Shoshin for Synergies

Shoshin  is a Japanese word meaning “beginner’s mind”. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject. Within this framework, there are many possibilities in the beginner’s mind, whereas there are only few in the expert’s mind. European Commission is now encouraging us to think and act with “Shoshin” and tap all the synergies. I believe that going beyond the obvious will prove useful.

We scientists and experts are masters of brilliant thinking, eloquent speech and organised communication, when in our own territory. When  we start going to events where we get exposed to ideas and truths from people whose topic is strange to us, we may feel uncomfortable. We may decide to stay out or we choose to jump into a discovery process and start listening to arguments, such as:

I am historian. I like to look at past to understand the present. I am chemist. I am interested in molecules. I am physicist. I need to know if we can have a mathematical model. I am economist. I am interested in productivity and I am not going to challenge the good old theories. I am political scientist. I am a bit of a pessimist as I am looking for failures in the democratic system. I am psychologist. I am interested in the human factor. I am philosopher and artist. I love conceptual design. I am citizen. I am not sure at all what those experts are doing or could care less.

Being biased is human

Is Artificial Intelligence going to even the bias out? AI is about algorithms, data and software. Can we master  complexity by systemic approach and selection of taxonomy? Taxonomy is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification.

Investing in research and innovation

European Commission proposes a pragmatic and focused long-term budget with modernised programmes to deliver efficiently on the EU’s priorities in the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 (MFF).  Investing in areas, such as research and innovation, young people, the digital economy, border management, security and defence, will contribute to prosperity, sustainability and security in the future.

The upcoming Horizon Europe programme emphasizes cross-cutting approach, synergies and partnerships

Proposal for Horizon Europe, the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, was published in June 2018 as an outcome of extensive EU-wide assessments and consultative processes. In July 2017, the Lamy Report recommended that within the next Framework Programme, the Commission should set R&I missions “that address global challenges”, and made a broad call for greater involvement of stakeholders and citizens within the programme.

Importance of cross-disciplinary, cross-sector and cross-border collaboration was stressed in the Lamy Report. And again, in the Mazzucato Report on Missions, published in January 2018. We have heard and spoken about synergies earlier but until now we have not seen it taking place in practice.

Compared to Horizon 2020 programme, cross-cutting approach of Horizon Europe is becoming stronger. For example, all Clusters in Pillar 2 (health; inclusive and secure society; digital and industry; climate, energy and mobility; food and natural resources) are cross-cutting, and it is expected that they use different financial instruments. Here, the synergy element becomes important.

In future, also partnerships should be focusing on delivering more, not only through Horizon Europe, but also through other programmes. This means opening up more towards Member States funding and programmes, alignment of research agendas and private investments – and vice versa

Synergies element is quite distinct also in the Multiannual Financial Framework proposal, and one can observe that there is a true attempt to connect various legal bases better to serve the purpose of building critical mass and focused interventions through combined funding.

Investment dimension and regulation dimension to research and innovation

Partnerships are obvious places where pooling of resources and synergies can happen. Particularly, innovation relates to partnerships. Much more synergies and innovation can happen, if the partnerships become more cross-cutting (cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral, cross-border). Here, the value-chain approach may prove useful.

The MFF attempts to bring an investment dimension and a regulation dimension to research and innovation . Current Public Private Partnerships should get excited about the opportunities enabled, when Commission is introducing the new amendment to Council Regulation (EU) 2015/1588 of 13 July 2015, on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to certain categories of horizontal State Aid. Similarly, Member States authorities watching over national finances, should spend some time together with key stakeholders in territorial development and research and innovation to create a joint vision about how to benefit from synergies.

Leena Sarvaranta Head of EU Affairs

 

Leena April 2017.9057Leena Sarvaranta

Head of EU Affairs, VTT

leena.sarvaranta(a)vtt.fi

 

 

Making everyday life easier for the consumer

Soon running your daily errands will be quick and easy: Groceries you ordered will be automatically delivered to your door, or directly in your fridge. The same delivery also includes the party dress you ordered for yourself, and new football boots for your child.  Before heading back, the delivery vehicle picks up your recyclable cardboard and bottles, and perhaps gives your children a ride to soccer practice or piano lesson.

This is a future in which service package integration will make the consumer’s daily life much easier.  Instead of focusing on individual purchases, consumers will be able to choose which solutions they need in their everyday life, and manage these using a single service platform. Other items provided as a service include clothing, hobby equipment, tools and home decor. Using a service instead of buying offers better adaptability to each life situation and current needs.

