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VTT iBEX - Solving grand challenges by science


We take bold steps to tackle grand challenges, choose the most relevant problems for today and the future to be solved and most of all, strive for great impact - for the good of the society and companies.


The world is changing faster and more unpredictably than ever before. Many global challenges arise from accelerating changes in society, environment or technology - and develop exponentially. Climate change, food scarcity and obesity explosion, technological unemployment and air pollution are just few examples of the current ones.


We imagine the impossible, then start working on it.

To solve global problems, we need to think in a visionary way, faster and use more creative methods for developing solutions. This is where VTT's iBEX instrument comes into picture to give an extra boost for creation of breakthrough innovations. VTT iBEX is a challenge-driven instrument, in which Impact is the starting point. Each year about 10 new, high-aiming VTT iBex projects are launched.

VTT iBEX sits in the core of our strategy, bringing together experts from broad range of fields and co-creating with the whole society. VTT's lighthouses, which include vast, societal topics and provide opportunities for growth, form the framework for problems.

Dialog and co-creation internally and with external stakeholders are key elements of VTT iBEX from the beginning until the end.


Take a look at the challenging topics our teams are working on this year:

The team will solve the growing plastic waste problem with closed loop. We will develop economically profitable chemical and biochemical processes to degrade plastic into high-quality and high-value products.

Got interested? Contact Timo Pulli

The team will develop new treatment methods to clear antibiotic resistant microbes from skin. Innovation in based on strong antimicrobic compounds originating from plants of the Nordic nature. It can be applied in treatments preceding surgeries and in treatment of skin infections and wounds.

Got interested? Contact Riitta Puupponen-Pimiä

The team will develop a plastic-eating microbe, which degrades thrash into new raw materials. The process happens in small, mobile units on land or sea.

Got interested? Contact Kari Koivuranta

The team will prove that a mid-infrared-range micro-LIDAR can be implemented without moving parts and show the advantages of operation in rough weather conditions. The ultimate goal is to show direction towards micro-LIDAR which will make autonomic vehicles safer and affordable for all. It's also aimed at finding new applications by utilising the suggested solution's high performance, affordable price, small size and durability.

Got interested? Contact Ari Hokkanen

The team will develop a solution where electricity is produced from waste heat. The method uses carbon monoxide as a working substance and decreases efficiently the use of fossile resources, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The solution enables zero-emission electricity production especially in the winter when the need for electricity is at highest and no solar energy is available.

Got interested? Contact Teemu Sihvonen

A new, high-entropy material and a prototype of a wind turbine wing material solution for the need of sustainable energy production will be developed in the project. Digitalisation and AI to come up new materials and optimizing material solution will be utilized.

Got interested? Contact Anssi Laukkanen

The team will look for interfaces for real-time communication with living micro-organisms used in bioprocesses. A long-term goal is to create an "internet of cells" where it will be possible to control cell activities from outside and to interpret their signals in the development work of new and more efficient bioprocesses.

Got interested? Contact Vesa Pentikäinen

ChickVacc: Team will develop a production method for affordable and easy-to-use animal vaccines. With help of new vaccines, we can reduce the usage of antibiotics in poultry farming and prevent developing of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains.

Got interested? Contact Tiina Pakula

SteelChem: The team will clean a steel factory's by-product gases to raw material for chemicals, i.e. ultra-clean syngas. A cleaning concept will be developed in the project and it will be verified in a laboratory.

Got interested? Contact Noora Kaisalo

Algae: The team will develop a method for algae harvesting from water systems. By algae harvesting, we can decrease nutrient load and prevent harmful algae inflorescences in future.

Got interested? Contact Petri Saviranta