Scientific Advisory Board visited Viikki campus for the second time

The purpose of the SAB is to support the positive development of research at the Faculty according to the strategic plan by providing an external perspective for topical issues in research management and planning.

The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry gathered in Viikki on 13-14 October 2022. The topic of the meeting was leadership and management practices advancing business collaboration and innovations.

This was the second time SAB visited Viikki. The topic of the first on-site meeting was advancing research collaboration between faculty’s disciplines.

SAB Chair professor Tiny van Boekel observed a positive attitude towards business collaboration and innovations, as well as different approaches between departments.

"My impression is that Faculty has already a lot of business collaboration especially in food, agricultural and forest sciences. It is also well on the way in its plans and their implementation. Integrating business collaboration and innovations to teaching and engaging students in Viikki Food Design Factory was impressive. Faculty is in the core of solving current societal problems and directs its education to bringing scientific progress into society."

Dean Ritva Toivonen found the feedback very useful.

"I am very pleased of the analytical approach of our SAB. And also the devotedness and warm positivity in their constructive feedback regarding how we could develop the faculty management and operations toward successful and high-quality research, education, and strong societal impact. We, the decanate and department leaders, seriously consider their opinions that it is important to collaborate with business other societal actors, such as ministries and small-scale entrepreneurs, to provide further impact and science-based solutions in the societal challenges. However, we also consider that very active business and other societal collaboration is not for everyone, but for those who are interested and motivated. As well, the SAB underlined that it is important to have continuous dialogue regarding societal actors’ collaboration within the faculty and have clear procedures supporting our researchers in these processes, from readily available templates for agreements to university-wide ethical principles and guidelines."

The SAB also emphasised the need for and the importance of the fields of sciences and talents in the faculty during these times of global crises and insecurity of the future outlook.

The members are Professor Tiny van Boekel, WUR, The Netherlands (Chair), Professor Ylva Hillbur, SLU, Sweden, Professor Hans Fredrik Hoen, NMBU, Norway, Professor Jutta Roosen, TUM, Germany and Professor Elizabeth Wellington, University of Warwick, UK. SAB members were nominated in late 2020 and their term of office will continue until the end of year 2023.