In October 2013, SEDI invited Finnish company VTT Technical Research Centre to Flagstaff to explore relationships with local businesses.
VTT offers possible solutions for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI). They are a globally networked, multi-technological applied research organization providing high-end technology solutions and innovation services that enhance customers' competitiveness, thereby creating prerequisites for society's sustainable development, employment, and well being. VTT was established in 1942 and has over 3,000 employees and an annual revenue of nearly $400,000,000 US.
VTT is interested in developing relationships with northern Arizona businesses. SEDI learned about them through a contact by Dr. Tim Vail, the head of technology transfer for NAU, who worked closely with them to make this a successful round of meetings. As a result, VTT has arranged visits by northern Arizona firms with VTT's engineers in Finland.
While they were here, SEDI initiated meetings for them with Steve Gatewood (Chair, 4FRI Stakeholders group), Diane Vosick of NAU Ecological Restoration Institute, Chris Stephan (CEO of New Pac Fiber), Mike Zipprich (CEO of Biomass Products International), Russ Yelton (CEO of NACET), Jason Rosamond (CEO of Good Earth Power), and Bruce Hallin (SRP). We co-hosted a reception with ECoNA (Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona). VTT did a presentation the next day on their technologies and success stories.
Please note that we appreciate the support we received on this visit from Stacey Button, Director of Economic Vitality for the City of Flagstaff; Rich Bowen, CEO of ECoNA; and Russ Yelton, CEO of NACET.