Minna and Markku from the BTI met the Evenstad people in September

Director of the JAMK University of Applied Sciences / Institute of Bioeconomy (BTI) Mrs. Minna Lappalainen and Senior Specialist Mr. Markku Paananen visited the Evenstad campus of the Innland Norway University of Applied Sciences in Hedmark Norway (INN) during 3rd to 4th September this year. The trip partly joined a wood construction delegation’s excursion to Hedmark. The program included a face-to-face meeting and probing of co-operation possibilities with the dean at Faculty of Applied Ecology, Agriculture Sciences and Biotechnology, Mrs. Maria Hörnell Willebrand. The meeting was accompanied by Mrs. Kaja Johnsen, Director of the Faculty of Forest and Wildlife Management, and Rådgiver Halgrim Breie from the Faculty of Applied Ecology, Agricultural Sciences and Biotechnology.

Another administrative person of the INN university met during the visit is Mrs. Elisabeth Riseth, International Coordinator at Campus Evenstad. In addition, Per Anders Westgård, Operations Manager at Statsbygg, and Thomas Vogler, Advisor at Evenstad Wildlife and Business Centre, introduced the campus, its premises and some forestry sites. Five researchers introduced different R&D projects related to bioeconomy, especially ecology and wildlife. In the afternoon 4th September, there was a seminar for the wood construction delegation from Central Finland in Evenstad joined by Minna and Markku, consisting of further introductions of the university activities through other five presentations. Minna introduced also the Institute of Bioeconomy and its activities.

Several potential areas of co-operation were identified. Linkage between the Evenstad Biovalley initiative and the Business accelerator initiative in Saarijärvi was seen as a beneficial arrangement mutually. As a practical start-up of co-operation, it was agreed that the BTI makes an offer to the INN for consultation and training in arrangements of an Innovation week –course organized in Evenstad in coming semester. The offer was submitted to the INN after the visit.

Three research topics were identified mutually interesting, too. They are development of black soldier fly as a protein source, aquaponics production method of fish and vegetables, and invention and monitoring methods of carbon stock developments of agricultural land, and possibly also forest land. In general, it was pointed out that areas of expertise of the both institutes match well together and complete each other, and hence provide and excellent precondition for deeper networking.

Reciprocal visit of the Evenstad representatives to the BTI in Saarijärvi are welcomed as soon as the Business accelerator project has started, assumingly in early year 2020. The project received a positive financing decision from the authority in October, thus intent is very valid now.

Introduction and negotiation program of the Evenstad campus provided generous, wide and deep sight to the organization and activities of the INN, and lead to concrete joint action initiatives. Minna and Markku are very happy for the visit, and want to express their best thanks to Maria and Halgrim and their colleges for their excellent job for organizing the visit and their warm welcome for us there.

Markku Paananen
Senior Specialist
JAMK Institute of Bioeconomy