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Knowledge exchange and cross-sectorial collaboration as a focus for Finnish stakeholders engaged in Industrial Symbiosis

On 1 June 2022, some 75 stakeholders engaged in discussions in person and online at the CircLean Open Innovation Workshop in Kokkola Finland. The workshop was organised by the consortium led by Technopolis Group who is running the CircLean Secretariat on behalf of the European Commission. The event (held Kokkola City Hall) became possible thanks to the support of Biovalley Finland and Motiva. The workshop was a Partner Event of EU Green Week.  

The representative from the European Commission (DG GROW), Mr. Anestis Filopoulos emphasised the importance of the European Green Deal and the EU industrial Strategy to unlock the potential of industrial symbiosis (IS) as an innovative business model. Participants and speakers from industry, public authorities, SMEs, business associations, industrial parks, and R&I organisations shared their views.  

The program consisted of inspiring presentations of good practices of industrial symbiosis in Finland. The presentation from Kokkola Industrial Park exemplified well how cross-sectorial and business collaborations is key for IS facilitated at the level of an industrial park. The company Humuspehtoori offered insight into the local attempts to produce biogas using organic fertilizers, and Motiva introduced the Finnish Industrial Symbiosis System (FISS) and other Finnish circular economy networks. The follow key points were emphasised:  

  • Finnish industrial parks play a strategic role in promoting and executing IS and act as facilitators for supporting the process of IS synergies in Finland. This is a model which has been demonstrating its potential in other parts of Europe as well. 
  • Smaller companies also contribute to IS in Finland by introducing new innovative methods and ideas. 
  • Networks provide excellent opportunities to exchange best practices and monitor the IS in Finland and abroad.
  • The greatest benefits identified for joining an international IS network is the internal and external exchange of knowledge and capacity building

The workshop also gathered experts from four types of stakeholders, representing Battery Recycling Innovation Park, University of Oulu, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, and City of Kokkola to discuss the implementation of industrial symbiosis, and its benefits and challenges. Experts agreed that, despite being well integrated in the EU networks, Finland has a greater potential to share IS knowledge and technology and contribute to a greater extent on an international level. They identified several challenges, such as cost of the transactions and collecting data on exchanges and impacts, proving the sustainable actions taken by Finnish companies. More awareness among companies of opportunities at the national and international level for industrial symbiosis is important. Moreover, company sustainability strategies are one possible entry point for engaging in industrial symbiosis. 

Read about the other CircLean Open Innovation Workshops here:  

  • CircLean Open Innovation Workshop in Poland here 
  • CircLean Open Innovation Workshop in Hungary here

About the Project:

CircLean is an EU-funded project establishing an EU-wide, industry-led network to capture the benefits of industrial symbiosis (IS) to business and the economy. Read more about the project here.

The CircLean network offers the opportunity to engage in IS transactions with other companies. If you would like to become a member of the network, please read more here and get in touch with the CircLean Secretariat at circlean.project@technopolis-group.com.  

The next CircLean Open Innovation Workshop will be held in Rotterdam in The Netherlands on the 8th of September 2022.