Biotechnologies and circular economy: when the Finnish and Luxembourgish RTOs meet

Published on 08/05/2018

On 2-3 May 2018, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) welcomed a delegation of VTT Technical Centre of Finland Ltd (VTT) in its premises in Esch-Belval (LU). Together with LIST’s researchers, they participated in the LIST-VTT workshop on biotechnologies and circular economy. 

VTT and LIST, two fellow EARTO members

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is one of the leading research and technology organisations in Europe. Their research and innovation services give their partners, both private and public, all over the world a competitive edge. Like LIST, VTT is a mission-driven Research and Technology Organisation (RTO), member of the European Association of RTOs (EARTO). The main missions of both RTOs are similar as they pave the way for the future by developing new smart technologies, profitable solutions and innovation services. They create technology for business – for the benefit of society. More info on

As major engines of the diversification and growth of their respective economies through innovation, LIST and VTT support the deployment of a number of solutions to a wide range of sectors. They work on common topics, particularly in the environmental domain, such as biotechnologies and circular economy.

Workshop on biotechnologies and circular economy

The meeting day started on May 2nd with a presentation of LIST and the Luxembourgish Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) ecosystem, followed by a visit of LIST Technological Showroom and the presentation of the Luxembourg EcoInnovation Cluster. On day 2, LIST and VTT researchers presented and exchanged on respective activities in the biotech/bio-economy sector.

LIST researchers specialised in the Environmental and Industrial Biotechnologies made several oral presentations, starting with Pau Ferrer who introduced the LIST’s RDI activities in the field. Researchers from the different groups further described these: Gea Guerriero presented the plant biotechnology activities, with a focus on plant fibres and secondary metabolites. Philippe Delfosse talked about Biogas and circular agriculture, highlighting the biotechnological potential of anaerobic fermentation microbiomes. Henry-Michel Cauchie presented the topic of the evaluation and mitigation of microbial risk in our environment. Then, Sébastien Zinck presented an overview of LIST’s activities in Environmental Sustainability Assessment and Circularity, followed by Benoît Otjacques, who summarised the Environmental Informatics activities focused on the combination of Artificial Intelligence and of visualisation of big complex biological datasets as a tool to develop biotechnologies more efficiently. Finally, Pierre Verge gave an overview of Materials Research and Technologies (MRT) capacities and research activities on bio-materials. 

On VTT’s side, Jussi Manninen, Executive Vice President (EVP) of Solutions for Natural Resources and Environment Business Area at VTT, talked about VTT’s vision and research strategy in bio and circular economy. His presentation highlighted societal challenges and growth opportunities for Finland (called VTT lighthouses) upon which VTT’s research is focused, as well as strategic infrastructure (technology platforms and pilot facilities for bioeconomy). Then VTT’s research manager in industrial biotechnology and food solutions, Kirsi-Marja Oksman-Caldentey made a presentation on industrial and plant biotechnology research at VTT. Jussi Jäntti, expert in production host engineering presented VTT synthetic biology activities. Finally, Katariina Torvinen – specialised in Biomass processing and products – introduced to LIST researchers the biomaterials at VTT.

This joint ideation workshop was not only a great opportunity to follow up on the signature of their memorandum of understanding but also to identify new upcoming calls (national, European and international) where both organisations could collaborate. 

> For any further information on this topic, please contact Pau Ferrer via email. 

> VTT at LIST: view a selection of pictures on

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