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Case 10.01.2022

CollectiveCrunch: The keys to tackling climate change from space

The Finnish-German startup CollectiveCrunch utilizes satellite data from space technology in forestry and combating climate change. With the help of the satellite imaging and radar material, the company makes precise models of large forest areas for its forest owners and insurance company customers.
  • Building of the artificial intelligence platform of the Finnish-German CollectiveCrunch began in 2016. At first, it was intended to measure air quality as, for example, in many German cities air pollution is a problem. Subsequently, it was decided to analyze the world's forests with the data collected by the platform.
  • The company uses Linda Forest's AI algorithm application to produce models of the world's forests. The application collects data from different sources and crunches it, hence the name of the company.
  • The company's customers include the largest forest owners in Finland, the Nordic and the Baltic countries, such as Metsähallitus, Sveaskog, and Tornator. In addition, the largest private forest insurer in Finland, LähiTapiola, is also a customer.
  • The company also has customers in South America, and it is currently surveying an expansion into North America, Japan, Russia, New Zealand, and Australia with the help of Business Finland's Young Innovative Company funding.
  • At the end of 2021, the company had 30 full-time employees.
  • CollectiveCrunch website

There are several companies in Finland that utilize space technology for sustainable development and climate change mitigation. CollectiveCrunch uses space data to analyze the world's forests from the perspective of sustainable forest management and carbon sinks. Business Finland supports the growth and internationalization of space technology companies.

– Our customers are able to manage their forests better and in a more sustainable way, with the help of models that cover up to tens of millions of hectares of forest made by our Linda Forest platform. The models show the wood species and the wood mass the forests, how the forest is doing and whether it has been felled illegally, for example. Satellite images provide data more easily and in more sustainable way than, for example, land or aerial cartography. Our second application analyzes forests from the point of view of carbon sinks. Our mission is to change the world's understanding of forests, says Jarkko Lipponen, one of the founders of CollectiveCrunch.

Space technology protects the environment digitally

Business Finland's New Space Economy program strengthens the position of Finnish space technology companies through innovation funding and international networks, for example.

– Space technology is related to exoatmospheric activities. Space technology can, for example, provide positioning services, meteorological information and telecommunications services, which means that it is part of digitalization and normal functions of modern society, says Markus Ranne, Head of the New Space Economy program.

Space technology also has a crucial role to play in supporting Earth's sustainable development since you can see the entire planet from space. Many Finnish companies utilizing space technology have focused on solving major global challenges such as climate change:

  • Kuva Space Ltd's services help to optimize the use of water and fertilizers in agriculture,
  • ICEYE monitors floods caused by climate change and helps to minimize their impact on people and infrastructure,
  • Aurora Propulsion Technologies works for sustainable use of space: the company manufactures propulsion engines for small satellites, as well as plasma brakes that allow the satellites to deorbit and not remain there as hazardous space debris, and also
  • the University of Helsinki's Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research of Sustainable Space studies sustainable development from the perspective of space.

Business Finland encourages companies to set the bar high

CollectiveCrunch has received funding from the New Space Economy program, and it has also been granted funding from Business Finland's Young Innovative Company funding for comprehensive development of international business and acceleration of growth.

–The aid has be en a crucial factor in helping us grow our company and our personnel and become more international. The aid has also been an important signal to investors, as the investor community appreciates Business Finland's business survey. We have also gained visibility online and at trade fairs, for example, and networked with other space technology companies, says Lipponen at CollectiveCrunch.

CollectiveCrunch also strives for sustainability in its own operations through concrete actions. The company's employees will be offered bicycle benefits and tickets for public transport, and the company's future new office will be built with sustainable solutions. The company's partners are committed to running data centers with renewable energy by 2025.

More information

New Space Economy Finland