Everyday Life as a service– everyday solutions from a single source

In the transition to a service economy, it makes sense for the service provider to offer serviceable, upgradeable high-quality products, which will extend the life cycle of products. Resources can be put to efficient use when efficient use of materials is in the consumer service provider’s interest. The service provider will also be responsible for the recycling of products that have reached the end of their life cycle.

In the future, consumers will be able to obtain services by using a single integrated platform. This makes it easier to run several errands in one go, blurring the boundaries between individual services. Furthermore, all the goods consumers currently own can be offered as a service. What would you think about having your seasonal wardrobe delivered to your doorstep?

A solution for running Everyday Life as a servicesimplifies data flow, and as the volume of data grows, relevant services can be suggested to consumers almost automatically. This makes it easy for the consumer to choose the services they need, and it makes their everyday life easier. Better flow of information makes service provision a profitable business. To make everyday service logistics efficient and optimally suited to the consumers’ needs, products and services from multiple companies should be brought to the consumer in a single delivery.

Think differently, benefit more!

This is a revolutionary idea that requires a rather dramatic change in our thinking. To make them attractive, services offered should be superior in comparison with the existing ones. Understanding consumers, their daily activities and things that create value for them – and demand sacrifices – is a core element of development efforts. VTT’s AARRE project studied these carefully and created a customer’s value path to illustrate the value creation process and to provide a tool for companies.

Experimenting with various tried and tested services such as car and apartment sharing services will gradually drive changes in the way we think. Companies should embrace this opportunity to introduce experimental business models. Experiments like the provision of tools as a service can help to understand what the consumers are ready to accept and what their real needs are. Pilot projects could be launched to test the ecological benefits of the service.

Reliability is everything

Everyday Life as as serviceconcept offers superior value to the consumer, since the service can be taught to anticipate their needs and build a customised service portfolio for each consumer. Having a single service platform to cater to the needs of an individual consumer or families means that an enormous amount of confidential data will pile up in the service. The more information consumers are willing to disclose, the better and more tailored service they are likely to receive. It is therefore essential to ensure the reliability of the service to make it attractive. And because no two consumers are alike, a number of different options for limiting the collection and use of data must be provided.

The practical implementation of the model is still a long way away, and requires considerable development efforts. One of the key requirements is a mindset that embraces the shift away from ownership. Just imagine how services could change our daily lives!

 

Maria Antikainen VTT
Maria Antikainen

Principal Scientist
maria.antikainen(a)vtt.fi
@MariaAntikainen


Anna Aminoff VTTAnna Aminoff

Principal Scientist
anna.aminoff(a)vtt.fi
@AminoffAnna


outikettunen

Outi Kettunen
Senior Scientist
outi.kettunen(a)vtt.fi

 

The ABC of plastics in the circular economy is a series of five blog posts exploring the world of plastics. The series discusses bioplastics, plastics recycling and the related business operations, as well as the future of the circular economy. And last but not least – mythbusting! 

Co-innovation for digital services – what changes, what remains, are you ready for transformation?

Strategic focus and experimentation with customers are crucial for the successful development of digital services. SmartAdvantage project partners and collaboration network members shared their thoughts and prospects on future advancements.

Digitalisation is a major global trend that is crucially transforming many sectors, including manufacturing, energy and several public services and media. Digitalisation will radically change the way the companies operate, and enabling technologies give rise to disruptive business models and entrant companies. As an example, according to the latest statistics of the World Bank there are 100 mobile cellular phone subscriptions per 100 people globally. The quick spreading of smart phones has led to major changes in the consumer behavior for the benefit of on-line media and loss of printed media like newspapers. This transformation has reflected also to the distribution of the advertisement income: in USA, the online media ad revenue exceeded that of the printed media already in 2009. While print advertising revenue’s share decreases, content is increasingly becoming the key source of revenue for many publishers.

The fact that the consumers read the news rather in the internet and mobile applications than newspapers has impacts all over the value chains. The companies producing newsprint paper have been struggling with declining demand and have reacted by closing down factories or changing production to fit new products. Digitalisation challenges incumbent companies to deploy emerging technological advancements and to renew their business. Digital transformation and opportunities were discussed in the SmartAdvantage project seminar in spring 2018. The seminar offered a forum to the SmartAdvantage project partners VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Tampere University of Technology, Pesmel Oy, Chiller Oy, Huurre Oy, SW Development Oy and Delete Finland Oy to share their thoughts, ideas and latest achievements in the area of digitalisation with the collaboration partners.

