Arbonaut Oy: Research information becomes a global business

Arbonaut collects, researches and refines information related to natural resources that can subsequently be used as the foundation for decision making. Arbonaut specialises in modelling forest resources, but has recently expanded its competence to include water resources.

In the forest sector, information can be linked to the economic use of forests, protection or even carbon sink data associated with emissions trading. Arbonaut also develops tools for expert organisations to use when forecasting forest and water resources.

In addition to the forest industry, users of the services include the Finnish Environment Institute and many related water protection associations. The company has also developed tools for Posiva, which simulate the behaviour of nuclear waste 1,000 years from now.

Arbonaut employs approximately 90 people from more than 20 countries.

Tekes encouraged researcher to become an entrepreneur

Arbonaut has a strong background in research. Its president Tuomo Kauranne describes the company’s beginnings as follows:

“Without Tekes, we wouldn’t even have a company. Tekes convinced me to make the move from researcher to entrepreneur 20 years ago in order to ensure continued funding for the research project I was working on at that time. I was already frustrated by the fact that no matter how many scientific articles I wrote, the results couldn’t be seen in practice. I wanted my research to have an impact, but to be honest I hadn’t considered becoming an entrepreneur,” says Kauranne with a laugh.

Kauranne has a quick response for people who doubt climate change.

“Since we operate on such a large scale and the theories associated with the circulation of materials are chaotic by nature, the best we can do is calculate probabilities. However, the climate really is heating up, so we should prepare. The likelihood of war is also slight, but we still have to be prepared for it,” compares Kauranne, who is an associate professor at Lappeenranta University of Technology.

Partner networks from framework programme projects

Kauranne has been involved in about 30 framework programme projects since the 1980s. He encourages entrepreneurs with a research background to boldly take the same step. Partners represent important added value in EU projects.

“The reporting practices in EU projects are straightforward, and there are only minor differences between framework programmes. The biggest problem lies in crossing the initial threshold, which means considering the company’s sales and marketing and clarifying the idea. Another necessity is a competent person to lead the project and write the application. Writing the actual application is time-consuming, but not difficult,” outlines Kauranne.

Arbonaut has found partners and new markets through its EU projects.

“A company always has to work through a partner network in international markets. In projects, it’s essential to co-operate closely with research institutions – our most important partners in Finland are the University of Eastern Finland and Lappeenranta University of Technology.”

For more information

Tuomo Kauranne
President
Arbonaut Ltd:
Tel. +358 40 530 0622
tuomo.kauranne (at) arbonaut.com
www.arbonaut.com
 

Author: Recommended Finland