Browsing by Subject "INNOVATION"

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  • Sacchi, Giovanna; Cei, Leonardo; Stefani, Gianluca; Lombardi, Ginevra Virginia; Rocchi, Benedetto; Belletti, Giovanni; Padel, Susanne; Sellars, Anna; Gagliardi, Edneia; Nocella, Giuseppe; Cardey, Sarah; Mikkola, Minna Maria; Ala-Karvia, Urszula Anna; Macken-Walsh, Àine; McIntyre, Bridin; Hyland, John; Henchion, Maeve; Bocci, Riccardo; Bussi, Bettina; De Santis, Giuseppe; Rodriguez y Hurtado, Ismael; de Kochko, Patrick; Riviere, Pierre; Carrascosa-García, María; Martínez, Ignacio; Pearce, Bruce; Lampkin, Nic; Vindras, Camille; Rey, Frederic; Chable, Véronique; Cormery, Antoine; Vasvari, Gyula (2018)
    Organic and low-input food systems are emerging worldwide in answer to the sustainability crisis of the conventional agri-food sector. “Alternative” systems are based on local, decentralized approaches to production and processing, regarding quality and health, and short supply-chains for products with strong local identities. Diversity is deeply embedded in these food systems, from the agrobiodiversity grown in farmers’ fields, which improves resilience and adaptation, to diverse approaches, contexts and actors in food manufacturing and marketing. Diversity thus becomes a cross-sectoral issue which acknowledges consumers’ demand for healthy products. In the framework of the European project “CERERE, CEreal REnaissance in Rural Europe: embedding diversity in organic and low-input food systems”, the paper aims at reviewing recent research on alternative and sustainable food systems by adopting an innovative and participatory multi-actor approach; this has involved ten practitioners and twenty-two researchers from across Europe and a variety of technical backgrounds in the paper and analysis stages. The participatory approach is the main innovation and distinctive feature of this literature review. Partners selected indeed what they perceived as most relevant in order to facilitate a transition towards more sustainable and diversity based cereal systems and food chains. This includes issues related to alternative food networks, formal and informal institutional settings, grass root initiatives, consumer involvement and, finally, knowledge exchange and sustainability. The review provides an overview of recent research that is relevant to CERERE partners as well as to anyone interested in alternative and sustainable food systems. The main objective of this paper was indeed to present a narrative of studies, which can form the foundation for future applied research to promote alternative methods of cereal production in Europe.
  • Kaljonen, Minna; Peltola, Taru; Salo, Marja; Furman, Eeva (2019)
    The critical role of everyday practices in climate change mitigation has placed experimental approaches at the top of the environmental policy agenda. In this paper we discuss the value of behavioural approaches, practice theories, pragmatic tinkering and speculative thinking with respect to experimentation. Whereas the first two have been much discussed within sustainability science and transition research, the notions of pragmatic tinkering and speculative thinking radically broaden the scope of experimental research and its contribution to sustainable everyday practices. Pragmatism brings to the fore the need to coordinate multiple practices and understandings of good eating, as these may clash in practice. Through this lens, the value of experimental research lies in revealing frictions that need to be resolved, or tinkered, in practice. Speculative experimentation, in turn, refers to the power of experiments to challenge the experimental setting itself and force thinking about new possibilities and avenues. We investigate the value of all four approaches in relation to our experiments with sustainable eating in the Finnish and Nordic context. Our elaboration justifies the need to broaden the conception of experimental research in order to capture the multiplicity of sustainable eating. Hence, we call for attentive, speculative experimental research aimed not only at testing solutions for sustainable everyday practice, but also at reflecting on the practice of experimentation itself.
