CS Participation in Circular Innovation Fair 2020
On 26th November 2020, VTT organized the Circular Innovation Fair pitching and networking. There was an audience of more than 400 persons and almost 100 different companies/ organizations, from about 10 countries! With themes ranging from packaging, textiles, minerals and metals, food systems, batteries, and construction, two teams with CS members participated. The purpose of this event is to accelerate the development of promising early-stage circular innovations. The event was organized by Aalto University, GTK, Luke, Syke and VTT. There were two teams in the fair with CS members. One project was ‘’YUKI, a food management toolkit’’ and the other one was ‘’Closing the loop on wood in construction’’. Here is how each of the teams expressed their projects and participation experience:
‘Closing the loop on wood in construction’
Closing the loop on wood in construction is about turning waste wood into biochar or activated carbon with pyrolysis technology. Currently, over 95% of the waste wood in Finland is used for energy production, which releases all the carbon stored in wood into the atmosphere. By transforming wood waste into biochar or activated carbon, up to 50% of the carbon in wood can be stored and used in various applications, such as soil amendment, water, and air filtration. This circular approach “from waste to value” results in net removals of CO2 and increased recycling, thus helping Finland reach EU climate and recycling targets. Also, pyrolyzing waste wood would create significant and sustainable business opportunities. Participating in the pitching event was excellent and boosted the concept. Hopefully, soon, we will hear good news about this concept going forward!
'Yuki: Kitchen Management '
After researching the topic through interviews and doing desktop research, we narrowed our focus to curb the problem at a household level. We proposed our solution at the end of August, an application with three main features, all aiming to help users minimize the amount of food they end up throwing away. While we didn’t receive any funding, we still had the opportunity to pitch our idea at the Circular Innovation Fair organized two months later. It was organized as an official side event of the World Circular Economy Forum Online (WCEFonline), hosted by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and its partners. This gave us time to rework our proposal as we more actively collaborated with a Luke’s (Natural Resource Institute of Finland) researcher, narrowing down our focus on students and universities as a starting point, and thinking about the way to present our idea in a more convincing way. We presented our solution Yuki and were grateful to be awarded first prize for the best pitch. We are currently planning to apply for funding as we would love to take the idea further as a pilot within Aalto University. To make our concept into reality, we are now looking to include a talented programmer in our team, who is both passionate about sustainability and likes to work with a spirited group of people.