The forerunners´ digital strategies are not limited to technology development, but digitalization changes the way business is done. The next disruptive technology may be awaiting around the corner. The forerunners emphasize innovation and decision-making. Data, information and knowledge are in the core of this transformation. The role of the strategy is also central to the acquisition of ICT, software and enabling technologies for digitalization. Implementing acquisitions in small and manageable entities, within the framework of strategic policies, helps to implement cost-effective procurement practices and reduce risk. The development of digital services emphasizes the importance of the long-term vision, thorough understanding of customer and business benefits, and innovative approach with experimentations.

In the digital world, agility is indispensable. Silicon Valley’s start-up companies emphasize the importance of quick experimentation and failure as they boost learning: “fail fast, fail forward thinking”. SmartAdvantage project offers the companies an arena to develop and experiment with digital solutions together with their customers and other stakeholders. The experimentations reveal a variety of benefits and sources of customer value that may arise for example from improving the fleet management capabilities or optimizing total energy consumption. The customer may also benefit through the collaborative development of operational excellence, and by improved occupational safety. The experiments may also reveal benefits beyond original application. As an example, energy generated by cooling of ice rinks is used to heat other arena functions. In addition to economic value, the digital solutions may contribute to sustainable development and reduce CO2 emissions.

Not all digital solutions get air under their wings, but companies can learn also from failed experiments. Ultimately, the customer decides the benefits of digital solutions. A well-known indicator of the overall efficiency is OEE (Overall equipment effectiveness). From the client’s point of view, every OEE-percentage surge has equal value, but the cost required to achieve the benefits depends on how and by which technology the efficiency-enhancing service is being implemented. Agile methods and experiments with the customer have become part of the development of digital services. The strategy, portfolio thinking and the development of business models must be closely linked to service development. Significant, disruptive innovations are usually based on new knowledge that quickly replaces the technology or business model in use. Industrial digital transformation emphasizes entrepreneurial activity, continuous learning and the courageous ability to innovate.

More information:

SmartAdvantage – the project: https://www.vtt.fi/sites/smartadvantage

Smart asset management as a service – the report: https://www.vtt.fi/sites/smartadvantage/PublishingImages/publications/SMACC_SmartAssetManagement_julkaisu_032018_web.pdf

The World Bank indicators: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.CEL.SETS.P2

 

Helena_Kortelainen_2010
Helena Kortelainen
Principal Scientist, VTT
helena.kortelainen(a)vtt.fi

 

Yhteistyössä digipalveluihin – mikä muuttuu, mikä säilyy, oletko valmis muutokseen?

Strateginen fokus ja kokeilut asiakkaiden kanssa korostuvat digitaalisten palvelujen kehittämisessä. Ketteryys on välttämätöntä. Kaikki ratkaisut eivät saa ilmaa siipiensä alle, mutta rohkeasti kokeilemalla voi oppia. Viimekädessä asiakas määrittää digitaalisten ratkaisujen hyödyn.

Teollinen internet muuttaa radikaalisti teollisuusyritysten menestystekijöitä ja synnyttää uusia, kilpailun mullistavia yrityksiä samalla tavalla kuin internet mahdollisti Googlen ja Amazonin synnyn. Maailmanpankin tuoreen raportin mukaan maailmassa on noin 100 kännykkäliittymää per 100 asukasta. Älypuhelinten yleistyminen on vaikuttanut vahvasti digitaaliseen murrokseen muun muassa media-alalla. Teknologian mahdollistamat kuluttajakäyttäytymisen muutokset heijastuvat myös mainostulojen jakautumiseen eri medioiden välillä: USA:ssa on-line-medioiden hyvin nopeasti nousseet mainostulot ylittivät printtimedian mainostulot jo vuonna 2009.

Uutisten ja muun mediasisällön siirtyminen nettiin ja mobiilisovelluksiin on heijastunut laajasti median arvoverkostoihin aina sanomalehtipaperin tuotantoon asti. Digitalisaatio muuttaa voimakkaasti nykyisiä toimialoja, haastaa yrityksiä ottamaan käyttöön teknologian luomia mahdollisuuksia ja uudistumaan.

