University of Vaasa and Vaasa University of Applied Sciences promote the entrenchment of resource-wise practices across the industry in the Ostrobothnia region

Resurssiviisaus on luonnonresurssien, materiaalien ja energian järkevää hyödyntämistä kestävää kehitystä ja kiertotalouden periaatteita noudattaen. Kuva: Shutterstock
University of Vaasa and Muova (at VAMK, Vaasa University of Applied Sciences) will undertake research into strategies related to resource wisdom as well as the development of a virtual demonstration and research platform to help industrial companies to understand and try out resource-wise practices. The project began this spring as is being financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia.

– Resource wisdom is the wise use of natural resources, materials and energy in accordance with the principles of sustainable development and circular economy. For companies this means solutions cutting across the entire production chain where the emphasis is on, for example, material and energy efficiency, reducing emissions through the use of renewable energy, and minimising waste both through recycling and making good use of side streams, says Karita Luokkanen-Rabetino, Project Manager for the University of Vaasa, from the University's VEBIC (Vaasa Energy Business Innovation Centre) research platform.

However, it is not simple to plan and implement resource-wise solutions. They often require changes in the way businesses operate and in company processes at different stages of the value chain. These changes could be linked, for example, to product design, sourcing of raw materials, and post-use recovery of a product's materials. Measuring and verifying environmental impacts may also be challenging.

– It is, therefore, important to outline the whole value chain. It is also important to identify the stages and processes with the highest pressure on the environment and where changes could significantly reduce negative environmental impacts. At the same time, we would avoid the pitfalls of partial optimisation, clarifies Associate Professor of Strategic Management Rodrigo Rabetino from the University of Vaasa.

- The life cycle assessment method to be used in the research work enables the assessment and verification of environmental impacts between different options, Rabetino continues.

Demonstration platform and tools for resource-wise solutions

University of Vaasa's and MUOVA's new Rewise project examines, among other things, the challenges and needs of industrial SMEs operating in Ostrobothnia with respect to developing resource-wise solutions, and develops tools for evaluating the impacts of resource-wise solutions. These tools will become part of the demonstration platform being developed in the project. In addition, the project will provide virtual demonstrations to illustrate different ways to act in a resource-wise manner.

– We are facing increasing pressure from legislation, corporate financing and public debate to find sustainable industrial solutions. After the project is completed, the aim is to employ the demonstration platform in both research and company development efforts, states Miia Lammi, the project manager for the Rewise project from Muova VAMK.

The Rewise project – Demonstration platform for resource-wise ecosystems will be carried out between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2022 and is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia. The rate of University of Vaasa's external financial contribution for this project is over EUR 112,000. The project is carried out by VAMK's MUOVA design centre and the University of Vaasa's VEBIC research platform together with a research team composed of researchers from the University of Vaasa's VEBIC research platform, strategic management and industrial management.

Further information

Project Manager Karita Luokkanen-Rabetino, University of Vaasa, email: karita.luokkanen-rabetino (at), tel. +358 29 449 8183

Associate Professor Rodrigo Rabetino, University of Vaasa, email: rodrigo.rabetino (at), tel. +358 29 449 8451

Rewise Project Manager Miia Lammi, Muova, email: miia.lammi (at), tel. +358 50 4084969

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