VTT 2.2010 a magazine on science, technology and business WEAVING A WEB OF WATER al gore: a three-dimensional crisis p. 8 is wastewater our next asset? p. 24 broaden your mind for augmented reality p. 36 VTT turns science into profitable business. This section of VTT Impulse shows how multidisciplinary research leads to innovations (s. 1834). science& foresightEDITORIAL Anne-Christine Ritschkoff Executive Vice President Strategic Research VTT The foundation of competitiveness cutting edge science The impact of science is a topical subject at the moment, with Finland's higher education system in the midst of a sharp structural transition. The subject is also topical at VTT, where we think about how much of our activity is directed towards meeting the current needs of companies and how much towards developing the solutions of the future. VTT is an internationally respected and desired innovation partner in our chosen technology areas. In order for innovation partnerships at the international level to bear fruit, it also requires internationallevel expertise. To this end, we are building expertise by combining it across a multitude of technologies to resolve significant future challenges. The visibility of our research work in international forums and client commissions promotes strong competence as well as cutting-edge scientific expertise. This expertise opens doors to significant client partnerships. We have some good examples of this. One of our most important research subjects has long been the cell factory concept, in which we develop microbial cells as well as production processes based on them, such as the production of chemicals and propellants. Strong scientific proof of the concept, as well as the visibility of our researchers in leading scientific forums in the field, has led to sustained R&D cooperation with large multinational corporations. An international company would hardly look for a partner in a research centre in this isolated corner of Northern Europe that did not have convincing scientific competence and visibility. Whether or not science is convincing depends on how beneficial and visible it is. Producing science is not an end in itself for VTT, but rather a means of increasing the impact of our activities in business and elsewhere in society. Our clusters of scientific excellence of which there cannot be terribly many at VTT as an applied research centre function as `business cards' and `door openers' to our wide-ranging expertise and repertory. The key issue in aiming for impact over the long term is the systematic anticipation of technologies and markets. The path from research to exploiting results is often long. This is why we must invest in research complexes that will only meet with demand 510 years from now. VTT's future-oriented research investments are aimed at the bioeconomy and technology serving sustainable development, among other areas. VTT has an excellent knowledge base and networks as well as strong foresight expertise. By effectively exploiting these, we can increase the relevance of research and thereby its impact. With our research, we always aim to benefit our clients and society.VTT Impulse now 2 Focal point 4 In short 8 Meet and greet: Al Gore 10 Fresh water a king amongst resources Kemira and VTT are initiating a number of ambitious projects at their new water research centre SWEET. Water is now a strategic raw material. p. 10 s c I E n c E A n D fO R E s I g h T 18 Clear as water in a bottle Bottles are often the only way to provide pure drinking water. Professor Ali Harlin, VTT 24 Is wastewater our next asset? Wastewater treatment is facing new challenges due to population growth and higher demands on sustainability. Mona Arnold, Senior Research Scientist, VTT 30 Functional biopolymers from biomass by-products New enzymes and enzyme cocktails developed for biomass breakdown can improve the valorisation of biomass by-products. Johanna Buchert, Vice President, Strategic Research, VTT 18 VTT IMPULSSIn E w T Ec h n O LO g I E s A n D A p p LI cAT I O n s 36 Broaden your mind for augmented reality As a journalist, I can't remember when I left a press conference feeling quite so excited. I just kissed a 3D puppy dog. 40 "Road congested, take an alternative route!" With intelligent transport, it is easier for drivers to avoid congestion and dangerous situations. 36 The sleeker model will sell better. 44 The Finnish ICT cluster's impulse to innovate A new innovation cluster is emerging in Finland. 46 The freedom to create better designs Many new manufacturing methods assist industrial designers in improving the appearance and functionality of their products. 46 50 Introducing energy-efficient buildings to Russia In a country rich with national resources, saving energy was long a foreign topic of conversation. 50 VTT IMPULSEb u s I n E s s , b E n E f I T s , c h A LLE n g E s 56 A bull's-eye business idea Establishing a spin-off company can be an effective way of commercialising the fruits of research work. 62 Lifting crane runway safety up a notch Inspection of runways is now faster, more accurate and safer using a method that combines several technologies. 66 In service, the perception of quality is vulnerable Technology can be a source of great joy in services but the developer should pay close attention. 72 What threatens information security? The more complex, networked and open the information system, the more sensitive is information security. 62 VTT's key technology fields Applied materials Bio and chemical processes Energy Information and communication technologies Industrial systems Microtechnologies and electronics Technology in the community Business research VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is the biggest multitechnological applied research organisation in Northern Europe. VTT provides high-end technology solutions and innovation services. From its wide knowledge base, VTT combines different technologies, creates new innovations and a substantial range of world class technologies and applied research services thus improving its clients' competitiveness and competence. Through its international scientific and technology network, VTT can ensure the efficient transfer and utilisation of information and technology. VTT Impulse is VTT's publication on science, technology and business. Published twice a year in Finnish and in English. Publisher: VTT, Vuorimiehentie 5, Espoo, Finland, P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT. Telephone +358 20 722 111. Editor-in-chief: Olli Ernvall, tel. +358 20 722 6747. Editorial Board: Erkki KM Leppävuori, Jouko Suokas, Anne-Christine Ritschkoff, Kari Larjava, Tapio Koivu, Petri Kalliokoski and Paula Bergqvist. Production: Cocomms Ltd. Layout: MCI Press Oy. Printing house: Edita, Helsinki. Subscriptions and changes in address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the views of VTT. ISSN 1798-0178 VTT IMPULSE
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