Digitalisaatiokehitystä ja digitalisaation mahdollisuuksia pohdittiin SmartAdvantage-hankkeen seminaarissa keväällä 2018. Mukana on kahden tutkimuslaitoksen (VTT Oy ja Tampereen Teknillinen Yliopisto) lisäksi viisi eri aloilla toimivaa yritystä – Pesmel Oy, Chiller Oy, Huurre Oy, SW Development Oy ja Delete Finland Oy – sekä yritysten sidosryhmien edustajia. Kaikkia yhdistää halu kehittää uutta, digitaalisiin ratkaisuihin perustuvaa liiketoimintaa.

Edelläkävijöiden digistrategiat eivät rajoitu teknologian kehittämiseen, vaan digitalisaatio muuttaa tapaa, jolla liiketoimintaa tehdään. Edelläkävijät korostavatkin innovaatioita ja päätöksenteon kehittämistä. Tieto, informaatio ja tietämys ovat tämän muutoksen ytimessä. Strategian rooli on keskeinen myös digitalisaation edellyttämien ICT- ja ohjelmistotuotteiden hankinnassa. Hankintojen toteutus pienissä hallittavissa kokonaisuuksissa strategisten linjausten puitteissa auttaa toteuttamaan käytännön hankinnat kustannustehokkaasti. Digitaalisten palveluiden kehityksessä korostuu vision määrittämisen sekä asiakas- ja liiketoimintahyötyjen tunnistamisen ja nopeiden kokeilujen tärkeys.

Digitaalisessa maailmassa ketteryys on välttämätöntä. Piilaakson pk- ja start-up yritykset korostavat kokeilemisen ja epäonnistumisen merkitystä oppimisessa: “fail fast, fail often, fail forward thinking.” SmartAdvantage-hankkeen yritykset kehittävät ja kokeilevat digitaalisia ratkaisuja yhdessä sidosryhmiensä kanssa. Hyötyjä ja asiakasarvoa syntyy sovelluksesta riippuen esimerkiksi parantuneen laitekannan hallinnan tai kokonaisenergiankulutuksen optimoinnin myötä. Asiakasta voidaan myös tukea toiminnan kehittämisen ja parantuneen työturvallisuuden kautta. Kokeiluissa voi paljastua myös laajempia ja moninaisempia hyötyjä: esimerkkinä uusi jäähalleihin suunniteltu jäähdytysjärjestelmä, jossa jäähdytyksessä syntynyt energia käytetään muiden jäähallin toimintojen lämmitykseen.

Kaikki digitaaliset ratkaisut eivät saa ilmaa siipiensä alle, mutta rohkeasti kokeilemalla voi oppia. Viimekädessä asiakas määrittää digitaalisten ratkaisujen hyödyn. Paljon käytetty kokonaistehokkuuden mittari on OEE (Overall equipment effectiveness). Asiakkaan näkökulmasta jokainen OEE-tason nousuprosentin tuottama taloudellinen hyöty on yhtä suuri, mutta hyödyn saavuttamiseksi vaadittavat kustannukset riippuvat siitä, miten ja millä teknologialla tehokkuutta lisäävä palvelu toteutetaan. Ketterät menetelmät ja kokeilut yhdessä asiakkaan kanssa ovat tulleet digitaalisten palveluiden kehittämisen osaksi. Strategia, palveluportfolion kehittäminen ja liiketoimintamallien kehittäminen on yhdistettävä kiinteästi palvelukehitykseen. Merkittävät, disruptiiviset innovaatiot perustuvat yleensä uuteen osaamiseen, joka korvaa hyvin nopeasti käytössä olevan teknologian tai liiketoimintamallin. Teollisuuden digitaalisessa murroksessa korostuvat yrittäjämäinen toiminta, jatkuva oppiminen ja rohkea kyky uudistua.

Lue lisää:

SmartAdvantage – projekti: https://www.vtt.fi/sites/smartadvantage

Smart asset management as a service – raportti (pdf)

The World Bank indikaattorit: http://data.worldbank.org/

Helena_Kortelainen_2010
Helena Kortelainen
Principal Scientist, VTT
helena.kortelainen(a)vtt.fi

 

Digitalisation accelerates the circular economy

When talking about the circular economy, the role of digitalisation is almost always mentioned. The deployment of digital solutions may reduce the use of resources and facilitate the implementation of circular economy systems. However, as yet not much research has been done on how digitalisation enables the transition to a circular economy in practice. The CloseLoop strategic research project of the Academy of Finland systematically assesses challenges associated with the development of new business models, and brainstorms new circular economy business models and concepts for Finnish companies. These concepts are developed and tested in collaboration with companies and stakeholders, including end-users and consumers.