  • Masiero, Mauro; Secco, Laura; Pettenella, Davide; Da Re, Riccardo; Bernö, Hanna; Carreira, Ariane; Dobrovolsky, Alexander; Giertlieova, Blanka; Giurca, Alexandru; Holmgren, Sara; Mark-Herbert, Cecilia; Navrátilová, Lenka; Pülzl, Helga; Ranacher, Lea; Salvalaggio, Alessandra; Sergent, Arnaud; Sopanen, Juuso; Stelzer, Cristoph; Stetter, Theresa; Valsta, Lauri; Výbošťok, Jozef; Wallin, Ida (2020)
    This article provides useful information for universities offering forestry programs and facing the growing demand for bioeconomy education. An explorative survey on bioeconomy perception among 1400 students enrolled in 29 universities across nine European countries offering forestry programs was performed. The data have been elaborated via descriptive statistics and cluster analysis. Around 70% of respondents have heard about the bioeconomy, mainly through university courses. Students perceive forestry as the most important sector for bioeconomy; however, the extent of perceived importance of forestry varies between countries, most significantly across groups of countries along a North–South European axis. Although differences across bachelor and master programs are less pronounced, they shed light on how bioeconomy is addressed by university programs and the level of student satisfaction with this. These differences and particularities are relevant for potential development routes towards comprehensive bioeconomy curricula at European forestry universities with a forestry focus.
  • Lahikainen, Katja; Kolhinen, Johanna; Ruskovaara, Elena; Pihkala, Timo (2019)
    The purpose of this study is to add to the literature on entrepreneurial university ecosystems by highlighting the ways in which academics engage or decouple in entrepreneurship processes and thereby in the emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem. The study extends our understanding of the emergence of an entrepreneurial university ecosystem by providing an in-depth analysis of a Finnish university campus, investigating how individuals' perceptions respond to societal and institutional demands for the fostering of entrepreneurship. The findings suggest that education and research are regarded as the highly institutionalized logics of universities, and these logics tend to be maintained since more rewards are associated with them than are associated with the logic of entrepreneurial actions. These competing logics lead to conflicting interests and cause intentional and unintentional decoupling in the adaptation and implementation of entrepreneurial actions in universities.
  • Helenius, Juha; Hagolani-Albov, Sophia; Koppelmäki, Kari (2020)
    Critics of modern food systems argue for the need to shift from a consolidated and concentrated, often monoculture based agro-industrial model toward diversified, post-fossil, and nutrient recycling food systems. The abundance of acute and obvious environmental problems in the agricultural sub-systems of the broader food system(s) have resulted in a focus on technological and natural scientific research into "solving" these point of production problems. Yet, there are many facets of food systems that are vital to sustainability which are not addressed even if the environmental problems were solved. In this article, we argue for agroecological symbiosis (AES) as a generic arrangement for re-configuring the primary production of food in agriculture, the processing of food, and development of a food community to work toward system-level sustainability. The guiding principle of this concept was the desire to base farming and food processing on renewable bioenergy, to close nutrient cycles, to break away from the consolidated food chain, to be more transparent and connected with consumers, and to revitalize the rural spaces where farms generally operate. Through a consistent and robust collaboration and co-creative process with transdisciplinary actors, ranging from food producers, and processers to policy actors, we designed a food system model based on networks of AES (NAES). The NAES would form place-based food networks, replacing the consolidated commodity chains. The NAES supports sustainable interactions from a biophysical and socio-cultural perspective. In this paper, we explain the AES concept, give an overview of the process of co-creating the pilot AES, and a proposal for the extension of the AES, as NAES, to create sustainable food systems. Overall, we conclude that the AES model holds potential for creating place-based food systems that further the sustainability agenda.
  • Toppinen, Anne; Miilumäki, Noora; Vihemäki, Heini; Toivonen, Ritva; Lähtinen, Katja (2019)
    Increasing societal interest towards sustainable and low-carbon materials contributes to demand for wood-based materials and modern solutions for urban construction. Wooden multi-storey construction (WMC), however, is a relatively new phenomenon in the construction business, and collaborative business models in projects that adopt such novel building techniques are yet to develop. Shared logic is a key concept shaping the development of well-functioning business ecosystems, even though actor priorities may vary between the WMC business ecosystem members. This study examines the applicability of business ecosystem concept based on actor perception involved in three Finnish WMC projects. The results suggest that elements from the business ecosystem thinking can be identified in all the cases. Moreover, network collaboration created benefits to the ecosystem, such as reference value and new insights from research and development. For some companies, engagement in the business ecosystem created financial and employment benefits, while some interviewees perceived these projects also to create immaterial value, such as awareness on sustainability issues in their business, marketing gains, or in the form of mutual learning effects.
