Sustainable use of aquatic natural resources now and in the future
The key project for blue bioeconomy has granted a total of EUR 5 million in funding to innovative experiments and development projects. Funding from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has been used for various pilots and experimental projects aiming toward increased internationalisation in the water sector, new service concepts for water tourism, energy utilisation and digital solutions for the blue bioeconomy.
The key project event on the blue bioeconomy held in March brought together industry experts and the implementers of projects that received key project funding. The event included talks by experts and presentations by project operators on the activities, objectives and impacts of the projects that received funding. The objective of the event was to provide a picture of new developments in the blue bioeconomy and to promote networking and collaboration between industry operators in implementing current projects and especially future initiatives.
In his opening speech at the event, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä commented that a great deal of economic activity depends on water and water resources. For this reason, the significance of water resources will inevitably grow in the future, both in Finland and globally. The growing population, climate change and urbanisation mean we have to seek out new solutions to meet our fast-growing water, food and energy needs.
At the national level, the objectives of the development plan on the blue bioeconomy have been implemented by funding important projects using the financing instruments available in different administrative branches by making public investments and necessary procurements in a new way.
Presentations at the key project event on the blue bioeconomy
Theme 1 Boosting internalisation in the water sector
Introduction: Internationalisation and promotion of exports in the Finnish water sector (material in Finnish), Topi Helle, Managing Director, Finnish Water Forum
- Reference screens for testing for blue-green algal toxins to open up export markets, Sultana Akter, University of Turku
- Efficient management of water networks, Antti Herlevi, Econet Oy
- Transformational clean water solution in emergency context (material in Finnish), Jussi Laurikainen, World Vision
- Water utilities as partners in international operations: Finnish Water Utilities Association / Paul Silfverberg, Consultant agency
Theme 2 Wellbeing and tourism
Introduction: Clean nature and waters as the foundation for successful tourism in Finland (material in Finnish), Kristiina Hietasaari, Director, Head of Product and Content, Visit Finland
- Järviluontokeskus - Lake Nature Center Finland (material in Finnish), Olli Vakkala, Ekokumppanit Oy
- Skipperi - boat rental service (material in Finnish), Anna-Leena Raij, Harmaja 10 Oy
- BLUE - Digital service concepts for water tourism (material in Finnish), Leena Grönroos, Haaga Helia University of Applied Sciences
- Application of evolutionary psychology to tourism development: experiences with bodies of water and their impact on stress, Olena de Andres Gonzalez, University of Turku
Theme 3 Nutrients and energy
Introduction: Blue bioeconomy and circular economy – Finland’s opportunities for international growth, Ilmari Absetz, Director of Programs, Business Finland
- Low-value, underused fish to the market as food: Ben Johanson, Oy MG-Trading Ab
- Recovery of zero fiber in Hietaranta lake sediment (Zero Waste from Zero Fiber), Elias Hakalehto, Finnoflag Oy
- Environmentally friendly recirculation aquaculture in Laukaa (material partially in English), Jouni Vielma, Natural Resources Institute Finland
Theme 4 Digitalisation
Introduction: Digitalisation conquers water processes (material in Finnish), Pirkko Taskinen, Director, AIF Water Ecosystem
- Digital solutions and business concepts to ensure the comprehensive safety of dams and dam basins (material in Finnish), Markus Tuukkanen, KaukoInternational Oy
- Digitalisation of water resource measurement and observation – Smart management through new measurement technologies (VEMIDI) (material in Finnish), Mika Sarkkinen, Finnish Environment Institute
- Modern online measurements to ensure water security– digitalisation and machine learning of water processes as part of the development of water management (ModWat) (material in Finnish), Martti Latva, Satakunnan ammattikorkeakoulu
- Artificial intelligence and IoT in the management of water risks and water resources (ÄlyVesi) (material in Finnish), Jari Silander, Finnish Environment Institute
- Ensuring the safety of groundwater through real-time monitoring (material in Finnish), Ilkka Miettinen, National Institute for Health and Welfare