Digitalisation may provide assistance for achieving three objectives of the circular economy. The digitalisation of the industrial sector increases resource efficiency, helps to close the loop of material cycles and contributes to keeping materials in use for a longer time. Intelligent solutions enable, for example, the reduction of energy consumption, optimisation of logistics chains and more efficient use of capacity. Digitalisation can be used to gain access to material-specific data and resource consumption, which enables the product life cycle to be optimised for circular economy solutions. Good examples of this include Resq Club and Lunchie, which offer restaurant food for consumers through a digital platform. They reduce food waste by providing an easy way to buy food that would otherwise go to waste.  eRENT  offers companies a platform for the digital sharing and tracking of machines and devices, making it possible to improve their usage rates.

Circular economy systems with interconnected cycles often contain large amounts of data. Digitalisation offers new ways to collect and use it in real time. This data can be put to use when decisions need to be made about the phases of the product’s life cycle, reuse of waste materials, logistical arrangements and the operators needed in the value network. For example,  Konecranes offers warehouse management as a service that includes remote monitoring and preventive equipment maintenance and advanced digitalisation, enabling the monitoring of the entire supply chain. The solution allows Konecranes customers to efficiently provide their suppliers with information on warehouse usage levels.

In the circular economy, the coordination of materials and information flows is of crucial importance. Information on the quantity and quality of products and the raw materials they contain must be collected, stored and used efficiently. It must be possible to do this in a reliable and transparent manner, for which such methods as block chain technology may provide a solution. Digital technologies enable data storage combined with materials and the use of waste as a resource.

Digitalisation comes with a lot of challenges

The key challenges of digitalisation are related to business models, data ownership, data sharing, data integration, collaboration and competence. Issues related to the availability and ownership of data are of crucial importance. There are also challenges related to the sharing of data between competitors, protection of privacy, the IPR rights and confidence building. Integration of the large amounts of data owned by various operators is also needed, because the management of data flows is also a big challenge.

Other important issues include the organisation of cooperation between different partners, the definition of joint processes, search for suitable partners and pooling of different areas of competence. The pooling of the competences in information and communication technology and sustainable development also has its own challenges. At the moment, many organizations lack sufficient competence related to the basic concepts of the circular economy and sustainable business models.

Hackathons, training and research projects promote cooperation across disciplines

Cooperation, networking, increased transparency and the provision of information are key methods for promoting digitalisation. Collaboration can be practiced by sharing expertise between organisations and pooling competences between different actors. The operators should come from different fields and include both small and large organisations. In training, the cooperation between schools and enterprises could be increased. Various competitions and hackathons could be increasingly used for cooperation purposes. Participation in research and development projects is also a good way of creating cooperation networks.

It is important to involve consumers or end-users in the planning and implementation of a service, because consumers themselves function as service providers in many services that use platforms. In such a case, getting a critical mass involved in the process from the outset is of paramount importance, and the service must offer a first-rate solution to consumer needs in terms of both attractiveness and usability. One example is Zadaa, which provides consumers with a mobile application that makes it easy to put used clothes up for sale and to find clothes that fit. Digital solutions make it possible to reach consumers and end users in a more efficient way than before. It is important to note that instead of the earlier one-way communication, the solutions needed today must allow end-users to give feedback on products and services.

Read more: www.closeloop.fi

 

Maria Antikainen VTT

 

Maria Antikainen
Principal Scientist
maria.antikainen(a)vtt.fi
@MariaAntikainen

 

Teuvo Uusitalo VTT

 

Teuvo Uusitalo
Senior Scientist, VTT
teuvo.uusitalo(a)vtt.fi
@TeuvoU

 

 

Kiertotalous_digitalisaatio

Under the theme “Digitalisation as enabler of the circular economy”, we organized a workshop at the From Waste to Valuables event held at the Hotel Torni of Tampere on 23 November 2017. It was attended by 62 representatives of business and research organisations. The workshop presented three innovative examples in which digitalisation forms an essential part of the operations: Uusioaines Oy, Hiedanranta and Resq Club. We discussed in small groups how digitalisation contributes to the circular economy, what challenges this entails and how they can be solved

Water means life and smart water means better life

 

Water is the basis of life and essential for all life and processes we know. The availability of water and its purity have been considered self-evident, and that is what they used to be. In Finland, we have had plenty of water and, we have learnt how to purify and recycle it and redistribute it as clean water to consumers. Naturally, we have faced some challenges along the way, and there are good reasons to be concerned about water on a continuous basis.