  • Zhao, Quingjian; Wen, Zuomin; Toppinen, Anne (2018)
    From the perspective of supply chain, benchmarking the embodied carbon flows and emissions landscape is to study the carbon footprint in supply chain production and process management. On the basis of the theory of a green supply chain, this paper conducted its research through the following steps. First, a multi-level supply chain model was proposed and established, and various sectors, production and management processes, and inputs and outputs of different resources were integrated into the supply chain network, and then divided into multiple levels. Second, a multi-level embodied carbon flow and emissions model was established through the Leontief Inverse. Third, based on the operation data of forestry-pulp and paper companies, the embodied carbon flows and emissions at all levels and sectors were estimated and analyzed. Finally, the dismantling and processing methods of complex carbon network structures were explored, the hot-spot carbon sources and paths were obtained, and the low-carbon innovation and development strategies were proposed. The research results show that: (1) Supply chain is a new idea and carrier to study the spatial and state changes of carbon, and also provides a platform for spatial landscape analysis of carbon; (2) The modeling and calculation of carbon flows and emissions offer a new solution of evaluating the environmental performance of companies with high pollution and emission such as forestry-pulp and paper companies, and provide the government effective technical support to implement environmental regulations and formulate carbon emission reduction policies.
  • Lahtinen, Katja; Hayrinen, Liina; Roos, Anders; Toppinen, Anne; Cabezas, Francisco X. Aguilar; Thorsen, Bo Jellesmark; Hujala, Teppo; Nyrud, Anders Q.; Hoen, Hans Fredrik (2021)
    So far, consumer housing values have not been addressed as factors affecting the market diffusion potential of multi-storey wood building (MSWB). To fill the void, this study addresses different types of consumer housing values in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden (i.e., Nordic region), and whether they affect the likelihood of prejudices against building with wood in the housing markets. The data collected in 2018 from 2191 consumers in the Nordic region were analyzed with exploratory factor analysis and logistic binary regression analysis. According to the results, consumers' perceptions on ecological sustainability, material usage and urban lifestyle were similar in all countries, while country-specific differences were detected for perceptions on aesthetics and natural milieus. In all countries, appreciating urban lifestyle and living in attractive neighborhoods with good reputation increased the likelihood of prejudices against wood building, while appreciation of aesthetics and natural milieus decreased the likelihood of prejudices. In strengthening the demand for MSWB and sustainable urbanization through actions in businesses (e.g., branding) and via public policy support (e.g., land zoning), few messages derive from the results. In all, abreast with the already existing knowledge on the supply side factors (e.g., wood building innovations), more customized information is needed on the consumer-driven issues affecting the demand potential of MSWB in the housing markets. This would enable, e.g., both enhancing the supply of wooden homes for consumers appreciating urban lifestyle and neighborhoods and fortifying positive image of wood among consumers especially appreciating good architecture and pleasant environmental milieus.
  • Mikkonen, Tommi; Lassenius, Casper; Männistö, Tomi; Oivo, Markku; Järvinen, Janne (2018)
    Context: Traditional technology transfer models rely on the assumption that innovations are created in academia, after which they are transferred to industry using a sequential flow of activities. This model is outdated in contemporary software engineering research that is done in close collaboration between academia and industry and in large consortia rather than on a one-on-one basis. In the new setup, research can be viewed as continuous co-experimentation, where industry and academia closely collaborate and iteratively and jointly discover problems and develop, test, and improve solutions. Objective: The objective of the paper is to answer the following research questions: How can high-quality, ambitious software engineering research in a collaborative setup be conducted quickly and on a large scale? How can real-time business feedback to continuously improve candidate solutions be gained? Method: The proposed model has been created, refined, and evaluated in two large, national Finnish software research programs. For this paper, we conducted thematic interviews with representatives of four companies who participated in these programs. Results: The fundamental change is in the mindset of the participants from technology push by academia to technology pull by companies, resulting in co-creation. Furthermore, continuous cooperation between participants enables solutions to evolve in rapid cycles and forms a scalable model of interaction between research institutes and companies. Conclusions: The multifaceted nature of software engineering research calls for numerous approaches. In particular, when working with human-related topics such as company culture and development methods, many discoveries result from seamless collaboration between companies and research institutes.
