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Mika Aalto


Head of Division, Dr. Tech, Natural Resource Economy and Resource Efficiency, Enterprise and Innovation Department

Ministry of Employment and the Economy

Dr. Mika Aalto is Head of Division at the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, in its Enterprise and Innovation Department. The Division, Natural Resource Economy and Resource Efficiency, develops and operates national programs in areas where Finland can create sustainable economical growth based on its natural resources. The activities are focused on areas identified most potential for growth of Finnish companies. Recent programs include the Strategic Program for the Forest Sector, Strategic Program for Cleantech, and currently, the Government’s spearhead program on Bioeconomy and Clean Solutions as well as the Sustainable Mining Industry Program are underway. In addition, the division is leading the implementation of the Finnish Bioeconomy Strategy, which is being carried out in cooperation with key ministries, research institutes, companies and other stakeholders.

Before joining the Ministry, Dr. Aalto worked for more than 15 years at Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation. He worked in various positions, e.g. as a Senior Technology Advisor, Program Manager, Director of Material and Process Techologies, as well as Director of Forest and Chemical Industries. He worked at Tekes Silicon Valley office in California in 2002-2004 and as a visiting researcher at University of California at Berkeley in 1995-1996. He holds a Doctor of Technology degree in Chemical Technology from Helsinki University of Technology (currently, the Aalto University) .


Keynote Address: Forest Products Industry in the Bio and Circular Economies – Views from Finland

Day One

Tuesday, 1 March, 2016

Growth of population, climate change and environmental issues challenge us to develop a bioeconomy that is sustainable.  The growing demand will result in scarcity of natural resources and thus the availability of raw materials and the efficiency of their use will become a new competitive advantage. Increasing environmental awareness of consumers and more stringent legislation will also be drivers that shape the market, favouring products that have less impact on the environment.  Forest industries are well positioned to meet this challenge.

This keynote is going to highlight the opportunities for the forest industry in the future bio and circular economies. Recent activities in Finland by the industries, research and government are used an example to show how the traditional forest industry can transform itself into a diversified bio-based industry.  Activities and initiatives from the EU are of great relevance both as enablers and potential barriers for this transformation and selected current issues will be discussed.

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