The world around us is changing and we are facing new challenges, such as climate change, security threats, increase in water consumption and, consequently, the sufficiency of water supplies. At that point, the existing solutions will not suffice, and they will not guarantee functional and successful societies.

Worldwide, agriculture currently uses 70% of all pure water consumed for irrigation purposes. Cracked soil, dried vegetation and famine are matters we mostly know from news from Africa. However, climate change researchers are already warning us about the increasing aridity in Europe as well. The Iberian Peninsula is becoming desert. The areas north of the Mediterranean and even Central Europe have already suffered from lack of water.

According to climate forecasts, Finland will have areas suffering from drought as early as in the 2030s if and when the current development continues.

Still, the world mostly consists of water. To establish that, all we need to do is examine the Earth from the direction of the Pacific Ocean. What we primarily lack is potable fresh water. Within the EU, there has been talk that instead of addressing the status of water in general, we should discuss various levels of purity and water suited for different uses.

Industrial processes and irrigation do not always require water suited as drinking water. It is more sensible to recycle water from one use to another, and to purify it only when necessary. With consecutive uses, the same water suffices for several users. The condition for doing so is that it is possible to analyse the water quality rapidly and precisely, and that the necessary purification processes are sufficiently good for each need. Even as it is, it is already possible to purify poor-quality waste water or sea water into potable water, and closed-loop water recycling is also often possible.

The water raining on the fields is free of charge, but all other water bears costs in the form of pipes, pumps, valves and, first and foremost, the energy needed to transfer it. This has an impact on food prices. Of course, irrigation may bring some benefits as well. When the amount of water is optimised to meet the needs of the plants, and water is used for spreading nutrients and the necessary chemicals, the quantity and quality of the crops will improve. It also enables production in controlled indoor facilities and, for example, in urban environments close to the consumers in accordance with the concept of urban farming.

In irrigation, the current trend is to go towards needs-based irrigation. The objective is simple: irrigating where water is needed, when it is needed and only to the extent that plants can use it.  As a result, the plants will do better, the crops will get bigger and their quality will improve, and the water and energy consumption will decrease.

Unfortunately, this is not yet easy, nor sufficiently cost-effective. The amount of water needed by a plant and the timing of irrigation measures may vary greatly. Even in the same field, there may be areas requiring different treatment. Recognising such areas, monitoring the need of water of the plants grown in them and the planning of necessary irrigation taking also account of the impacts of weather is a highly demanding entity that requires extensive use of sensors and understanding of the data collected. A targeted supply of water also requires an adaptable irrigation system.

The hype words of the ICT world − IoT, artificial intelligence, big data and digitalisation − have made a very strong entry into the field of water management and irrigation control as well. They will bring intelligence and efficiency to the use and recycling of water that are necessary for saving fresh water.

Water is something the whole world has in common, and the EU is also paying increasing attention to it. VTT is involved in the EU’s ICT4Water cluster and the European Water Technology Platform (WssTP), defining common targets of development and a common roadmap for generating smart services related to water. In addition to technological development, the efforts include a lot of business activities and measures supporting the mainstreaming of solutions. Only technology that is in use matters. In the big picture, ensuring that everyone has access to sufficient amounts of water is one of our most essential things.

Practical measures are also needed. As part of the H2020 programme, VTT leads the SWAMP project (Smart Water Management Platform [for Precision Irrigation]), a joint venture between the EU and Brazil. It develops and tests automatic precision irrigation solutions and water management for different purposes in different environments on the shores of river Po in the Brazilian Highlands. The project develops solutions for measuring the situation of the soil and plants, analysing how much water the plants need and smart control of irrigation so that as many of the drops of water pumped to the fields as possible end up for the purpose of producing crops of higher quality and quantity.

Water is the basic condition of life. The sufficiency of fresh water is a challenge. Smart systems enhance the use of water to make smaller amount of high-quality water last for a larger group of people. Once the solutions can be rendered affordable and scalable, they can be made available to everyone. For providing a better life.

Read more:  VTT policy brief  – Towards a resilient society with smart water solutions

jpsoininen.jpg
Juha-Pekka Soininen
Principal Scientist
juha-pekka.soininen(a)vtt.fi