  • MASK Study GroupJr; Bedard, Annabelle; Anto, Josep M.; Fonseca, Joao A.; Toppila-Salmi, Sanna; Basagana, Xavier (2020)
    Background In allergic rhinitis, a relevant outcome providing information on the effectiveness of interventions is needed. In MASK-air (Mobile Airways Sentinel Network), a visual analogue scale (VAS) for work is used as a relevant outcome. This study aimed to assess the performance of the work VAS work by comparing VAS work with other VAS measurements and symptom-medication scores obtained concurrently. Methods All consecutive MASK-air users in 23 countries from 1 June 2016 to 31 October 2018 were included (14 189 users; 205 904 days). Geolocalized users self-assessed daily symptom control using the touchscreen functionality on their smart phone to click on VAS scores (ranging from 0 to 100) for overall symptoms (global), nose, eyes, asthma and work. Two symptom-medication scores were used: the modified EAACI CSMS score and the MASK control score for rhinitis. To assess data quality, the intra-individual response variability (IRV) index was calculated. Results A strong correlation was observed between VAS work and other VAS. The highest levels for correlation with VAS work and variance explained in VAS work were found with VAS global, followed by VAS nose, eye and asthma. In comparison with VAS global, the mCSMS and MASK control score showed a lower correlation with VAS work. Results are unlikely to be explained by a low quality of data arising from repeated VAS measures. Conclusions VAS work correlates with other outcomes (VAS global, nose, eye and asthma) but less well with a symptom-medication score. VAS work should be considered as a potentially useful AR outcome in intervention studies.
  • Ilomäki, Liisa; Lakkala, Minna (2018)
    The aim of this study was to create a model which describes the main elements for improving schools with digital technology and helps to reveal differences between schools and identify their best practices and challenges. The innovative digital school model (IDI school) offers a framework for research but also a research-based model for schools to examine their own practices with digital technologies. The model combines previous research on school improvement, creation of innovations, and digital technology in education as a special case of innovations and learning as knowledge creation to define six main elements describing an innovative, digital school: visions of the school, leadership, practices of the teaching community, pedagogical practices, school-level knowledge practices and digital resources. The model was applied to investigate three basic education schools. The results indicate that the model worked: we found essential differences between the schools and their best practices and challenges for improvement. It worked particularly well for those elements, which are mainly the responsibility for leadership inside a school. The differences of various elements between schools were not based on socioeconomic background but on the school-level practices. As a conclusion, we suggest that to improve schools with digital technology, all elements of the model should be included in the evaluation and development process.
  • Hurmekoski, Elias; Jonsson, Ragnar; Korhonen, Jaana; Jänis, Janne; Mäkinen, Marko; Leskinen, Pekka; Hetemäki, Lauri (2018)
    This study identifies new wood-based products with considerable potential and attractive markets, including textiles, liquid biofuels, platform chemicals, plastics, and packaging. We apply a mixed-methods review to examine how the position of the forest industry in a given value chain determines the respective production value. An assessment is provided as to the degree to which these emerging wood-based products could compensate for the foreseen decline of graphic paper markets in four major forest industry countries: USA, Canada, Sweden, and Finland. A 1%-2% market share in selected global markets implies a potential increase in revenues of 18-75 billion euros per annum in the four selected countries by 2030. This corresponds to 10%-43% of the production value of forest industries in 2016 and compares with a projected decline of graphic paper industry revenue of 5.5 billion euros by 2030. The respective impacts on wood use are manifold, as many of the new products utilize by-products as feedstock. The increase in primary wood use, which is almost entirely attributed to construction and to some extent textiles markets, would be in the range of 15-133 million m(3), corresponding to 2%-21% of the current industrial roundwood use in the selected countries.
