Globally, the pace of progress in innovations and technology is rapidly escalating. While innovations come from many sources and at a variety of levels, advances in technology are increasingly the main driver of new, disruptive innovations.
To tap into the current trends of technology innovation globally, the SANBio/BioFISA II Programme conducted a study tour to Finland on 27 November – 5 December 2017. The study tour participants included representatives from the projects in the BioFISA II project portfolio, the FemBioBiz Season 1 finalists, as well as one SANBio Student Ambassador.
The tour consisted of tens of meetings with Finland-based organisations, institutions and companies involved in the biosciences and innovation landscape related to health and nutrition. The meeting topics included, but were not limited to, genetics, biobanks, diagnostics, molecular medicine, alternative protein sources, insect farming, and advanced agroprocessing. Some of the striking innovations the participants were introduced to included the revolutionary webmicroscope developed by the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, various superfoods and new meat substitutes such as pulled oats.
Another key component of the study tour was also Slush 2017, the world’s largest startup event focused on technology innovations. This year’s Slush had a focus on the multitude of applications for artificial intelligence and data analytics – the impact areas of health and nutrition included – with the overall arching theme of inspiring solutions to address global challenges, including climate change, and the potential of business for doing good.
These issues were emphasised by many of the speakers at the event, including the key note speaker, climate activist and former US Vice President Al Gore. He stated that the world is currently in the early stages of a sustainability revolution and it also happens to be the greatest business and investing opportunity in the entire history of the world. He concluded his speech by saying: ”Final point, I realize that some are tempted to doubt that we as human beings have the will to change and meet this moment in history successfully. Let me just leave you with what I’ve learned. The will to change is itself a renewable resource.”
That is a message worth remembering.
The image gallery can be found here.