[EU Knowledge Valorisation Week 2023] Step into a new era with the guiding principles for knowledge valorisation

The EU Knowledge Valorisation Week 2023 has been opened on 25 April 2023 by Marc Lemaître, Director General of DG Research & Innovation, followed by a discussion with Pia Erkinheimo, Director of the Finnish Climate Fund.

Mr. Lemaître shared that the focus of this week´s programme is sustainability, pointing out that sustainability is a key issue and time is crutial for example to reach a zero-emission society. We know that many breakthroughs in technologies is necessary to win this race. An important step is to improve the management of our intellectual assets, strengthening our entrepreneurial culture and to gain a wholer society approach, where citizens and local communities participate in the process.

A Council Recommendation on Guiding Principles for Knowledge Valorisation was adopted 2nd December 2022 and it is a European Commitment to accelerate the translation of R&I results into solutions and it has already led to national mobilisation for instance in the Czech Republic.

The first guest of the week is Pia Erkinheimo and we share an extract of this interview in the followings. You can also watch the recorded video here.


What is the mission of the Fund?

The Finnish Climate Fund is a 25-month fund with a mission to combat climate change and boost local industry and to accelerate digitalization supporting these two goals. These missions aligns with the goals of Finland, to be the first carbon neutral country by 2035. The Fund is focusing on 15 kinds of innovations that lead to economic success and that also have a climate impact.

What are the 15 innovations, which the Fund is supporting to scale up?

Besides zero-emission, biodiversity and nature loss are also critical challenges. To address these, there is a need to transform innovations from science to practice. Fifty per cent of the innovations needed for the planet to remain sufficient for populations has been out from universities, so there is lot to be studied and researched. However, there can be technologies from the 1960s that only now can be realized because of other enabling technologies or because the business case simply was not there. Innovation in technology is not enough, we need not only engineers, business people or national scientists but philosophers, social and behavior scientists and design people as well.

Such innovations at the Fund include for example hydrogen cases, plastics upscaling, digitalization and AI, waste, mining, electricity, cultivating food and all of them require cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary thinking.

What are the key ingredient to achieve a more efficient uptake in research results?

Europe is 3rd leader in venture capital into growth companies and start-ups. Accelerated by the war in Ukraine there has been a boost among (digital) climate tech investors in Europe in sharing risk and finding more innovations in Europe. This is one way of doing it.

The amount of start-up investments in Europe declined 32 per cent this quarter compared to the last quarter in 2022, so there is a hesitation in investments. As a result, although these statistics are very fresh, the role of public financing should be countercyclical.

What is the role of citizens and local community?

Ms. Erkinheimo consideres herself a “bottom-up girl” and she has been working in open innovation for a long time and her experience is that citizen-centric innovation is a driving force of climate change. People see climate change in their everyday life and this is an important behavioral change. The challenge is how to transform it into action. According to a research in 32 OECD countries among university students climate is a real concern for youth and we have to start fixings things for this generation. The dystopic information about our planetary boundaries being met and overconsumption are serious concerns and the message of climate change might paralize active groups of people.

A key message is that by 2050 all the technologies and resources will be there to have eg. our energy system carbon-neutral but money will be needed. We know how the dystopian picture would look like and we should focus on solutions. Valorisation is an example how to do it.

What can we do for an uptake in research results?

Time is very crucial, action is desired this decade already. In research the most important questions are how we can make shortcuts, bold investments and accelerate decision making. To be early in the green tech market is a competitive advantage and the planet will also benefit from the entrepreneurial mindset of “how can we make things faster?”.

Geographical focus
  • General/no specific focus
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
  • General

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on April 25, 2023
Modified on April 26, 2023