Blue bioeconomy projects


Boosting internationalisation in the water sector

1) Reference screens for testing for blue-green algal toxins to open up export markets

The University of Turku and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have developed water technology for measuring the toxicity of blue-green algae in water samples. In the project a new measurement method is tested in Finland and in Lake Taihu in China. The aim is to commercialise the new technology for international markets.

Applicant and partners: University of Turku. Partners: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Southwest Finland, Pyhäjärvi Institute, Salofa, Niglas (in China).
Funding: EUR 215 500
Implementation period of the project: 1 January 2018–31 December 2018
Contact person: Markus Vehniäinen, University of Turku,, tel. +358 45 638 58 11

2) Efficient management of water networks

In the project new solutions are sought in support of decision-making by water utilities. A set of services for the control of the network is developed, to be tested in Finland and abroad. A prototype, designed by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, is also developed to be utilised in piloting.

Applicant and partners: Econet Oy. Partners include companies, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Savonia University of Applied Sciences.
Funding: EUR 149 000
Implementation period of the project: 1 September 2017–31 December 2018
Contact person: Antti Herlevi, Econet Oy,, tel. +358 40 565 96 35

3) Water utilities as partners in international operations 

The aim of the project is to create a framework and operating models for the participation of water utilities in international operations. In the project stakeholders are trained and activated, operating models are developed and pilots are launched in Vietnam, Kosovo or Nepal.

Applicant and partners: Finnish Water Utilities Association, Finnish Water Forum
Implementation period of the project: 1 October 2017–31 December 2018
Funding: EUR 73 600
Contact person: Osmo Seppälä, Finnish Water Utilities Association,, 
tel. +358 9 8689 0122

4) Transformational clean water solution in emergency context

The aim of the project is to develop new solutions for access to clean water in exceptional circumstances. The project is implemented in Kenia, and it involves a lot of practical water supply and sewerage operations with technologies suitable for refugee camp environments and catastrophes. In the project operating models and partnerships are also created for improving access to water in adverse conditions.

Applicant and partners: World Vision Finland, World Vision Kenya, Solar Water Solutions Oy, state actors in Kenyan water sector, UN organisations, Water Forum Finland and Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
Funding: EUR 91 015
Implementation period of the project: 1 February 2018–28 February 2019
Contact person: Annette Gothoni, World Vision Finland,,
tel. + 358 40 595 08 92

New service concepts for water tourism

5) BLUE - Digital service concepts for water tourism

The aim is to produce service concepts based on the utilisation of open data and augmented and virtual reality technologies. In the project a survey is conducted on tourism service companies, open data providers and developers and AR/VR providers, and service design methods are used to develop and test new digital tourism concepts.

Applicant: Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
Funding: EUR 250 000
Implementation period of the project: 1 September 2017–15 December 2019
Contact person: Teemu Moilanen, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences,, tel. +358 40 510 73 17

6) Lake Nature Center Finland

Preparation of the establishment of a new kind of Lake Nature Center in connection with the Särkänniemi tourist attraction by Lake Näsijärvi in Tampere. In the project a survey is conducted of the opportunities of digital technologies and a service platform, brand for the service model and marketing tools are created. Operators in the field of water knowledge and expertise are brought together. The outcome to be created comprises an operating and service model for the Lake Nature Center Finland and a new kind of tourism service concept that is also scalable to other lake shore and nature centres.

Applicant/operators: EcoFellows Ltd, Water Protection Association of the River Kokemäenjoki
Funding: EUR 138 817
Implementation period of the project: 1 January 2018–31 March 2019
Contact person: Matti Pollari, EcoFellows Ltd,, tel. +358 40 800 78 00

7) Water tourism from the perspective of human biology: Bothnian Sea National Park as an experience measured from the human body

In the project experiences of visitors to the Bothnian Sea National Park are assessed and changes in the human body are measured. Inquiries, observation and photography are also conducted. The study will help to understand what we experience when close to water. In addition, information is collected on the best ways for the people to relax and recover from work-related stress.

Applicant: University of Turku
Funding: EUR 51 063
Implementation period of the project: 1 December 2017–31 December 2018
Contact person: Anu Lähteenmäki-Uutela, University of Turku,, tel. +358 50 520 07 99

8) Skipperi - boat rental service

In the project a boating service in the spirit of Airbnb is launched to the market, a “TripAdvisor” is prepared and market study conducted on waters and new opportunities are created for the boating sector. The service enables new types of users to engage in boating and makes it possible to use boats that would otherwise sit at the dock when the owners do not need them.

Applicant and partners: Harmaja 10 Oy
Funding: EUR 60 000
Implementation period of the project: 01 September 2017–31 December 2018
Contact person: Anna-Leena Raij, Harmaja 10 Oy,, tel. +358 50 350 5182

Sustainable recovery of nutrients and energy in waters

9) Recovery of zero fiber in Hietaranta lake sediment (Zero Waste from Zero Fiber)

The aim is to utilise zero fiber on bottom of the lake. Zero fiber lifted from Lake Näsijärvi will be processed economically and sustainably, without significant environmental harm. The recovery process includes a new microbiological process by which zero fiber can be used to make valuable chemicals, biogas and organic fertilisers. There are lots of similar sites in Finland, which means that the solution is scalable nationally, as well as for other countries.

Applicant and partners: City of Tampere, in collaboration with e.g. Ramboll Finland Oy, Finnoflag Oy, University of Helsinki, University of Eastern Finland, University of Mälardalen (Sweden)
Funding: EUR 265 000
Implementation period of the project: 1 October 2017–31 December 2018
Contact person: Reijo Väliharju, City of Tampere,, tel. +358 50 388 0901

10) Low-value, underused fish to the market as food

The aim of the project is to build small-scale processing equipment that enables simple and low-cost handling and processing of roach fish catch into a semi-processed product to be used for prepared meals. In the project the second-stage prototype is completed, i.e. an easily movable processing line for efficient processing of roach fish into fillets or pulp. The equipment is tested together with fishers at landing ports. 

Applicant and partners: OY MG-Trading Ab, in collaboration with e.g. Teuvo Tuote Oy, Sata-Hämeen Kala Oy, individual commercial fishers
Funding: EUR 125 000
Implementation period of the project: 1 July 2017–31 December 2018
Contact person: Ben Johanson, OY MG-Trading Ab,, tel. +358 50 33 66 333

Digitalisation and innovation

11) Experimenting and learning environment of new environmentally-friendly fish farming technology in Laukaa

In the project a new kind of recirculation fish farming concept suitable for the Finnish conditions is developed. Fish farming in a recirculation system reduces nutrient emissions, but the production costs are still higher than in conventional fish farming. In the new concept the aim is to utilise various passive water treatment processes to reduce the costs. The functioning of the concept will be demonstrated by building a pilot scale unit at the Laukaa fish farm of the Natural Resources Institute Finland establishment during spring 2019. In the project tests will also be carried out in companies on reducing nutrient emissions from conventional establishments using flowing water e.g. through water oxidation or new kinds of nutrient collection methods.

Applicant and partners: Natural Resources Institute Finland, in collaboration with e.g. Geological Survey of Finland, University of Oulu, Vapo, Nordic Trout, WAI Consulting
Funding: EUR 1 800 000
Implementation period of the project: 1 March 2016–31 December 2019
Contact person: Jouni Vielma, Natural Resources Institute Finland,,
tel. +358 295 327 522