The cooperation agreement promotes research and product development as well as regional and international business cooperation, for example, with the help of professorship in bioproducts engineering.

The aim of the letter of intent that was concluded today is to further strengthen the research and development operations of Savonlinna’s Technology Park, particularly in the areas of modifying wood fibre and in new material and process applications. A new professorship in bioproducts engineering shall be established under Aalto University to strengthen research and development operations.

“The value of Finnish forest industry production can be doubled by 2050 and at the same time climate-related goals can be achieved, when raw material is utilised for new, higher-processing-value products. To achieve this, we need new innovations and skilled operators – and therefore also seamless cooperation that takes places close to local operators,” says Kristiina Kruus, Aalto University’s Dean of the School of Chemical Engineering.

The Professor of Practice to be hired shall work at both Aalto University and at Savonlinna’s Technology Park. In addition, a junior researcher shall be recruited to Aalto University to assist the Professor of Practice, and the junior researcher shall focus on national and international research project preparation as well as the promotion of international industry cooperation.

”Aalto University is Xamk’s strategic partner. This is actualised as the strengthening of cooperation with Aalto University’s School of Chemical Engineering. The strengthening cooperation is a significant indication of the national influence of our forest bioeconomy research infrastructure in Savonlinna,” states Jyrki Koivikko, Chairman of the Board of South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences Xamk.

GROWTH OF 100 MILLION EUROS

Wide-scale research in forest bioprocessing, cellulose and fibre engineering and environmental engineering in forestry is already underway at the technology park. One of the research units is South-East Finland University of Applies Sciences’ Fibre Laboratory, which includes the AaltoCell research environment. The entity is nationally one of the most significant drivers of research and product development in the cellulose and paper industry. The operations of the Fibre Laboratory have produced more than 100 million euros in exports for the companies in the growth area. Cooperation is carried out with dozens of Finnish and international companies.

“It is great that the operations of Aalto University in the development work of Savonlinna’s technology industry concentration are further strengthening. Engineers in bioproducts engineering, who graduate from our university, already have a further study path at Aalto University to obtain a Master’s degree in Engineering. The new professor can operate in Savonlinna as an instructor for diploma and thesis work in Savonlinna-based technology companies’ research and product development projects as well as apply for funding from EU’s Horizon programme to strengthen the research work of the Fibre Laboratory,” says Janne Laine, Mayor of Savonlinna.
Cooperation is funded by the City of Savonlinna, Aalto University, Eastern Savo’s University Association, Suur-Savo Osuuspankki, Kerimäki Osuuspankki and Rantasalmi Osuuspankki.

Aalto University shall initiate the recruitment process of the Professor in Practice and the Junior Researcher in the near future.
The letter of intent was signed today by the Mayor of Savonlinna Janne Laine, Aalto University’s Dean of the School of Chemical Engineering Kristiina Kruus, Chairman of the Board of Eastern Savo’s University Association Pekka Nousiainen and the Association’s Ombudsman Hannu Kurki, Chairman of the Board of Xamk Jyrki Koivikko, Managing Director of Suur-Savo Osuuspankki Jari Himanen and Managing Director of Kerimäki Osuuspankki Jarmo Kaivonurmi.

Photo: Signatories included Hannu Kurki, Pekka Nousiainen, Jyrki Koivikko and Kristiina Kruus.

More information:
Kristiina Kruus
Aalto University’s School of Chemical Engineering
tel. 050 520 2471
kristiina.kruus@aalto.fi

Janne Laine
Mayor of Savonlinna
tel. 044 417 4001
janne.laine@savonlinna.fi

Jyrki Koivikko
Chairman of the Board, Kaakkois-Suomen Ammattikorkeakoulu Oy
tel. 040 670 5509
jyrki.koivikko@xamk.fi