Viikki Food Design Factory goes Y Science

Viikki food innovation ecosystem takes the stage at Y Science in Messukeskus on Wednesday 1 December.

Y Science is organised as an official side event of Slush from 12.00 to 16.00 in the Siipi Conference Center at Messukeskus. Y Science presents for the first time this year also food innovations related to food and agri sectors. The hybrid event can be attended both on-site and online, registration is free of charge.  

In addition to watching all the talks and pitches remotely during the event day, the event platform also allows for arranging virtual meetings with other participants during the whole Slush week.  

Registration is required to participate in Y Science. So far over 400 people have registered.  

In the FoodTech & AgriTech part of the event, the four teams participating in the Viikki Food Design Factory’s Germinator pre-incubator programme will pitch their food system transforming innovation ideas to the audience and to the expert jury, who will select the winner of the pitching competition. 

- The purpose of Viikki Food Design Factory’s Germinator pre-incubator is to support the development of science-based innovations in the food and agriculture sectors into products or services by enhancing the commercialisation knowhow and skills of the inventors. Collaboration with Y Science is a match made in heaven for us. Thanks to Y Science, the inventor teams participating in the Germinator get real life experience in the spirit of Slush and a chance to pitch their innovations to a high caliber jury in front of hundreds of people, says Laura Forsman, Viikki Food Design Factory manager.  

The jury includes representatives of some of the most prominent food sector venture capital investors in the Nordic countries 

  • Ilkka Kivimäki, Maki VC 
  • Lauri Reuter, Nordic Food Tech VC 
  • Louise Heiberg, PINC 

and scientists working with food tech and agriculture from University of Helsinki, Faculty of Forestry and Agriculture​​​​​​​

  • Maija Tenkanen, professor in Bioproduction Chemistry 
  • Juha Helenius, professor in Agroecology ​ 
  • Reetta Kivelä, Professor of Practice 

Speakers at the event are partner Thomas Bacon from Maki VC, CTO Outi Mäkinen from Nordic Umami Company and founder Mari Granström from Origin by Ocean.  

Teams participating in the pitching competition 

Oleo / Fabio Valoppi 

A FoodTech solution providing novel plant based functional fats to help with weight control struggle, and to replace animal fats and palm oil. The technology is based on material, food, and nutritional science methodologies, which have been researched and developed at University of Helsinki. 

CompactGrowth / Panu Miettinen 

An ArgriTech solution for a new, resource efficient way of growing also tall plants in vertical farms. The solution is based on several years of research into greenhouse technology and production plants by scientists at Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland.  Read more

Mäsli / Pauliina Piuhola 

A FoodTech solution, which produces tasty and fibre-rich grain based raw material from a by-product of the brewing industry. The technology is based on a fermentation method that has been studied and developed at University of Helsinki, among other organizations.  

Natinrec / Dmitry Gradov 

A novel FoodTech solution for intensified solvent extraction of natural ingredients that are used in food industry, among others. The solution is a mobile factory producing natural extracts from plant organics at lower costs and time. The core of the technology is the process of ultrasound-assisted solvent extraction, which has been researched and developed at LUT University.   

Y Science brings life sciences to Slush 

For the fourth time, Y Science will gather together the life science community at Slush, to connect researchers, startups, investors, students, and all those enthusiastic about the commercialisation of research, and to inspire concrete actions for society. This year the Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences (HiLIFE, from the University of Helsinki) is collaborating with SynBio Powerhouse, Health Capital Helsinki, and Viikki Food Design Factory to design a programme full of exciting talks and startup pitches on a wide range of topics spanning from health and pharma to biotech and sustainability, and even food tech and agritech. 

– Life Science research is providing tools to address and respond to the most pressing global challenges, with COVID-19 as a concrete example. At HiLIFE, it is our privilege and duty to support the path from research excellence to innovations and tangible solutions. We are extremely pleased that Y Science has gained international recognition as a showroom for these activities and a site for academia-industry interactions, says Olli Silvennoinen, director of HiLIFE.