Anna Tenhunen, from CLIC Innovation Oy, the BIOSWITCH project coordinator

Anna Tenhunen Lunkka interview

Anna Tenhunen, from CLIC Innovation Oy, the BIOSWITCH project coordinator

What’s your role within the BIOSWITCH project?   

CLIC coordinates the BIOSWITCH project, which aims at supporting European brand owners in switching to biobased approaches from fossil-based ones. To this end, the project develops communication tools, event concepts and life cycle assessment tools. All these tools are collected into the BIOSWITCH toolbox. CLIC has been leading the work package that validates the developed BIOSWITCH toolbox with the selected brand owners to ensure that it serves the needs of different companies.  

What do you offer as a cluster? 

CLIC is a Finnish open innovation cluster with the mission to enable the creation of breakthrough solutions in bioeconomy, circular economy, energy systems development and development of sustainable solutions in urban areas. We facilitate the research and development collaboration between industry and academia. In addition, we bring companies and research organisations together cross-sectorally and cross-disciplinary and want to ensure the creation of solutions to systemic challenges which are beyond the resources of a single organisation. All of this is done through co-developing, influencing and matchmaking.  

We create research and innovation agendas in each of the thematic areas where we identify knowledge gaps and concrete needs for joint research. The agendas are implemented through RDI projects utilizing EU and national funding with different consortia. We also arrange knowledge transfer events with interesting topics, challenge camps to engage students in solving challenges of companies, matchmaking events with different stakeholders and we support in building demonstration projects.  

 What can you specifically offer to brand owners within your region?   

We are building cross-industry ecosystems: 4Recycling for tackling plastics challenge and GreenE2 for green electrification. These ecosystems are excellent points for brand owners to get in contact with a large number of companies in value networks, share views and co-create. We also prepare RDI projects for our owners and partners. In case a brand owner is running their own ecosystems, we also offer management services for both projects and ecosystems including a set of tools for management.  

We want to serve as a door opener to the Finnish innovation system and offer a place to build collaboration and hear what the important viewpoints for others are.   

Where do you think the main change should be produced to boost bio-based alternatives in replacement for fossil-based ones?   

Collaboration between different companies and academia is important in the identification of knowledge gaps and filling them to develop sustainable business solutions. An ecosystem approach is an important enabler bringing companies together in value networks opening up new connections.   

In bioeconomy related actions themselves, we concentrate on supporting especially circular forest-based bioeconomy in the creation of new materials and chemicals in the application areas of packaging, new fibre-based materials, bio-based chemicals and biocomposites. Also, the development of processing, materials performance and circularity are extremely important.