Welcoming words, Rector Mervi Vidgrén

 Introduction to the week, Director of Internationality Virpi Laukkanen

Keynote: Where is the world going? Mr. Pekka Reinikainen

Workshop 1: Ethical food entrepreneurships – Open education resources for educators

The food and drink industry is the EU’s biggest manufacturing sector in terms of jobs and value-added. The industry is dominated by SMEs. However, self-employment in the EU has not risen in decades, remaining at 15% of the EU labour force. Healthfulness has now become the biggest motivator for consumers compared with research carried out a decade ago. Ethical food production & sustainable sourcing are other high-ranking factors. Therefore, the opportunity has been created to repurpose food entrepreneurship training to specialise in healthy foods and resilient, sustainable production. Current food entrepreneurship training in our partner countries is generic and has failed to keep pace with post-pandemic influences. Potential entrepreneurs and SMEs have been slow to respond – they report they do not have the professional capacity or skills base to innovate/orchestrate change in the entrepreneurship, development, production & marketing of ethical food.

Savonia has been involved in a project “Ethical Food Entrepreneurship” that has created open educational resources for food sector educators and SMEs. Ethical food production includes consideration of people (the consumer & employees), the environment (centred on environmental sustainability) & animals (mainly concerned with animal rights & welfare).

You are welcome to join this session to learn about how food sector can be ethical and get to know the open education resources created in the EFE project.

Speaker: Savonia UAS: Anna-Maria Saarela, PhD, School of Tourism and Hospitality
More information: https://ethical-food.eu/about/

Workshop 2: Kick off for Green Economy grand challenge (for EU4DUAL members only) 

The Green Economy grand challenge will be led by Savonia UAS. The green economy challenge will help us coordinate our response to the defining threat of our time. Climate change is causing challenges and security risks related to food, water, health, energy and bio economics, among others. We will promote the concept of human security and incorporate this into developing the multidisciplinary mission based RDI activities in focus areas including Water Safety, Food Business, Wellbeing Technology, Engineering and Energy Technology, and Bio and Circular Economy.

Facilitators: Savonia UAS: Maria Luojus PhD, Principal Lecturer and Jyri Wuorisalo, RDI Advisor

More information: https://eu4dual.education/

Presentation 1: Bio and Circular Economy Cluster / HOOP Project

About the HOOP Project: Despite around half of municipal waste being organic, biowaste management – from collection through to valorisation – remains a challenge for many cities and regions.

The HOOP project aims to drive innovation in the sector by assisting 8 cities and regions, our Lighthouses, in the implementation of novel circular processes. By helping the Lighthouses address legal, financial, and technical barriers, HOOP will unlock significant investments in state-of-the-art biowaste and wastewater valorisation technologies.

Savonia will facilitate the Project Development Assistance in the Finnish Lighthouse city of Kuopio, participating in the PDA Feasibility, Technical and Legal study, acceptability actions and procurement process.

Presenter(s): Savonia UAS: Harri Auvinen, Research and Development Manager

More information: https://hoopproject.eu

Presentation 2: Circular Economy Related to Food Waste

The Waste4Soil Project envisions the development of 10 technological and methodological solutions for recycling food processing residues from the food industry into local, bio-based circular soil improvers for improved soil health. A user-driven standardised Evaluation Framework will support stakeholders from the food value chain, including waste managers, to assess their status towards food processing residues circularity and act for recycling suitable waste streams into beneficial soil improvers.

To ensure co-innovation and collaborative research, Waste4Soil will set up 7 Soil Health Living Labs across Europe, in Greece, Finland, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Italy and Slovenia, to study the valorisation of 8 types of food processing residues (i.e., meat, fish, dairy, cereals, olive oil, beverages (wine), fruits and vegetables, and processed food).

The project focuses on assessing and improving the effectiveness of existing routes of food waste management to soil improver components, formulation and application methods by focusing on:

-Anaerobic digestion residues by employing novel nutrient separation including Selective Electrodialysis, bio-electrochemical and membrane systems.

