The Asia Networking session on Wednesday afternoon in Helsinki Congress Paasitorni gathered together approximately 40 participants. First part of the afternoon session featured presentations on the topics related to the thematic focus areas of FinCEAL Plus Asia such as renewable energy, ICT and water management. After the coffee break the second part of the event, Asia Workshop, gathered researchers and actors engaged in Asia in a networking session to determine the actors and institutions working with the FinCEAL Plus Asia thematic areas in Finland, and to determine the partnerships and networks they have locally and abroad.
The FinCEAL Plus Kick-Off-"FINLAND’S INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH COOPERATION – MAKING THE MOST OF HORIZON 2020" Asia Networking session, organized in Helsinki on 15. April 2015
The Asia Networking session on Wednesday afternoon in Helsinki Congress Paasitorni gathered together approximately 40 participants. First part of the afternoon session featured presentations on the topics related to the thematic focus areas of FinCEAL Plus Asia such as renewable energy, ICT and water management.
After the welcome words from FinCEAL Plus Asia coordinator Jarkko Mutanen, Science Adviser Dr. Hannele Lahtinen from the Academy of Finland gave an overview of the recent Academy of Finland (AoF) India activities. First bilateral agreements between AoF and the public research funding organisations of India were introduced including the Indo-Finnish projects with Department of Biotechology and Department of Science and Technology of India and Indian Council of Medical Research with topics from medical diagnostics to food biotechnology, nanomaterials and energy research. Then Dr. Lahtinen showed some examples of FP7 EU-Indian cooperation projects, New Indigo ERA-net, INNO INDIGO ERA-net, and INDIGO Policy. These projects are innovation-driven initiatives for the development and integration of Indian and European research and the Indigo Policy also supports and coordinates bilateral activities and initiatives between Europe and India in order to build mutual areas of interest between the two regions in Scientific, Technological and Innovation fields.
In his speech Karthikeyan Natarajan from the School of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland introduced the activities of the Nordic office of India's leading Energy and Resources Institute, TERI established at the Joensuu Campus of the University of Eastern Finland on December 2012. The director General of TERI is Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, the Chairman of the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC. According to Mr. Natarajan, TERI produces information on climate change and on the related critical issues on global scale. TERI Nordic also focuses on the challenges of the boreal and arctic areas in particular, and takes a global approach to, e.g., sustainable forestry, bioeconomy, and renewable energy.
Visa Tuominen, from the Finland Futures Research Centre-FFRC, University of Turku gave a presentation about energy and climate change research and capacity building in the Mekong region. Themes of the FFRC projects in the Mekong region include for example climate policy, climate finance, renewable energy, energy modelling, environment and sustainable development. Mr. Tuominen discussed for example about possible ways to find partners and funding and how their research results benefit the locals in the region.
Professor Markku Kanninen, the director of Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki discussed about VITRI’s collaboration in Asia including the forest research projects and their education platforms in Thailand, China, Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia. In addition, professor Kanninen emphasized the importance of partnerships and networks and as the former director of the Environmental Services and Sustainable Use of Forests in the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) he gave some CIFOR-related examples of global & regional and national partnership networks in Asia.
In the ICT related thematic part of the session, professor Markku Hauta-Kasari from the School of Computing, University of Eastern Finland (UEF) showed some very interesting examples of their university-company projects in Asia. Professor Hauta-Kasari discussed about the background of their long-term computational spectral imaging, and optics and photonics related research in Joensuu region. To commercialize the results in these fields SIB Labs and Institute of Photonics research units were recently established. The UEF spectral color research group has long-term international activities including Color in Informatics and Media Technology (CIMET) MSc-programme and the latest Erasmus+ "Color in Science and Industry” (COSI) JMD programme, and researcher exchange with Japan for almost 30 years. In addition, there have been many Tekes, Academy of Finland and European Union Structural Funding projects with numerous companies. Professor Hauta-Kasari showed some case study examples projects with Samsung in Korea, Denso Corporation and Olympus Corporation in Japan. He also discussed how they established the contacts with these companies and what kind of important issues need to be dealt with in order to successfully establish university-company projects in Asia.
The first part of Asia networking event was ended by a speech from Dr. Marko Keskinen from the Water & Development Group, Aalto University. He showed their research in water-energy-food nexus in large Asian river basins. Dr. Keskinen discussed about several research themes including transboundary rivers, food production and water, role of power in water management, but also about the research methods such as modeling, big data, governance, institutional & livelihood analyses. In addition, research policy and science related issues in the region were discussed.
Intensive networking during the Asia Workshop
After the coffee break the second part of the event, Asia Workshop gathered researchers and actors engaged in Asia in a networking session to determine the actors and institutions working with the FinCEAL Plus Asia thematic areas in Finland, and to determine the partnerships and networks they have locally and abroad. In addition, the needs for researchers in regard to seeking Asia-related project EU-Funding and the incentives required to facilitate these processes were identified.
The day ended with the conclusions of findings from the Asia networking event and a cocktail session.