is to jointly identify and scope future opportunities for collaborative research, technology development, innovation and education activities in areas such as bioeconomy (e.g. biorefining), circular economy (e.g. waste to energy), strategic foresight and intelligent leadership, among others.

The first two PBD meetings have resulted in over a dozen concrete ideas for future collaboration (including customer projects, shared benefit projects and collaborative projects, among others).

A third, and follow up PBD will take place on Wednesday November 7th at the Embassy of Colombia in Helsinki and will focus on the most advanced project ideas related to circular economy and bioeconomy. This meeting will try to mobilise representatives from Business Finland, SITRA and the Finnish Ministry of Environment in order to discuss about the most suitable instruments to help us transform ideas and opportunities into winning project proposals and action roadmaps. More updates on the outcomes of PBD meetings will be shared in future blog posts, so stay tuned if you would like to learn more…

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)

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