University of Turku Introduces Sustainable Water Management in Top International Conference

​The 4th international Integration of Science and Technology for Sustainable Development (ICIST) conference is organised in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 27–28 November 2015. This year, the themes of the conference are biodiversity, food and agricultural technology. The Healthcare and Cleantech Innovation Unit of TRC has been an active organiser of the conference's theme on the water sector. 

– Southeast Asia is a densely populated area with several different countries that have a quickly growing economy on average and it is challenging China in manufacturing. Southeast Asia has strengths that differ from China and India and, despite external differences, a rather uniform culture as well as religions that work well together. The local students are eager to learn and to develop their societies, particularly towards sustainable development, says PhD Timo Korpela.

After working as the director of the international biotechnology laboratory of the University of Turku for over two decades, Korpela is currently a Senior Fellow at TRC and has created contacts to Asia, among other things. According to Korpela, the conference organised in Vietnam is an important part of a conference series that aims at close collaboration between the different Southeast Asian countries.

– The group behind the conference is founding a joint university in Southeast Asia, in which we are trying to establish a Finnish area of speciality, for example, education and research in environmental science, reveals Korpela.

Enhancing Co-operation between Europe and Asia

One of TRC's goal in water technology is to enhance co-operation in the water sector research and development. One challenge for the future is creating a wider co-operation network in the water sector between Europe and Southeast Asia.

– The University of Turku has long-standing research and expertise in the water sector as well as new openings in water testing, among other things. My team is part of the China-Europe Water Platform (CEWP) and coordinates the responsibility for the water quality in Finland together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. CEWP is responsible for the collaboration in the water sector between EU and China, so at the moment we have a diverse responsibility in the co-operation related to water quality. In addition to the research and company collaboration, we also coordinate political dialogue and interaction, says Director of TRC Tuomas Valtonen.

20 EU member states are part of CEWP encompassing most of the EU.

– From this point of view, the University of Turku has a significant international task in bringing together experts in the water sector and we want to increase this collaboration also in the future,states Valtonen.

Valtonen is the only academic representative in the board of the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform (WssTP) where he has a chance to influence the research strategy in the European water sector and the future emphases of the field.

TRC of the University of Turku assists in the planning and the organising of practical matters of the ICIST conference in collaboration with several local operators, for example, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam. The main organiser of the conference is Professor Kasem Soytong from King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang. Professor Soytong has also previously give a lecture at TRC.

>> The official web pages of ICIST conference

Photo: Pixabay

Published date 11/23/2015 1:35 PM ,  Modified date 11/23/2015 1:41 PM

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