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VTT Newsletter

04 | 2010
Dear recipient, VTT´s electronic newsletter consists of the latest news releases concerning research, science, technology and business applications. In addition to these, we inform you about the latest publications and other current topics. The links will take you to VTT's website.

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 Science - effectiveness - potential of technology
Biofuels are not emission-free: a new method for impact assessment
In her thesis work at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, climate change expert Johanna Kirkinen has studied the impacts on climate change of various biomass-based and peat-based fuels used in Finland. The impact of forest residues proved to be the least important. In her thesis, Kirkinen presents a new and exceptional approach to life cycle calculations of fuels for assessing their greenhouse impacts.
International companies to strengthen printed intelligence expertise in Finland
Finland has long been a world-class centre of expertise in the area of printed intelligence technologies. VTT and Invest in Finland have recently joined forces to speed up and support the wider commercial adoption of the technology. The objective is to attract foreign investment to utilize the expertise within Finnish companies who are active in printed intelligence.
Green VTT – value from sustainability
Awareness about protecting and improving the quality of our environment is rapidly increasing. This leads to rapidly growing demands for expertise and technologies to aid sustainable development. Sustainable businesses are expected to provide solutions for the world’s environmental and social problems. The best companies are finding ways to turn this responsibility into opportunity. VTT already has a long tradition in the research of green technologies. The first major integrated action was the Clean World theme programme, implemented during the years 2002-2006. The theme aimed at developing sustainable technologies for advancing the use of renewable energy sources, more efficient use of raw materials, and reduction of greenhouse gases. Since then, an increasing number of projects and co-operative programmes have contributed to the understanding of green processes and accumulated innovation potential for sustainable businesses.
Fusion energy technology progresses at Tampere
VTT and Tampere University of Technology (TUT) are responsible for the development of remote maintenance systems for the world’s most challenging energy project, ITER. Developing the maintenance systems for the most critical components of the fusion plant to be built in France is the responsibility of VTT and TUT. Experience using full-scale test equipment has been positive, and the work continues.
Exhaust emissions and energy consumption to be reduced in heavy-duty vehicles
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is investigating the emissions and energy consumption of heavy-duty vehicles, and how to influence them. The goal is to reduce both emissions and fuel consumption, while also investigating retrofitted exhaust gas purifiers and their actual performance. During the study, a city bus with Euro 3 level emissions could be modified to Euro 5 level with a retrofitted exhaust gas purifier. The nitrous oxide emission-reducing SCR system from Proventia Emission Control Oy is being piloted in a bus belonging to Koskilinjat Oy, part of the Koiviston Auto Group in Oulu.
VTT technology turns any surface into a multi-touch display
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a new technology which can be used to turn any flat surface into a multi-touch display. A multi-touch display allows several users to control a digital information system simultaneously by touching the display and moving their hands on the surface of the display. This makes the user interface intuitive and easy to use. The new VTT technology also makes it possible to construct large touch displays for public facilities. Such a display was constructed for the Shanghai Expo 2010.
 Business from technology - applications
SinnoBoK innovation tool for the software market
The innovation tool developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, intended for the software market, is called SinnoBoK (Software Innovation Body of Knowledge). It is a network community, SinnoBoK.Org, offering innovation solutions that software companies can utilise in order to achieve new innovations in their business area. The market situation in the software business will be changing more and more rapidly in the future, increasing the importance of developing new business models.
User-oriented software development more efficient through social media
Social media offers companies the possibility of involving users in the development of products and services. VTT has developed a user-driven software development method utilising social media in co-operation with Movial Oy. Online tools can be used to identify the lead users in a certain area of application, and efficiently involve them in agile software development. When users are actively involved in the idea creation and product development processes, their needs can be met more quickly and more efficiently than before. User-driven innovation and software product development do not, however, just happen; they require a systematic operations model and active participation by the company.
There is no cut-and-dried model for a company’s development into a service business
The literature available on organisations and management provides better support for the improvement of current business operations than the development of new ones. Corporate literature largely describes the end results of the change, not the path taken to reach those results. Researchers in VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Aalto University School of Economics, and University of Helsinki followed the change of over ten companies from a product- and production-focused approach to a service business over a three-year period. The result is a unique publication that also depicts how the companies floundered in the process of renovating their operations towards service business. The main thread of renovation and management comprises interaction with both the company’s own staff and its customers and network partners.
New technology immediately warns operations staff of increased energy consumption and its causes
VTT participates in a project with the goal of significantly improving the energy efficiency of small and medium manufacturing industry. The industry currently receives information on its energy consumption after the fact. Intelligent technology enables the real-time measurement of energy consumption, thus allowing an immediate reaction to abnormal consumption. Sudden changes in energy consumption are often caused by problems in processes or machinery. By combining energy metering data with data from production and condition monitoring, the causes of consumption peaks can be investigated and quickly corrected. The system will alert the operations staff via e-mail or SMS messages.
New possibilities for the effective management of vibration and noise in machinery
VTT and Oy Noisetek Ab have developed new methods for the management of vibration and noise in machinery The result of the development work is the ELASTE product family comprising vibration-damping products with excellent damping characteristics. They offer a chance to implement new damping solutions and replace current ones with more effective and adjustable epoxy-based solutions. They also open entirely new markets in applications where, for example, a cost-effective solution is needed for noise and vibration problems arising from the lightening of structures.
VTT and Deinove to develop new methods for biofuel production
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland starts co-operation with French company Deinove. Deinove is specialized in development and commercializing of environmentally friendly and high-performance processes for production of biofuels and chemicals. The co-operation relates to DEINOL project where ethanol production from cellulose is researched. The joint venture is based on Deinove`s research in utilizing the Deinococcus bacteria for biofuel production.
VTT takes part in opening South American logistics bottlenecks
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and three other European research organisations are currently improving freight transport in South American countries through the EU-funded Enable project. The success of the project would lower freight transport costs and boost goods flows between Europe and South America. The project is based on deployment of European know-how to the South American freight transport system.
  Topical at VTT
Anne-Christine Ritschkoff named Executive Vice President, Strategic Research at VTT
Anne-Christine Ritschkoff, PhD, Docent, has been nominated to the post of Executive Vice President, Strategic Research at VTT as of 1 September 2010. As Executive Vice President, Strategic Research, Ritschkoff serves as VTT’s Director of Strategic Research. In this post she succeeds Jorma Lammasniemi, who will in addition to his part-time retirement take on the role of senior adviser.
VTT offers theory and training for the experts of the future
New trainee programme provides coaching in technological and commercial innovation management

