Aalto University Bioinnovation Center

Advisory board convenes to shape the pathway of Bioinnovation Center

Aalto University Bioinnovation Center has set up an advisory board with five external experts to support and guide the center. On January 23rd, 2023, the Bioinnovation Center advisory board met at Aalto University for the first time. The experts gave insightful recommendations to the center’s collaboration with stakeholders, and to the dissemination and outreach plans.
White biomaterial network on a bright substrate
Picture: Design by Sonja Dallyn

“We are grateful to have experts from various backgrounds, such us startups, corporations and international academia, to guide and support the functions and development of the center,” says Michael Hummel, the Director of Bioinnovation Center. The external advisors are Suvi Haimi (CEO, Sulapac), Elvin Karana (Prof., TU Delft), Niklas von Weymarn (CEO, Metsä Spring), Tuomas Mustonen (CEO, Paptic), and Riikka Paarma (Sustainability Partner, EY Parthenon). 

The discussion revolved around opportunities for academic institutes to support industrial R&D in the field of bioproduct development. The need for specialist analytics (especially new methods), limited time resources to understand the scientific phenomena, and necessity to stay close to the core topics instead of exploring disruptive new ideas were identified as prevalent challenges. When building a research collaboration with companies, it is important to align the resources of the company, the timeline, and the problem statement. These three must fit together to make a successful collaboration. 

Concerning the target groups for the center’s dissemination and outreach activities, the advisory board found it important that the Bioinnovation Center keeps its neutral expert status in focus: a discussion forum and a local voice of aspects associated to Bioinnovation, also in the context of legislation and regulations. “Although companies might be competitors, we should find ways whenever possible to collaborate. We all are needed to reduce society’s dependence on fossil raw materials and to protect biodiversity. I see an opportunity for the Bioinnovation Center to facilitate this,” stated Suvi Haimi, the CEO of Sulapac. 

What is Aalto University Bioinnovation Center?

The center operates in multidisciplinary research fields with a special focus on sustainable textiles and packaging, facilitates educational efforts in bio and circular economy, and strives towards ground-breaking new technologies and innovations. The center was established in 2021 and is funded by a generous 10.5M€ grant from the Jane and Aatos Erkko foundation.

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Photo: Artistic paper sample

Aalto University Bioinnovation Center

To achieve human wellbeing in planetary boundaries, we need new sustainable solutions to wisely use our natural resources. The Bioinnovation Center especially focuses on innovations in sustainable bio-based materials, with special focus on textiles and packaging.

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