The university of Eastern Finland (UEF) promotes the growth of the bioeconomy, related innovations and the use of novel forest and wood-based materials through its research and education. The university’s research also addresses the ecological and social implications of the bioeconomy, including the sufficiency of natural resources and the acceptability of their use.
At the University of Eastern Finland, the bioeconomy is seen as an extensive and new way of thinking and doing, reaching to the very foundations of society and striving for sustainable development. Investing in the bioeconomy is a way of realising the Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development, to which the university is committed.
Strategically, UEF’s bioeconomy focus is on forests, wood and land use. The strengths of UEF, and the university’s multidisciplinarity in particular, are made use of in the development of bioeconomy research. Many of the university’s research groups representing different disciplines address the bioeconomy. UEF has great potential to make significant research breakthroughs that are cross-disciplinary and have great scientific and practical relevance not only in the forest-based bioeconomy, but also in other fields of the bioeconomy.
We significantly enhance cooperation relating to the bioeconomy within the university as well as with other R&D&I and education organisations, companies, business and industry, and civic society. We promote the emergence of innovation clusters and business activities, and support the renewal and skill-based growth of companies, as well as circular economy especially in eastern Finland. Our activities support decision-making in business and industry, public administration and society at large.
Bioeconomy research communities
Diverse expertise in the bioeconomy constitutes a competitive advantage – especially with regard to our internationally renowned research and academic education in forest sciences.
The bioeconomy is a subject of several studies offered by the University of Eastern Finland and its partners, both nationally and internationally. Below is a summary of our key educational contents related to the bioeconomy.
Bioeconomy is a growing international field that combines traditional fields in a new way. The aim in bioeconomy is to reduce our dependency on fossil natural resources and to prevent biodiversity loss. The transition towards bioeconomy requires the ability to create new solutions by combining existing processes, raw materials and side streams.
Bioeconomy is growing rapidly, and in order to develop it, we need experts and entrepreneurs who are capable of taking advantage of the opportunities to use, refine and export biomass to create new business. Bioeconomy specialisation studies have been designed by eight universities of applied science and two universities to meet this challenge.
The specialisation studies are a new form of training offered by the universities, designed to complement previous degrees for people working in certain professions so that they would have stronger expertise in their current jobs. The specialisation studies are offered in cooperation between the universities and employers in fields where degree programmes are not available. Teaching and learning are based on company-specific development tasks.
Read more about boeconomy specialisation studies in eastern Finland: https://www.biotalouskoulutusitasuomi.fi/en/
The university of Eastern Finland offers wide range of exchange studies in bioeconomy, for example in Forestry, Environmental Policy, Environmental Science and Biology.
Learn more about our exchange studies: https://kamu.uef.fi/en/student-book/studies-for-exchange-students/
Aducate (Centre for Training and Development) fosters a culture of professional development among operations of people and organisations. Aducate acts as a link between working life and science by following the development of new scientific knowledge and finding practical applications for it.
Read more about our current offer of the continuing education in the bioeconomy: https://www3.uef.fi/en/web/aducate
Interaction and collaboration
The University of Eastern Finland has established networks with key strategic partners and, together with them, creates a competence cluster in the field of the bioeconomy in eastern Finland. The activities of the cluster are planned in collaboration with the partners. The university is an educator, researcher and partner in the field of the bioeconomy. The university’s public procurement, energy solutions and travel practices are designed and implemented with the principles of sustainable development in mind. The bioeconomy constitutes an integral part of the university’s Society's Commitment to Sustainable Development. Below you will find some of the University of Eastern Finland’s key networks and partners in the field of the bioeconomy.
Researchers and specialists working in the Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke provide new solutions towards the sustainable development of the Finnish bioeconomy and the promotion of new bio-based businesses, seeking to build a society based on the bioeconomy. Collaboration in the field of the bioeconomy between the University of Eastern Finland and Luke is very extensive and diverse. Luke’s Joensuu branch is known for its strong research in the forest sciences, as well as for its expertise relating to game and nature tourism. In addition to research collaboration, many researchers from Luke are involved in the supervision of final theses completed by the university’s students, and they also serve as part-time teachers at the university. The University of Eastern Finland and Luke have concluded a strategic partnership agreement and, together with the European Forest Institute, EFI, they have a tripartite partnership agreement relating to the forest-based bioeconomy.
The European Forest Institute, EFI, is an international organisation established by European states. EFI is headquartered in Joensuu, on the same campus as the University of Eastern Finland. All in all, 29 states have ratified the convention on EFI. In addition to having its headquarters in Joensuu, EFI also has offices in Barcelona, Bonn and Brussels as well as project offices in Malaysia and China.
EFI has around 120 Associate and Affiliate Member organisations in 38 countries, including the University of Eastern Finland. EFI facilitates forest-related networking and produces, gathers and publishes policy-relevant information on forests and the forest-based bioeconomy. Another mission of EFI is to increase the relevance and impact of forest-related research in Europe. EFI has a solid track record in coordinating international projects and especially in organising events, all over Europe, that put research-based knowledge to practice.
The University of Eastern Finland and EFI engage in extensive scientific collaboration in the field of the forest-based bioeconomy, as well as in activities that increase the impact of research. EFI offers its partners access to broad international networks. The University of Eastern Finland, EFI and Luke have concluded a tripartite partnership agreement relating to the forest-based bioeconomy.
The University of Eastern Finland is a partner in Business Joensuu, a regional business development and growth company owned by the City of Joensuu. Business Joensuu helps its customers with investments and with relocating to the Joensuu region. The company also provides assistance in setting up new business activities and in creating growth and internationalisation. In addition, the office space and event services offered by the Joensuu Science Park can be accessed through Business Joensuu. These services are used daily by 130 organisations and 2,000 people. The University of Eastern Finland's study opportunities and expertise in research are success factors for the development of Business Joensuu’s business activities in the field of the forest-based bioeconomy. For the university’s bioeconomy researchers, Business Joensuu offers an excellent opportunity to enhance the impact and applicability of their research.
GreenHub, an open innovation ecosystem in the field of the forest-based bioeconomy, constitutes an example of successful regional collaboration coordinated by Business Joensuu. GreenHub is a network of multidisciplinary experts and seasoned professionals, making its expertise available to companies in the creation and development of new business activities. The University of Eastern Finland contributes to GreenHub through its high-level expertise in the forest-based bioeconomy, as well as through opportunities for collaboration in research, development and innovation activities and, for example, through final thesis projects. GreenHub brings together research, education and advisory organisations as well as businesses from all levels of the forest-based bioeconomy’s value chain, ranging from local micro companies to global forest sector leaders.
Formed by leading European universities, the European Bioeconomy University, EBU, is a uniquely strong and diverse cluster of competence in the field of the bioeconomy, seeking to raise the level of European bioeconomy research, education and interaction through multidisciplinary and international collaboration. In addition to the University of Eastern Finland, the members of the European Bioeconomy University include the University of Hohenheim in Germany, Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands, AgroParisTech in France, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, Austria, and the University of Bologna in Italy.
The EBU contract was signed in Brussels in 2019. The EBU member universities work together to develop education, interaction, research and innovations in the field of the bioeconomy. The EBU also issues statements on, e.g., how research and research funding should be targeted internationally, and the EBU makes its expertise available to support decision-making at the EU and global levels. The European Bioeconomy University provides its member universities’ researchers an excellent platform to find new partners and to establish joint consortia when, for example, applying for research funding from the EU.