29.1. 2015 Blogi

A bit of this and that

"It was my turn to write the blog entry this time. I thought I’d tell you about what I do here in the office – hence the heading above. I decided to highlight three points at which I’ll be working mostly this year", writes Ms. Merja Tieaho.

INKA or Innovative Cities

Turku is the partner city for the Future Health theme in Tekes’ INKA (Innovative Cities) programme, and we submitted our innovation cluster application (what a wonderful term!) last week. With the innovation cluster funding we will continue to complete the projects in mainly pharmaceutical and diagnostics development prepared under the INKA programme into effective concepts and think of new potential objects of development.

Our goal is to strengthen Turku’s bioscience cluster further, participate in national joint projects, increase co-operation across industry borders, and of course open up new channels to international markets. This is done e.g. by encouraging the parties, arranging events and workshops, and assisting in project preparation and drawing up of operating plans, and starting company projects.

As a player, the INKA programme has sometimes been difficult to figure out and concretise, as it has not always been clear to the state administration either. But it’ll get sorted out once we get up to speed and work out the systems at all levels.

Baltic Flows

In the autumn, as a result of my colleague’s study leave, I had to assume responsibility for the Baltic Flows project included in the EU’s Framework Programme 7 (more easy-to-understand project jargon!). It’s a three-year project and in addition to Turku, the partners come from Uppsala, Hamburg, Riga and Tallinn. We map the current situation and development needs for the management of the quality and volume of the flood and rain water that flows into the Baltic Sea from urban areas. The goal of the project is to create a common strategy for promoting the development and introduction of new technologies. The drawing up of this strategy is part of the Joint Action Plan for which Turku Science Park is responsible. The deadline is at the end of March, which will keep us busy.

I have to admit that I haven’t for a while held in my hands documents that deal with scattered loading, green roofs that prevent the water flow or water-permeable porous street surfaces, but the biologist inside me does enjoy the new task. Read more about the project: http://www.turkusciencepark.com/en/programmes-and-projects/projects/

Scand-LAS 2015

Turku Science Park Ltd is involved in many activities, including the organising of the Scand-LAS 2015 congress in June. Scand-LAS is the Scandinavian Society of Laboratory Animal Science whose annual meeting takes turns in the Nordic countries and Estonia. The Finnish Laboratory Animal Science Association FinLAS takes care of the Finnish arrangements and we are happy to see the congress in Turku this year. The main responsibility for the arrangements lies with the local players, so I’m happy to be able to help my former boss (I think it was in the 1990s) Ulla-Marjut Jaakkola and collaborate with the Congress Office of the University of Turku again.

The congress will be held in Logomo from 9–12 June, and we expect around 300 participants. The theme will be Can we do it better for science and welfare, and the first version of the programme can already be viewed on the website of the event (http://www.congress.utu.fi/scandlas2015/index.php). 23 foreign companies have already booked a stand in Logomo’s excellent exhibition space, so the preparations are proceeding really well.

That’s three points of my work, in the manner of our Prime Minister. I think I’ll write more about INKA in my next blog entry, but before that I have to see that the Baltic Flows Joint Action Plan is wrapped up.

Merja Tieaho
Senior Advisor specialised in biotechnology in Turku Science Park Ltd