Lappeenranta University of Technology – LUT

Lappeenranta University of Technology – LUT ( has served as an academic forerunner since 1969 having approximately 6,500 students and experts engaged in scientific research and academic education, and approximately 1000 staff members. LUT, a future oriented university, is ranked as the best young university in Nordic countries and among the 20 universities challenging the global elite (). LUT’s Trailblazer strategy is searching for solutions to the grand challenges of our time. LUT’s certified Green Campus was awarded as the world’s most environmentally friendly university campus containing a wind turbine and a solar power plant, among other environmental technologies. Within the LUT Sustainability Science unit, there are professorships on Sustainability Science, Life Cycle Modelling, Waste Management, Transition Management, Sustainable Community, and Environment and Business.

The core team of LUT leading the VALUMICS activities in Finland is the Sustainability Science Group. The multidisciplinary group is led by the first professorship in Sustainability Science in Finland and it combines systems innovations with actor orientation through co-production approaches. The research group includes members of the Agrifood Resilience Group, and method expertise, of Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). The research focuses of the group are in resilience, circular economy, equity issues and sustainability transformations of food systems, food value networks and diets. Scales and cases from local to national and global are focused on, and both qualitative and quantitative methods are applied. The group is developing conceptual and quantitative models and tools to identify determinants of resilience (diversity, integration and networks) and quantify critical thresholds. Systems efficiency and lock-ins, relations among resilience, equity and efficiency, and transformations enabling circular and just food systems, are investigated. Future studies identify the range of paradigmatic strategies and governance, create quantitative anticipatory scenarios and apply participatory back-casting processes and solutions to path-dependence and lock-ins.

In WP2, LUT Sustainability Science Group and Luke provide competence in conceptualization and indicators for sustainability, integrity and resilience of food systems and value chains, and in their relations to equity and efficiency. In WP5, the group collects data especially from food supply chains separated from land use, such as insects. LUT group leads WP8 together with IDDRI, being in charge for identifying the paradigmatic structures, quantifying the contrasting sustainable, resilient, just and efficient anticipatory scenarios and identifying the path-dependences, key lock-ins and solutions in sustainability transformation. In addition, quantitative models on food system and chain resilience, equity and efficiency and their relations, developed in WP7 and WP8, are tested at various food system levels and scales.

The LUT Team

Professor, Dr. Helena Kahiluoto

(female) will lead the Finnish group formed by the two partners LUT and Luke. Her professorship is in Sustainability Science and she has adjunct professorship and PhD in Agroecology in University of Helsinki. She has 30 years’ experience in research, and research and education management in food systems sustainability. Her in-depth understanding of the ways ecology ties in with social and economic dimensions of sustainability across local to global agrifood systems, and extensive collaboration with economists, social scientists and practitioners in various cultures build a solid basis for co-creation in research. She has lead and contributed to numerous multinational and national research projects funded by the EU, the Academy of Finland, Tekes – Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, and enterprises, integrating theoretical analytical frameworks with state-of-the-art empirical qualitative and quantitative approaches. She has also initiated and led a research unit, and several national research programs, networks and a university education program in the field. Helena acted as Coordinating Lead Author (CLA, and LA) in the first global agricultural assessment, the International Assessment of Agricultural Science, Technology and Development (IAASTD).

Anna Kuokkanen

(feamale), Anna’s doctoral dissertation focused on sustainability transitions of food systems, including closing the nitrogen and phosphorus loops, lock-ins and path-dependencies at all parts of food value chain, and failures to accelerate system innovation in the society. She focuses on interactions between institutions, civil society, environment and technology, and the way unsustainable regimes can be unlocked, particularly the role of agency in purposeful regime destabilization.

Jani Sillman