-Novel efficient Biochar production from food processing wastes and digestates.

-Bio-Phosphate processing.

-Effective composting process of solid residues.

-Protein hydrolysates acting as soil improvers and AD-Microalgae combined processes for soil biostimulants.

An enabling management platform applied in all living labs, with a growing database of data analytics, route optimisation applications, soil health evaluations and application recipes, commercial aspects, and the capacity to use IoT devices in logistics.

Speaker(s): Savonia UAS: Tuomo Eskelinen, Research Manager
More information: https://www.itene.com/en/success-stories/waste4soil-recovery-food-waste/

Workshop 3: Updated name: Enhancing the Value of Agricultural and Forestry Residues (previously: Bioreactor)

Presenter(s): Savonia UAS: Harri Auvinen, Research and Development Manager

Presentation 3: SMEs Heading Towards Carbon Neutrality and Optimization of Energy Production

Learn about a project targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the Northern Savo region. The project develops a model and calculation tools for examining the carbon footprint and energy consumption of these businesses. The project develops an optimization process that can be used to tailor a solar power system for different locations. If there is excess solar power production at the pilot site, opportunities for utilizing the surplus and its positive impact on the carbon footprint are explored. The project selects SMEs or smaller business communities in the Northern Savonia region as pilot sites. The selected sites must have a genuine interest in acquiring a solar power system and/or a need for assessing their carbon footprint. The project significantly contributes to the low-carbon practices of businesses in Northern Savonia, particularly in the entire value chain of the technology industry.

Speaker: Savonia UAS: Jari Niemelä, School of Business

Workshop 4: ILCA project presentation

Innovation Laboratories for Climate Actions ILCA unites four higher education institutions (HEIs) and two research organisations under the theme of climate.

The project has three objectives:

– strengthen human capital in climate innovation and entrepreneurship by training and mentoring students, academic and non-academic staff in systemic problem solving;

– advance multi-disciplinary climate and social innovation capacity by establishing climate innovation laboratories, and involving ecosystem actors in the design of climate innovation projects;

– support the preparedness and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in climate transition and digitalisation.

The project will have the following outcomes:

Capacity building: At least four HEIs will adopt the ‘climate micro-credentials’ that were developed, tested, and improved during the project.

Ecosystem integration and engagement: At least eight climate and social innovation projects will be developed in at least four different smart-specialisation-based innovation ecosystems.

Regional growth and competitiveness: At least 32 start-ups and scale-ups will improve their capacities for climate transition and digital transformation, as well as their overall competitiveness and growth.

Institutional change: At least one multidisciplinary organisational mechanism and incentive system will be implemented to enable the integrative and systemic nature of HEIs’ education and R&I activities.

Presenter(s): Savonia UAS: Miika Kajanus, RDI Liason and Jyri Wuorisalo, RDI Adviser
More information: https://eit-hei.eu/projects/ilca/

Workshop 5: How AI and Art can help us design scenarios and narratives and evoke change

While AI’s ability to process vast amounts of data and identify patterns is unparalleled, human creativity can provide a unique perspective and innovative ideas. Working together, AI and human creativity can accomplish tasks that would be difficult for either one alone.

In this workshop we explore the possibilities of AI and Art to probe alternative futures, to build stories, to engage the collective imagination, and to find new paths forward.

Presenter(s): Savonia UAS: Jukka Kähkönen RDI Specialist and Jyri Wuorisalo RDI Advisor

To explore Antti Karippinen’s work, see his website here

Workshop 6: Presentation of the Future-orientated sustainable development Master programme

Savonia UAS has started to implement the new multidisciplinary Future-orientated sustainable development Master’s degree program at the beginning of September 2023. Altogether 50 students have started their studies according to the program curricula: https://opinto-opas.peppi.savonia.fi/10890/fi/10881/104245/960
Program execution pedagogy applies T-model in development process of expert knowledge, by utilizing team pedagogy and field-specific courses regarding sustainable development.

