Pentti Malaska Futures Award to Solar Foods Producing Food from Air and Electricity

13.06.2019

The University of Turku has granted the €30,000 Pentti Malaska Futures Award to the Finnish food tech company Solar Foods Oy.

Winner of Pentti Malaska Futures Award Solar Foods Oy
CTO Juha-Pekka Pitkänen (in the middle) of the Pentti Malaska Futures Award winner Solar Foods Oy with the competition's coordinator Laura Pouru and chair of the panel deciding the winner Juha Kaskinen

Photographer/Author

Anne Arvonen

The Pentti Malaska Futures Award is given to a research-based and groundbreaking visionary innovation that can help with building a more sustainable global future. In 2019, the Award is granted to the Finnish food tech company Solar Foods Oy that is developing a new kind of nutritious protein by utilising air and electricity.

The winning solution of the Pentti Malaska Futures Award tackles one of the greatest global challenges: how to secure sustainable food production to the increasing population with the Earth’s limited resources.

– The solution has a strong scientific basis in the research conducted at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT. The solution utilises the newest industrial biotechnology and energy technology and it has the potential to transform global food production. The winner continues Professor Pentti Malaska’s interdisciplinary future philosophy by combining visionary thinking, innovative technology, and boundary-crossing collaboration for building a sustainable planetary future with radical solutions, says chair of the panel deciding the winner, Director Juha Kaskinen from the Finland Futures Research Centre of the University of Turku.

In addition to the first prize, the panel also awarded an honourable mention to Compensate that offers the public an opportunity to compensate their own carbon dioxide emissions. According to the justifications provided by the panel, Compensation brings our planetary responsibility to our daily lives. Compensate enables a grass-roots level change by offering people the opportunity and responsibility to compensate their carbon dioxide emissions. Compensate increases general future and environmental awareness, and it has the potential to serve as a catalyst for a more extensive systemic change. The solution has a solid global applicability and scalability.

The Pentti Malaska Futures Award was distributed in the international Constructing Social Futures conference in Turku on 12 June 2019 organised by the Finland Futures Research Centre of the University of Turku.

In addition to chair Juha Kaskinen, the members of the panel deciding the winner were: Toni Ahlqvist (Research Director, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku), Sirkka Heinonen (Professor, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku), Kaisa Leiwo (Managing Director, Turku Chamber of Commerce), Saara-Sofia Sirén (Member of Parliament, Parliament of Finland), Kalervo Väänänen (Rector, University of Turku), and Thomas Westerholm (Director, Centre for Collaborative Research, University of Turku).

The next Pentti Malaska Futures Award will be distributed in 2021.

The University of Turku’s Pentti Malaska Futures Award was established in 2017 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Finland Futures Research Centre of the University of Turku. The Award honours Professor Pentti Malaska’s (1934–2012) lifework in futures research. Pentti Malaska was a professor of financial mathematics and statistics at Turku School of Economics and established the Finland Futures Research Centre in 1992. Malaska was a radical, visionary thinker whose research interests crossed a wide range of academic disciplines from mathematics and electrical engineering to philosophy, ecology, and strategic management. His work boldly crossed sectoral boundaries between the academic world, business world, and societal influencing.

Created 13.06.2019 | Updated 14.06.2019