Aalto University: World-leading research on bio-based materials continues in Finland

Monika Österberg, FinnCERES scientific leader at Aalto: ‘We envision that the Flagship outcomes will bring us closer to a new era of bio-based materials. FinnCERES aims to be internationally recognized as one of the world leaders in bio-based materials research, development, and business’.

FinnCERES is well aligned with the Finnish bioeconomy strategy and the recent development of industrial investments in bio-based materials in Finland. The close collaboration between the Flagship and the industry ensures that novel materials solutions can be transformed into successful business and new jobs in the future.

Orlando Rojas, FinnCERES scientific leader at Aalto and future international advisor: ‘During the second 4-year term, FinnCERES will have a stronger emphasis on developing the fundamental findings further towards applications and scale-up. Moreover, the international collaboration via the Boreal Alliance will lead to scientific and educational impacts, accelerate innovation as well as promote science-based decision making.’

‘We consider plants as our material bank’, says Tekla Tammelin, FinnCERES scientific leader at VTT. ‘Cell wall structures and functions are an endless source of inspiration for materials design. The aim of the programme is to bridge the gap between fundamental and applied research and provide a fast track for scientific findings towards real innovations and implementation. Building on fundamental discoveries from the first term, we have revised the research directions with our member companies. As a cross-cutting theme, the advanced sustainability assessment will guide the materials development’.

To highlight some achievements so far, FinnCERES has developed novel approaches for nanocellulose-based membranes, which can be used to capture microplastic particles, a growing environmental concern. Selective nanocellulose-based membranes have also been developed for in rapid medical diagnostics.

The art of origami has been successfully translated to materials research resulting in novel bio-based packaging concepts. In the field of optics, FinnCERES has been able to produce bio-based optical fibres overcoming some of the limitations of current optical fibres.

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