Presenter: Savonia UAS: Maria Luojus PhD, Principal lecturer

Presentation 4: Secondary waste streams, added value and productization (SETELIT project)

The SETELIT project investigates utilization of mine tailings as a paste backfill material cured with a carbon neutral method in the mining area, and outside the mine sites as a material substituting concrete. The project promotes the circular and energy economies and reduces the environmental risks and landscape impacts created by mining operations. Developed new products and methods can boost the business activities and competitiveness of companies. In addition to these, the project promotes digitalization.

The objectives of the project are:

1.To develop a low-carbon, mine tailings-based product similar to concrete, and to create guidelines for end-of-waste process and for productizing mine tailings-based products

2.To promote research services related to paste backfill materials cured with carbon-neutral methods and to enhance infrastructure needed to carry out high quality Flow Loop tests

3.To develop a digital recipe tool for low carbon mine tailings-based products and paste backfill materials

Presenter(s): Savonia UAS:  Petri Juntunen, School of Engineering
More information: Secondary waste streams, added value and productization

Climate change and environmental pollution make saving water resources crucial also in the Baltic Sea Region. Due to climate change and increasing pollution of the environment, freshwater has become more valuable in the Region. Despite the extensive initial treatment, freshwater is still discharged after single use in many countries. This practice wastes money, energy, and human labour, which could be reduced with water recovery from wastewater. However, such practices pose some challenges due to specific requirements for reclaimed water quality.

The goal of ReNutriWater is to reduce the risk of the potentially harmful impact of untreated WWTP effluent on the environment and human health. Reclaimed water can be used by local authorities and private entities for various purposes, such as street cleaning, car washes, fountains and pond recharge, irrigation of recreational area, plant breeding, and, after proper treatment, also for domestic use or drinking water.

The key is to develop solutions for the recovery of safe water, free of pathogens and micropollutants, with the right amount of nutrients. Overcoming the “yuck factor” in society is also crucial. The risk assessment is a necessary tool for creating effective protective barriers. This project is intended to address these challenges to accelerate policymaking, which would facilitate implementation of water reuse in the cities of Europe. This good practice addresses circular economy and SDG #6 “Clean water and sanitation for all”.

Presenter: Rosa Sartjärvi, RDI- specialist, Environmental Engineering department, Water Safety Team

More info: https://interreg-baltic.eu/project/renutriwater-interreg-baltic-sea-region/

Workshop 7: Creating Cooperation and Joint Course Content in Green Economy  

The workshop opens with a few words about the Green Economy Joint Master development work overall and then presenters will continue to give examples of different green economy-related courses and modules already developed in Savonia. The rest of the workshop will focus on finding different ways of cooperating and collaborating on courses and content development with the workshop participants.

Presenter: Savonia UAS: Maria Luojus PhD, Principal lecturer and Anssi Suhonen, Senior Lecturer
More information: https://climateuniversity.fi/

Workshop 8: Higher educational institutions impact to green economy – how to measure it? (PRIA-Prospective Rapid Impact Assessment for Human Security- workshop used in the development of Universities for Sustainable Development)

Sustainability is the most important global challenge. The UN Sustainable Development Goals provide a holistic agenda that addresses this challenge by balancing economic, social and environmental needs. Sustainable development will be the main framework for boosting impact through university missions, as universities proactively reflect, find and promote solutions in dialogue with society.

To this end, three specific objectives of the project are the following: 

  1. Promote and facilitate the integration of the SDGs in all areas of university activity.
  2. Accompany and guide the digital transformation of HEIs towards the achievement of the SDGs.
  3. Put the knowledge generated by HEIs at the service of the SDGs.

More over corporate sustainable reporting directive should be taken into account.

