Business Finland has launched the Bio and Circular Finland program which aims to make Finland a forerunner in the circular economy. The circular economy is an opportunity for the industries traditionally important to Finland, but also opens incredible opportunities for a new kind of business.
The expected volume of the four-year program is EUR 300 million, of which the share of Business Finland’s innovation funding is EUR 150 million. In addition, the program will offer internationalisation services and renewing ecosystems that will also attract foreign experts, companies and investors to Finland.
The program seeks internationally scalable solutions to the global challenges of sustainable development, such as climate change and waste issues. The consumers’ ecological values will also change the features of the new solutions.
“The competitiveness of Finnish companies in the circular economy is strengthened by bioeconomy and digitalization know-how. Our strengths are the combination of different competences and cross-sector business models. The Finnish economy will grow and renew with diverse, internationally competitive circular economy innovations,” says Risto Huhta-Koivisto, Senior Director, Bio & Circular Economy.
The program challenges the industry to extend product life cycles through product design and new service businesses. The program seeks to strengthen the industry’s ability to introduce digital technologies for improving logistics and product life cycles, among other things, and for sharing materials, information and services.
In the consumer business, the program supports the development of digital platforms and the transition from ownership to services and sharing. In addition, leading cities and municipalities can be forerunners of sustainable development with innovative solutions compatible with the circular economy.
The program themes are based on Finland’s strengths.
In the preparation of the program, the needs of companies and organisations were explored through interactive workshops and a questionnaire that was open to everyone.
The content of the program is still being refined. Initially, the focus is on the following themes, among others:
• Cellulose based textiles and the collection and recycling of used textile fibers
• Circular economy solutions addressing the plastics challenge
Also, together with Business Finland’s Smart Mobility program, we aim to establish a world-class test environment under the theme “From the forest to the sea” in order to develop automated logistics for the export of heavy industry goods which is important to Finland.
“Business based on the circular economy presents a great opportunity for Finland. Finland is a credible pioneer in circular economy solutions – and can play a much bigger role in saving the world than its size would merit,” says Ilmari Absetz, Director of programs at Business Finland.