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Tampere higher education community becomes member of an international network of universities profiled in the circular economy

Kuvituskuva, puuntaimia.
Tampere Universities’ extensive work in the field of sustainable development and circularity has received significant recognition as the community was accepted into the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s network of universities focusing on the circular economy. As a community, Tampere Universities is unique in the network.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation promotes the transition to a circular economy and co-operates with universities, higher education institutions and other partners around the world. The Foundation brings together a network of entities that work to promote the circular economy. The circular economy means, among other things, increasing the efficiency of recycling, curbing consumption, reducing the use of natural resources, and closing the material, nutrient and energy cycles.

In February, the Foundation approved the joint membership application of Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The network of universities profiled in the circular economy includes some fifty universities and higher education institutions around the world. Tampere University is the first Finnish science university to join the network while TAMK is the second university of applied sciences in Finland to do the same. As a higher education community, Tampere Universities is unique in the network.

In the application, Tampere Universities’ strengths were diversity and the way issues related to the circular economy and sustainable development cut across all activities from research to teaching, projects and stakeholder co-operation. The application emphasised impact in education, research, applied research and co-operation with students.

The Foundation appreciated the diverse education provided by the Universities community and the long-term research activities and emphasised the uniqueness of the higher education community.

“Tampere Universities community seeks solutions to such major global challenges as climate change, the protection of environment and well-being in sustainable societies. For many years, the field of technology, for example, has included research on the circular economy focusing on more sustainable materials and processing technologies, water and waste management, and energy production in collaboration with industry among other partners. In all that the Tampere Universities community has done, circular economy solutions have been implemented together with companies and stakeholders, from hackathons to multi-year projects,” says Professor Leena Aarikka-Stenroos from the Faculty of Management and Business of Tampere University.

“In both research and education, we have also successfully collaborated in the nexus between engineering, business studies, and social sciences. Some examples are the multidisciplinary CICAT2025 project funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland and TAMK’s interdisciplinary TAMK Circular and Bioeconomy Actions (CBA) research group. In education, TAU’s multidisciplinary study module on the circular economy and TAMK’s entire Master’s Programme in Risk Management and Circular Economy were both the first of their kind in Finland,” Aarikka-Stenroos continues.

In addition, education on topics related to the circular economy is offered by several degree programmes, thematic modules, and individual course units.

“In the Tampere Universities community, several bio and circular economy development projects are also being planned or ongoing with a view to both education, research networks and technical development. Moreover, co-operation with businesses and regional development are important elements, and we are also looking for more synergies within the Universities community,” says Impact Area Leader Eeva-Liisa Viskari from TAMK.

The higher education community also co-operates closely with the city of Tampere. Both Tampere and the Universities community are committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s network of universities profiled in the circular economy
 

Enquiries:

Professor Leena Aarikka-Stenroos
Tampere University, Faculty of Management and Business
tel. +358 50 3015476, leena.aarikka-stenroos [at] tuni.fi

Impact Area Leader Eeva-Liisa Viskari
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
tel. +358 40 8469452, eeva-liisa.viskari [at] tuni.fi

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