 Workshop agenda

  • Universities for Sustainable Development project´s diagnose and corporate sustainable reporting directive.
  • What´s the current state and planning in your institution?
  • Coffee break
  • Co-creation, Learning café methodology.
    • Challenges impact assessment?
    • Indicators?
    • Implementation?

Presenter: Savonia UAS: Sanna Rantala, RDI Specialist; Miika Kajanus, Anni Kesänen

More information: https://www.upo.es/usd-project/

Workshop 9: Ideation workshop – Virtuality in Nature Tourism, Digital Routes in North Savo

Digital Routes of Northern Savo is a pilot project with the purpose of developing remote, interactive nature experiences of pre-selected routes (Tiilikkajärvi, Tahko, Puijo). The implementation uses, for instance, XR and livestream technology. The implementations are co-created and tested by international target audiences. Simultaneously the demand of digital contents and routes, as well as their distribution channels, business benefits and earning models are identified. The project will produce information to the tourism industry to help with marketing and developing businesses.

The project’s aim is to enhance reachability, especially digitally and to improve the region’s appeal with the help of remote experiences. Another objective is to reach international travelers and increase international tourism in Northern Savo through these digital, remote services. Digital routes offer an environmentally friendly choice to those who have doubts about traveling due to environmental reasons. Remote nature experiences bring an added value to those who might be unable to physically access nature.

Presenter(s): Savonia UAS: Mira Saari, project manager, Multi-disciplinary RDI; Kalle Sievänen, RDI Expert, Multi-disciplinary RDI; Petra Laakso, Senior Lecturer, School of Tourism and Hospitality
More information: https://digireitit.savonia.fi/

Workshop 10: Part A – 45mins: Relevant funding programmes related to Green Economy/Application process.        Part B – 45mins: Brainstorming a road map for funding

Part A:

EU Funding for Green Projects 2021-2027:

– Summary of the funding instrument

– Target groups

– Project types

– Key characteristics of the funding instrument (i.e. topics and actions supported, funding rate etc.) – How to search for calls under the funding instruments & key documents

Presenter(s): Savonia UAS: Maria Luojus PhD, Principal lecturer; Jyri Wuorisalo, RDI Adviser; Emma Incze, Senior Researcher

Workshop 11: Product innovation workshop: Textile Fiber Mass

In EU, 22 % of textile waste is collected for reuse or recycling. In 2021, in Finland 85,77 million kilos of textile waste was collected. That’s 11,3 kg per Finn. And only 1 % of it is reused into new clothing.

Separate collection of textile waste started in 2023 in Finland. EU requires it from its members by 2025. There are only few companies utilizing recycled textile fibers in the use of new products. For example woll yarn if made from recycled woll textiles, partly replacing virgin materials. Hardest fibers to reuse are syntethic and mixed materials.

What can be produced from textile fiber mass? Come and innovate that with us in Product innovation workshop: Textile Fiber Mass. In Savonia UAS we have almost 400 kg of textile fiber mass from Rester in Paimio. More about Rester: https://rester.fi/en/

In this workshop we utilize service design methods to innovate how this material could be used in future product development.

*Good to know: The fiber produces textile dust, so if you’re super allergic, take it into consideration. Masks will be provided at the workshop.

Presenter(s): Savonia UAS: Eeva Käärmekallio – RDI Specialist, Mikko Vidgren – RDI Service Designer

More information: www.tekstiiliensivuvirta.fi


Workshop 12: Competencies, Skills, and Education in Child Welfare Services supporting social sustainability

Learn about VAASI project: VAASI – Developing Professional Competencies for Demanding Residential Care for Children and Youth. Discussion on child protection, residential care and professional competencies. Possibility to field visit.

Workshop 13: Sustainable development in agriculture and forestry – Teaching and RDI examples

Get to know how Savonia School of Natural Resources is helping local companies and communities in a shift towards green economy. You will learn e.g. about

Business and Tourism Networking Event