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Better technology for a brighter future

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
VTT provides high-end technology solutions and innovation services for its customers – driven by research and innovation focused on the global challenges affecting six impact areas: the bioeconomy, low-carbon and smart energy, wellbeing, resource-efficient industries, a clean globe, and the digital world.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a front-runner in the world of technology, with operations covering the entire innovation chain, from technology and business foresight through product and service development, expert assessments, certification and testing to licensing and the commercialisation of new solutions and business concepts.

VTT works with its customers to identify emerging technologies, create new products, processes, and solutions, and open up business opportunities based on new technology. The synergies between VTT’s different fields of expertise represent a particularly valuable competitive advantage for customers, helping them manage future trends and challenges and create a solid basis for their strategies.

VTT expects the bioeconomy to become an essential part of the world economy, with an increasing proportion of goods and services produced by innovative combinations of different sustainable technologies and renewable materials.

Sustainability and smart energy

Business based on sustainable solutions is expected to make a major contribution to solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The companies most likely to succeed here will be those that see beyond the problems to the potential they offer.

Much of today’s waste could well be tomorrow’s valuable raw materials. Sustainable processes capable of converting biomass into a multitude of different products lie at the heart of the bioeconomy that will make this happen.

The key enabling technologies here will include biotechnology, chemistry, process technology, automation, and manufacturing technology; and the industries that are in an especially promising position to prosper from progress in developing the bioeconomy include pulp & paper, food, energy, chemicals, and materials.

Low-carbon and smart energy are also integral to a more sustainable future, and VTT’s research in these areas spans fields ranging from solar energy, nuclear safety, and bioenergy to wind power and fuel cell solutions, as well as waste-to-energy technologies.

In addition to product and process innovations and new concepts, VTT provides support for policy-makers and the business community through its energy system modelling and scenario work aimed at identifying cost-efficient ways of meeting new energy and climate mitigation targets.

"Using technology to drive business success  
and create a cleaner world."

Wellbeing for everyone

While today’s ageing population is a key driver for many new wellbeing-related business opportunities, the latter need to offer tangible benefits for people across all age groups if they are to be truly life-changing for the population as a whole.

VTT is focusing on three multidisciplinary research areas in the wellbeing area that all aspire to a broader concept of healthcare in the future: active and healthy ageing, lifestyle management, and personalised medicine and nutrition.

Functional nutrition, early diagnostics, motivational tools, remote health monitoring, and active and responsive housing are just a few examples of areas with the potential to have a substantial impact for both business and society.

A cleaner, more resource-efficient world

Sensors embedded into our surroundings and everyday objects are essential for making objects and spaces smart.
Resource efficiency will become an increasingly important cornerstone of competitiveness in all industries. Materials and energy need to be saved, recycled, and reused much more effectively than they are today to ensure new levels of cost-efficient, competitive, and clean production.

As a result, research at VTT is addressing a comprehensive range of resource efficiency issues, from the development of new business models and value chains to simulation-based production and product and material design.

VTT is focusing on four key areas in its efforts to help build a cleaner world: purification, recovery & reuse, efficiency, and information management. In practice, this translates into work on technologies for things such as mitigating emissions, producing products from CO2, smart water reuse concepts, converting water pollutants into value-added inputs, creating more water-efficient industrial processes, and developing more eco-efficient ways of exploiting minerals.

Making more of partnerships

In addition to its own unique facilities and expert staff across a wide range of fields, VTT has extensive research and business partnerships worldwide. VTT’s heavy involvement in numerous EU projects and international and national innovation networks helps reinforce its potential for driving innovation and new initiatives and promoting technology transfer.

As a multi-technological organisation with extensive networking and knowledge resources, VTT is well-placed to tackle a wide range of pressing global challenges and help its customers and partners use technology to drive their success.

ICT is the primary factor behind 80% of today’s innovations and 40% of productivity improvement initiatives. Hand in hand with digital convergence, sensors and printed intelligence are gaining increasing momentum. Sensors are essential for making objects and spaces smart – and printed intelligence can be used to produce sensors, solar panels, user interfaces, and other components at a fraction of the cost of other technologies.

> Jouko Suokas
(Published in HighTech Finland 2013)