Directed towards experts in the technological and commercial sectors and grounded in working life, VTT’s new trainee programme in innovation management offers the opportunity to develop business and innovation skills in challenging international research and innovation roles. The aim of the programme is to enhance the expertise and work experience of participants and foster the all-round technology experts needed in Finnish business.

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and VTT to work together
Wellbeing-related and technological expertise meet in co-operation between the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and VTT. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) and VTT concluded a strategic partnership agreement in Helsinki on 14 June 2010. The partnership emphasises VTT’s role in working life as an innovator and expert in applied technology and the FIOH’s role as an expert on workplace health and wellbeing-related issues.
VTT’s Head of Information Service, Kirsi Tuominen, recognised as Vuoden Tietojohtaja 2010
VTT’s Head of Information Service, Kirsi Tuominen, was awarded the Tietojohtaja 2010 (Knowledge Manager of the Year 2010) reward in recognition of her role in the international knowledge sector and as a pioneer in knowledge management. The acknowledgement was awarded in connection with the ICSTI and Tietopäivät annual conferences in Helsinki on 10 June.
  Technology and consumer
Thesis: Mobile phone-based Wellness Diary supports long-term management of wellness
VTT Research Scientist Elina Mattila has written a PhD thesis on how the Wellness Diary, a mobile phone-based application, can promote and support the wellness of working-age people. The results from user studies have been encouraging. Mobile phones, which users typically carry around everywhere, are well suited to multifaceted, continuous and individual management of health and wellness. Long-term use of the Wellness Diary was promoted for its mobility, simplicity, automatic feedback and adaptation to individual needs.
People as the basis of product and service design
Successful product and service design is based on an understanding of the life and every-day experiences of consumers. Product and service design should begin with a serious consideration of the issues arising from interaction between people and technology. That way the end result will be products and services that genuinely make people’s lives easier and thus improve their quality of life. These sorts of products and services are also easy to use. For companies, they can even be a unique selling point in international competition.
  Other topical
New publications

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