Valio’s leading project, Food 2.0, is progressing – presenting the key personnel and research themes

Valio’s leading project, Food 2.0, is progressing – presenting the key personnel and research themes
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In February, Valio announced that it has been selected by Business Finland as a leading company to start the Food 2.0 project, which is an ongoing effort to develop the food system of the future and promote the competitiveness of food exports. Veera Virtanen has been appointed ecosystem lead of the partner ecosystem within the project. Around 50 business and community partners have already joined the ecosystem, and the goal is at least one hundred partners. 

“For food production, a genuine circular economy means that nutrients, energy and side streams circulate: everything produced along the way ends up being utilized, and nothing goes to waste. This can be achieved through extensive industry-wide research and development cooperation. There are hundreds of companies and other operators in Finland’s food system, and it is a pleasure to be creating the future food system with the help of the entire industry,” says Veera Virtanen. 

Veera Virtanen has extensive experience working at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland on building and implementing projects and research in areas such as circular economy, industrial biotechnology, food, green chemistry, renewable energy and fiber processes. In addition, she has a wealth of experience in ecosystem building and research funding instruments, such as Business Finland and EU projects. Her networks are also extensive, especially in food system-related value chains. 

Comprehensive entity of Food 2.0 research themes 

In the Food 2.0 project, development of the future food system is divided into four research themes. The project manager for the Food 2.0 project is Riitta Partanen. 

Future products 

This research theme aims to create products that meet the expectations of consumers in the future and with more sustainable production. What’s key about future products is a focus on developing nutritional quality, taste and mouthfeel, as well as combining the potential of animal, plant and cell agriculture in the best possible ways. Researcher Mikko Immonen is responsible for this research theme. 

Technology transformation 

This research theme seeks extensive solutions for how automation, various data and calculation models, machine learning and artificial intelligence can be innovatively applied to the food system. Technology has great potential to streamline and accelerate work, improve quality and systematicness, and eliminate human errors. Technology Manager Nina Valkonen is responsible for this research theme. 

Regenerative production 

Regenerative farming is a significant tool for mitigating and adapting to climate change. The theme, regenerative production, seeks solutions to restore poorly productive peatlands, support biodiversity and boost animal welfare, among other things. Development Manager Virpi Kling is responsible for this research theme. 

Circular economy and resource efficiency 

In the future, the circular economy and resource efficiency will be the starting points of the entire food system. This theme seeks solutions for the development of domestic nitrogen production as a key raw material in fertilizer, the utilization of side streams of food production, improvements in water efficiency, and the reduction of the environmental impact of primary milk production. Development Manager Robert Harmoinen is responsible for this research theme. 

Valio has begun recruiting for the following positions related to the Food 2.0 project. Applications are accepted through Valio's recruitment system. 

PhD Student (soil carbon measurements and modelling), Helsinki, fixed-term ( in a new tab)

Research Scientist (Separation Technology), Helsinki, fixed-term ( in a new tab)

Project Specialist (Climate Neutral Dairy Farm Pilot), Helsinki, fixed-term (

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