Kuopio Water Cluster development project
The project is funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The project is implemented by University of Eastern Finland, Savonia University of Applied Sciences (coordinator), Natural Resources Institute Finland, Geological Survey of Finland, Finnish institute for health and welfare
Regional Council of Pohjois-Savo
The sufficiency and purity of water resources are globally threatened in the near future. Climate change, on the other hand, is the scarcity of water resources in large areas of the globe, and on the other hand, the abundant, very rich water resources needs management. At the same time, the growth and urbanization of the population as well as the continuous growth of industrial production and resource needs pose major challenges to the clean water. These global drivers create the need to develop new, more powerful technologies for water purification, and more comprehensive management and recycling of water resources. At the same time, the entire water sector must evolve towards resource waste, transforming water purification processes into the development processes of the circular economy and the closed water systems. These needs will open up a growing market for new innovations and technologies that are more capable of solving the challenges described above.
Solving the key challenges in the water sector requires new innovations and the ability to combine multidisciplinary know-how into functional, practical solutions. Practical solutions must also be able to be tested and verified in the circumstances in which the technologies are expected to work. This kind of proof of concept-type testing and product development is an indispensable part of the product development process of new technologies and market access. In addition, tackling water challenges requires multidisciplinary cooperation between different industrial sectors, technology providers and service providers. Applying and adapting the latest scientific knowledge to practical applications also requires solid and more targeted collaboration between scientists, product development and testing service providers, and business world representatives. This demanding co-operation is a bottleneck for the development of many SMEs, due to the limited resources available. In addition, a sufficiently in-depth knowledge of the various industrial sectors and the lack of networks often hinder the access of SMEs to technology vendors.
In Kuopio Water Cluster development project, a large-scale wholeness environment (Kuopio Water Cluster R & D Factory) concentrated on water industry will be established in the Northern Savo region with the capability and ability to test and develop new innovations for water purification, recycling, monitoring and modeling, and water management . The cluster is formed of one compact functional entity that is capable of responding to a one-stop-shop principle for the product development and testing service needs of water companies. The cluster operates with targeted, product development and new innovations in a direct and efficient implementation model. The implementation of this development project is supported by the Kuopio Water Cluster investment project and the strategic equipment investments made under it.
The key players in the Kuopio water cluster are: Savonia University of Applied Sciences (Savonia), University of Eastern Finland (UEF), National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), Finnish Food Authority, and Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), all related to their own competence profile to this whole.