University of Vaasa collaborates internationally on sustainability research
FOR MANY YEARS already, the University of Vaasa has taken part in the discussions on sustainable development. The university seeks to createa positive change by providing reliable research data to decision makers, companies and individuals alike:
“Research is what ultimately changes things, it gives us data to base our decisions on. We need to look for overall solutions rather than juxtapose alternative technologies”, states Suvi Karirinne, director of VEBIC, one of the university’s three research platforms.
Jari Kuusisto, rector of the University of Vaasa, agrees and emphasizes the importance of collaboration in sustainability and climate change research:
“Our university comes from an industrial environment, which lends itself perfectly for fighting this global challenge. The problems and oursolutions are not local and therefore we work in international research networks.”
WITH ITS four research laboratories, VEBIC, Vaasa Energy Business Innovation Centre, is a multidisciplinary research platform, which furthers the knowledge on energy and sustainable development.
“Our research projects cross over all the schools of our university. Among our regional partners are large corporations, SMEs and development organisations. Internationally we cooperate in university and laboratory networks and in EU projects”, says Karirinne.
An important part of VEBIC’s operations is sharing the knowledge produced by arranging conferences, seminars and workshops: “Before new technologies are taken into use, they need to be approved by the public. This isdone by studying the technologies and sharing the research. This way, also regional energy decisions can be made on factual information”, Karirinne explains.
IN ITS CLOSE FUTURE, the University of Vaasa is undergoing positive changes that touch upon its sustainability agenda:
“Our campus will be renewed, starting in 2020. We strive for a Green Campus certificate and plan to include education on sustainability in every degree programme. We have also reserved an additional 10 million euro for hiring 20 new researchers to study energy, sustainable development, digital economy as well as innovation and entrepreneurship”, rector Kuusisto states.