Bio and Circular Finland

2019-2022
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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 Government Programme 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 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 30 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

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!

  Typen kiertotalous kaivosvesistä (TYPKI) - Circular economy of nitrogen in mine waters

   PostPulp - WaterPost-Hydrolysis of Hardwood Kraft Pulp for High-Purity Cellulose and Xylan

  Recyclable Soft Packing Materials

  Nordic Tower

  Molecular Modelling in Industrial Research and Development

   New life for polystyrene waste, monomers from end-of-life polymers 

 

Results

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

Head of Program
Jutta Kauppi
+358 50 478 3649
Director of Programs, Bio and Circular Economy
Ilmari Absetz
+358 50 5577 837
Marketing Communications Manager
Nita Pilkama
+358 40 841 1166