April 22, 2020

DAILY BRIEF: Sustainable energy and communities, research and education

EcoCompass and Happymoor are collaborating to build more sustainable local communities.

All the daily Finnish business news that works: Vantaa Energy, University of Eastern Finland, Aalto University, Soprano, Ekokompassi and Happymoor make headlines.

Vantaa Energy plans to cease the use of coal in 2022 following a plant extension, the University of Eastern Finland innovates in battery technology, Aalto University professor Esko Penttinen wins recognition globally, Soprano signs a big education export deal, and Happymoor and EcoCompass start collaboration.

Vantaa Energy extends waste-to-energy plant with AFRY

Vantaa Energy has awarded Swedish design and consultancy company AFRY the engineering, procurement and construction management contract for the extension of its waste-to-energy plant in Vantaa, Finland. The construction will start in the spring of 2020 and is expected to be completed at the end of 2022. Enabling Vantaa Energy to cease the use of coal in energy production, the 80-megawatt extension will convert about 200 000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste to district heat.


Finnish university makes advances in battery technology

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) have developed a new hybrid material that improves the performance of silicon in Li-ion batteries (LIBs). Silicon is expected to gradually replace carbon as the anode material in LIBs as its capacity is 10-times higher than that of graphite, but its unstable material properties have posed severe technological challenges. The researchers’ hybrid material consists of mesoporous silicon microparticles and carbon nanotubes, which addresses these stability issues. Next, the researchers are looking to develop a full silicon anode with a solid electrolyte. Advances in battery technology are essential for sustainable development and working towards climate neutrality.


Aalto professor recognised for information systems research

Aalto University professor Esko Penttinen has been ranked second among information systems researchers in European universities and 13th globally by the Association for Information Systems (AIS). In 2019, Penttinen published three articles in the IS Senior Scholars’ Basket of Journals, the most often used tool for distinguishing high-quality academic publications and ranking job applicants to academic positions. His articles addressed human-automation interaction, motivations for business process outsourcing and organising for virtual work. He is currently researching the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in various domains.

Aalto University

Soprano wins significant education export deal in Asia

Finnish private training company Soprano Group has signed a significant deal with a public actor in an Asian country to modernise its vocational education academies. The deal is worth approximately four million euros and covers the first phase of a two-year project worth a total of about 7.8 million euros if brought to conclusion. Soprano will be helped in the project by its consortium of Finnish education partners and universities. The company’s plan is to realise much of the project remotely with different online solutions.


EkoCompass and Happymoor build sustainable communities

Finnish companies EcoCompass and Happymoor have started a collaboration to enable smaller companies and communities to develop more sustainable services. Happymoor is currently developing a new kind of platform, Happymoor Harbour, where cities, communities and businesses can collaborate and share information to increase local activity. EcoCompass, on the other hand, is an environmental system for small and medium-sized enterprises managed by the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, which will serve as a strategic partner to Happymoor. The first step of the collaboration will be to find funding to pilot Happymoor Harbour in three Finnish cities and further develop EcoCompass.


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