Today’s science is tomorrow’s wellbeing

In a celebration of over 100 years of R&D, Valio hosts an international science seminar at 30th of January. At the seminar, some of the brightest scientists in their field will take the stage to talk about sustainability, research and innovation.

Valio started its first laboratory 100 years ago. Today, we are the most innovative dairy in the world. To celebrate the first century of our world-class R&D and the groundbreaking legacy of Valio Nobel Prize-winning chemist Artturi Ilmari Virtanen, we are hosting an international science seminar, where some of the brightest scientists in their field will ask two questions: How can science help us create sustainable wellbeing? Why do we need research and innovation?

Who is doing the talking then?

We’ve gathered a group of interesting speakers to cover all the different subjects as thoroughly as possible. The keypoints are

Annikka HurmeOpening Words / Annikka Hurme, CEO, Valio Ltd

Science and research have great power to improve our lives. Innovations help to create wellbeing for individuals and nations all around the world.


Maria RitolaScience, truth and the future of humanity / Maria Ritola, researcher and entrepreneur

Maria Ritola is a researcher and entrepreneur who graduated from Singularity University in Silicon Valley. She works for Iris AI, a startup she founded at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Iris AI helps entrepreneurs and innovative companies to find and utilize scientific content effectively, even without any previous experience. Maria will talk about the scientific revolution and its achievements in the post-truth era: the explosive growth of data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms. What does this all mean for science?

Tuomas SalusjärviThe next 100 years for Valio’s R&D / Tuomas Salusjärvi, Executive Vice President, Valio Ltd

During the past 110 years, Valio has developed a number of edible food innovations that improve people’s wellbeing. At the same time, Valio has created economic wellbeing and provided work for thousands – both locally in Finland and internationally. What will Valio do next? Tuomas Salusjärvi leads Valio’s R&D. Throughout his career, Tuomas has worked with food innovations in both product development and commercialization. He is responsible for a number of patent applications and is the author of scientific articles, and he has also been involved in launches of several revolutionary innovations to international FMCG markets. Tuomas has a PhD in natural sciences.

Professor Marja MakarowFrom research excellence to impact on society / Marja Makarow, Director of Biocenter Finland and a governing board member of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology

Solutions to the global challenges of our times urgently require scientific evidence. What are the policies and means to incentivize multi-disciplinary research collaboration to tackle the challenges? How can research environments and public–private partnerships catalyse innovations for the benefit of society? Professor Marja Makarow chairs Technology Academy Finland, which awards one of the most significant innovation prizes of the world: the Millennium Technology Prize. She is the former vice-president of the Finnish Research Council – the Academy of Finland, chief executive of the European Research Foundation, and vice-rector for Research and Innovation of the University of Helsinki.

Professor Pentti HuovinenIs the microbiome of our gut behind everything? / Professor Pentti Huovinen, University of Turku

By utilizing science and research, innovative bridge-builders like Valio can find new ways to increase wellbeing. What new things have scientists learned about people’s midsections? Where might we find the next edible innovation? Internationally acknowledged scientist Pentti Huovinen from the University of Turku will reveal the latest research findings related to people’s midsection: the part of our bodies that actually has the most significant effect on our wellbeing.

Anu Kaukovirta-NorjaPublishing of Valio’s Nutrition Agreement / Anu Kaukovirta-Norja, Senior Vice President, Research and Technology

Nutrition Agreement is a Finnish approach to encourage food business operators and stakeholders to promote nutritional responsibility. Valio will now publish its Nutrition Agreement – a goal-oriented and measurable nutrition commitment.