Bio and Circular Finland

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Circularity as a global competitive asset

Our goal is to make Finland a forerunner in the circular economy, offering sustainable solutions to global challenges. Competence in the bio-based economy and digitalization will boost the competitiveness of Finnish companies in the circular economy. 

About Program

Circular economy opens new business opportunities for all companies

Circular economy is more than simple recycling. It means the creation added value across all links in the value chain through business models that allow for extended lifecycles and the circulation of materials. The circular economy is an economic model that affects businesses in all sectors and industries. All businesses should reassess their products and values from the perspective of identifying solutions that generate added value by extending lifecycles and promoting the circulation of materials.

Digital business platforms and ecosystem services allow new methods of collaboration, networking and synergies between companies. The use of data and artificial intelligence offers new opportunities for product and material recycling. Robotics, blockchains and cryptocurrencies enable novel material flow management, tracing, exchanging and logistics solutions.

Massive global markets exist for bio-based and recycled textiles and packaging materials to replace plastic and other environmentally straining raw materials. For example, the global packaging industry market is valued at around USD 670 billion. In 2014, the Finnish packaging industry had an output of EUR 1.7 billion, with exports accounting for 70% of total output. Finland is a significant player in the global market particularly in the supply of high-quality fiber packaging.

International export markets the goal for consumer businesses 

In the future, earnings models in consumer businesses will shift increasingly from products to services. Consumers, municipalities and businesses will be less interested in ownership. Products with a long lifetime open the door to new types of revenue models. Product recycling, spare part, re-engineering and further processing services, leasing and renting will prolong the life cycle and make everyday life easier. These services will generate new business for forerunner companies. Similarly, investors emphasize responsibility.

Responsibility and solutions that make everyday life easier have become competitive factors. Finland represents only a tiny portion of global markets. For this reason, businesses that offer services and products to consumers should identify the opportunities presented by global markets. Team Finland’s international network can help your company in identifying target markets and reaching the right contacts and customers.

The program objectives

The shared goal of the Sipilä Government Programme, the Finnish Roadmap towards Circular Economy prepared under the leadership of Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund (2016), and the Circular Economy Action Plan (2017) is to make Finland a global forerunner in circular economy by 2025. The updated Finland’s Roadmap to the Circular Economy 2.0 by Sitra was published in March 2019. Through its Bio and Circular Economy Program, Business Finland is one of the actors involved in implementing the roadmap’s measures.

The program supports the development of competitive bio and circular economy solutions and ecosystems that offer solutions to global environmental challenges and hold potential for significant global markets. Our aim is to increase the exports of bio and circular economy solutions in order for Finnish solutions to be adopted in international markets. The program directs export activities particularly for the plastic and packaging industries. It also supports new innovations in various sectors of the circular economy, particularly for new applications in textiles and construction.

The website for Finland’s Plastics Roadmap has now been launched. The site contains information on plastics and measures to be taken as part of the roadmap. 

Program services

The program will be carried out over a four-year period and its budget is 300 million euros. Business Finland’s innovation funding makes up 150 million of this sum. In addition, the program offers internationalization services and renewable ecosystems that also help attract foreign talent, companies and investors to Finland. To date, the program has granted over 20 million euros of funding to projects.

Internationalization services 

In addition to the program’s focused internationalization activities, bio and circular economy companies have access to Business Finland’s standard funding instruments for supporting the prerequisites for internationalization, as well as the Business Finland network of experts, who provide contacts and assistance in identifying global market opportunities. In 2019, export activities will focus on the following themes:
• Mining industry
• Added value from waste (Europe)
• Timber from Finland (China)
• Plastics and Packaging

Finland–Sweden joint call for applications: bio-based products

In 2019, CLIC Innovation, Vinnova, Business Finland and BioInnovation will announce a joint call for funding applications in Finland and Sweden for the development of bio-based products. Applicants must form project consortiums of at least three partners, of whom at least two must be businesses in the fields of manufacturing or production. The call for applications encourages cooperation between Finland and Sweden. Read more

For further information, please contact:
Tuomas Lehtinen, tuomas.lehtinen (at)

Bio-based industries joint undertaking call for proposals now open

The aim of the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is to launch a European program focused on research and innovation activities that strengthen the use of renewable bio-based resources and the availability of bio-based materials. The program also supports the development of sustainable bio-based value chains. Activities are carried out by means of cooperation between all parties involved in the value chain, including primary production, process industry, consumer brands, small and medium-sized enterprises, research and technology institutions and universities. Read more

Brokerage event for the Horizon 2020 societal challenges 2 (SC2) and biohorizon calls for proposals

The Info Day in Brussels on 4 July 2019 provides information on the EU Horizon 2020 Work Programme calls for proposals for 2020 in the fields of food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy (SC2). A brokerage event will be on held 3 July 2019 in connection with the Info Day, the details of which will be announced later. Read more  

Horizon Brokerage event info & training was organised in Helsinki 24.5.2019. Presentations can be found here and you can watch the video recording of the event here >> 

Looking for Company partners

The program supports the development of bio and circular ecosystems. In ecosystems, the exploitation of research data and the development of new Finnish export solutions are being accelerated.

Below you can find the Co-Creation projects funded through the program, where companies and research organizations are developing new research ideas and building collaborative networks for a potential Co-Innovation project.

The research organizations are looking for new company partners!

 Molecular Modelling in Industrial Research and Development




The program creates innovation ecosystems

Funding by the Bio & Circular Finland program can be used to support the development of innovation and export ecosystems. Ecosystems are formed of companies, research institutes, customers and municipalities that engage in joint R&D projects and facilitate the creation of a business environment that supports the program’s aims.

Examples of ecosystems launched in the program:

CARBO – Carbon neutral milk chain 
ForBest –  Environmentally friendly textiles from wood 
UPM building a new ecosystem for wood-based biomedical solutions

Solving the sustainability gap by reusing metals

Environmental handprint tells of positive environmental actions

Contact us

Director of Programs, Bio and Circular Economy
Ilmari Absetz
+358 50 5577 837
Program Coordinator
Paula Eskola
+358 40 555 2961
Program Coordinator, communication
Suvi Salmela
+358 400 960 128
Senior Program Partner, internationalization of Innovative Bioproduct and Circular Economy companies
Pia Qvintus
Marketing Communications Manager
Nita Pilkama

+358 40 8411166

Program Manager
Jutta Kauppi

+358 29 50 55000