  • Rantala, Salla; Toikka, Arho; Pulkka, Anna; Jari, Lyytimäki (2020)
    Strategic niches are protected spaces for emerging technologies, where expectations are articulated, social networks built, and learning occurs. Although Strategic Niche Management (SNM) can be done in a directed, strategic manner, more diffuse, loosely connected and self-organizing niches also exist. We explore such niches in a particular setting: a social media discussion forum - a Facebook group - set up for an open discussion on the reform of national-level energy policy in Finland. We focus on discussions related to two renewable energy technologies: biogas and ground-source heat pumps. We conduct Social Network Analysis and quantitative as well as qualitative content analysis of the social media material to ask what kind of SNM happens in these discussions. Our results indicate that the discussion networks may be conducive for wide engagement and incorporation of new ideas, while also containing sub-groups that may foster learning. However, the discussions are highly centralized around a few active discussants and focused on the present-day situation, drawing from specific local and national experiences and technical details, despite the original aim of the group to induce forward-looking debates on energy policy. The articulation of future expectations is not a predominant feature of the discussions related to these two technologies. Still, the quantitative content analysis reveals extensive agreement in their framing as sustainable future energy solutions, while the qualitative analysis also points to critical debates that may support learning and further development of shared expectations.
  • Zhao, Qingjian; Ding, Sheng; Wen, Zuomin; Toppinen, Anne (2019)
    In the context of global climate change, energy conservation and greenhouse effect gases (GHG) reduction are major challenges to mankind. The forestry-pulp and paper industry is a typical high energy consumption and high emission industry. We conducted in-depth research on the energy flows and carbon footprint of the forestry-pulp paper industry. The results show that: (1) The main sources of energy supply include external fossil fuel coal and internal biomass fuel black liquor, which supply 30,057,300 GJ and 14,854,000 GJ respectively; in addition, the energy produced by diesel in material transportation reaches 11,624,256 GJ. (2) The main energy consumption processes include auxiliary engineering projects, material transportation, papermaking, alkali recovery, pulping and other production workshops. The percentages of energy consumption account for 26%, 18%, 15%, 10% and 6%, respectively. (3) The main sources of carbon include coal and forest biomass, reaching 770,000 tons and 1.39 million tons, respectively. (4) Carbon emissions mainly occur in fuel combustion in combined heating and power (CHP) and diesel combustion in material transportation, reaching 6.78 million tons and 790,000 tons of carbon, respectively. (5) Based on steam and electricity consumption, the indirect carbon emissions of various thermal and electric energy production units were calculated, and the key energy consumption process units and hotspot carbon flow paths were further found. This research established a theoretical and methodological basis for energy conservation and emission reduction.
  • Häikiö, Juha; Yli-Kauhaluoma, Sari; Pikkarainen, Minna; Iivari, Marika; Koivumäki, Timo (2020)
    The healthcare and wellness sector currently attempts to provide more proactive service models with data-driven solutions. This study examines the expectations and values related to personal data i.e. data valences from the perspective of service providers and individual users. The study is based on the analysis of extensive empirical material collected through interviews and a collaborative workshop. The data was collected in one cultural context, Finland. The results suggest that the potential service providers and users have similar expectations regarding self-evidence of data while the main differences concern the expectations of transparency. The results of the study propose some basic requirements for the development of personalised data-driven services in future. The study suggests that basic requirements for the development of future data driven services concern expectations to usable data visualisations, data as a motivator, data accuracy and data transparency. Even though there are varying expectations to personal health data and even some concerns, it can be seen that here different ecosystem actors primarily perceived the wider use of personal health and wellness data as a positive trend. It can be concluded that collaborative personal data-driven service ecosystems are an integral part of development towards proactive service models in healthcare.
