Online news

Aquatic biodiversity monitoring platform BioDiver wins Impact Challenge by Fortum x Microsoft

04 July 2023, 11:54 EEST



BioDiver wins the Impact Challenge, an idea competition by Fortum and Microsoft to find innovative ideas to accelerate clean reliable energy transition in the Nordics. The final pitching event of the competition took place at Maria01 startup campus on the 14th of June 2023.

BioDiver will be a platform for monitoring aquatic biodiversity. The team consists of Satu Kuusiola, Riitta Heliö and Hanna Kolehmainen, who all had found the monitoring of aquatic biodiversity both time-consuming and expensive, as well as the results difficult to interpret. This sparked the idea for inventing BioDiver.

“BioDiver was born from the idea that we could make changes in underwater biodiversity more visible to a larger audience by utilizing new technologies such as artificial intelligence and deep learning. We eagerly look forward to collaborating with Microsoft and Fortum”, state BioDiver’s Heliö, Kolehmainen ja Kuusiola together.

Aquatic biodiversity will be monitored using artificial intelligence through the AI Vision system, then simulated with the help of deep learning, and finally interpreted for different user groups on the BioDiver platform. Data is then shared in a user-friendly form to different customer groups through the BioDiver platform.

“BioDiver is a great example of the role and importance of innovation in accelerating clean energy transition. The team’s innovative idea fit well into the challenge theme and evaluation criteria. Biodiversity also has an important role in our sustainability approach, and we at Fortum are excited to support BioDiver on their journey. With our tailored business support and acceleration, we believe the idea can turn into a great concept to support biodiversity protection”, says Tapio Poutiainen, Head of Technology & Foresights, Fortum.

”BioDiver is addressing a problem where technologies like cloud and artificial intelligence can really make a difference. First step is getting the data and making it available – then it’s up to all of us to take action”, says Teemu Vidgren, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft.

The winning team receives six months of tailored acceleration and business development support from Fortum’s Valkea Growth Club and Microsoft’s Founders Hub. Valkea supports and accelerates the growth of the next generation of mission-driven startups by offering business development support, funding, and premises for startups and growth companies. With the support of Fortum and Microsoft, team BioDiver will now start evaluation work to determine the feasibility of their idea.


Fortum Corporation

Further information:
Fortum: Fortum News Desk, +358 40 198 2843, newsdesk [at] fortum [dot] com

Microsoft: Pekka Isosomppi, Communication Lead, Microsoft Oy, pekka [dot] isosomppi [at] microsoft [dot] com, +358 40 516 2399

BioDiver: Hanna Kolehmainen, hannakolehma [at] gmail [dot] com, +358 40 5494211

Press release 3 May 2023: Fortum and Microsoft seek innovative ideas to accelerate clean and reliable energy transition