  • Väliverronen, Esa; Saikkonen, Sampsa (2021)
    The media have become an important arena where struggles over the symbolic legitimacy of expert authority take place and where scientific experts increasingly have to compete for public recognition. The rise of authoritarian and populist leaders in many countries and the growing importance of social media have fueled criticism against scientific institutions and individual researchers. This paper discusses the new hidden forms of suppression and self-censorship regarding scientists' roles as public experts. It is based on two web surveys conducted among Finnish researchers in 2015 and 2017. We focus on answers to the open-ended questions in these surveys, where respondents reflect upon issues of freedom of expression and the feedback they receive in public arenas. Building on previous research on suppression, "research silencing," and the "chilling effect," we discuss the connection between freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry. We make a distinction between four forms of suppression: political and economic control, organizational control, control between rival academics, and control from publics. Moreover, we make explicit and discuss the means, motives, and practices of suppression within each of these four forms.
  • D'Amato, D.; Droste, N.; Allen, B.; Kettunen, M.; Lähtinen, K.; Korhonen, J.; Leskinen, P.; Matthies, B. D.; Toppinen, A. (2017)
    Despite their evidently different assumptions and operationalization strategies, the concepts of Circular Economy, Green Economy and Bioeconomy are joined by the common ideal to reconcile economic, environmental and social goals. The three concepts are currently mainstreamed in academia and policy making as key sustainability avenues, but a comparative analysis of such concepts is missing. The aim of this article is thus to comprehensively analyse the diversity within and between such concepts. The results are drawn from a bibliometric review of almost two thousand scientific articles published within the last three decades, coupled with a conceptual analysis. We find that, for what concerns environmental sustainability, Green Economy acts as an 'umbrella' concept, including elements from Circular Economy and Bioeconomy concepts (e.g. eco-efficiency; renewables), as well as additional ideas, e.g. nature-based solutions. In particular, Circular Economy and Bioeconomy are resource-focused, whereas in principle Green Economy acknowledges the underpinning role of all ecological processes. Regarding the social dimension, Green Economy is more inclusive of some aspects at local level (e.g. eco-tourism, education), while there is an emerging discussion in Bioeconomy literature around local processes in terms of biosecurity and rural policies. When considering weak/strong sustainability visions, all concepts remain limited in questioning economic growth. By comparing the different sustainability strategies promoted by these concepts we do not advocate for their substitutability, but for their clarification and reciprocal integration. The findings are discussed in light of the concepts' synergies and limits, with the purpose to inform research and policy implementation. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Liu, Meijuan; Zhou, Chang; Lu, Feifei; Hu, Xiaohan (2021)
    With the development of ecological paradigm coupled with the relentless implementation of myriad environmental policies in China, the rapid development of carbon emission trading and carbon trading market has had a vital impact on the financial performance of enterprises at the microlevel. This study has sampled the A-share listed companies in China, from 2009 to 2018, and adopted the difference-in-difference (DID) method to investigate the effect of the carbon emission trading on corporate financial performance from the microlevel. Evidence showed that the implementation of carbon emission trading effectively improved the total asset-liability ratio of enterprises, though it reduced the value of the current capital market. Moreover, in the regions under strict legal environment, the enhancement effect of the total asset-liability ratio was more obvious, whereas in the regions under loose legal environment, the reduction effect of the value of the capital market was more obvious. Further analysis showed that the implementation of carbon emission trading could not promote Chinese enterprises to increase R&D investment. Hence the implementation of carbon emission trading has improved the level of non-business income of enterprises incorporated into the trading system, but its impact on the investment income of enterprises was not significant.
  • Munck af Rosenschold, Johan (2019)
    The study of short-term projects to implement policy has lately gained ground among scholars of environmental governance and public administration. The increasing reliance on and prevalence of projects, or ‘projectification’, has spurred critical debates on the ability of projects to contribute to long-term goals, including sustainability, as well as institutional change. Yet, the literature on projectification lacks specificity in terms of how projects are understood, how the relationship between projects and permanent organizations looks like, and how projects can influence institutional orders. The aim of this paper is to systematize the literature in order to uncover the process of transforming project outputs into institutional change. Three models of projectified governance – mechanistic, organic, and adaptive – is presented, providing a conceptual apparatus that advances the study of projects in environmental policy and governance. The paper argues that the adaptive model, with its reliance on multi-scalar networks for the coordination of project activities and knowledge, shows most promise in achieving institutional change to address complex environmental problems.
  • Hillo, Jaakko Jonas (Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, 2015)