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Technology industry growth from a circular economy

We are working with growth companies in the technology industry and providing them with the tools to help their businesses make the transition to the circular economy.

What is it about?

To succeed, Finnish industrial companies need to move to a new, higher level of production: a circular economy. The circular economy reaches beyond the traditional considerations of material efficiency, recycling or the use of side streams. It revolutionises companies’ services and funding solutions, as well as their business models, while strengthening the ecosystems between industries and companies.

This project focuses on training manufacturing companies in the technology industry in Finland. We need co-operation between leading circular economy experts and the technology industry to build tools that companies can use to help their businesses make the transition to a circular economy. The joint project between Sitra and the Technology Industries of Finland is a catalyst for new investments and innovations for companies to implement.

We help growth-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises discover international competitiveness in the operating models provided by a circular economy. The aim is to get Finnish companies in the technology industry to operate according to the models of a circular economy while simultaneously creating sustainable growth and jobs in Finland. The project is implementing the Finnish Action Plan for a Circular Economy, devised by the Finnish Government and Sitra.

What do we do?

The project will progress in stages:

  1. mapping the status of the companies in the technology industry and their opportunities within the circular economy;
  2. assessing the benefits of and requirements for a circular economy in the manufacturing industry;
  3. formulating tools for making the transition to a circular economy; and
  4. starting pilot schemes embracing the principles of a circular economy.

We will be finding out how companies in the technology industry have already moved to a circular economy in Finland and seeing how companies can make this transition and generate wide-ranging business benefits. We will be demonstrating how industrial companies can create a competitive advantage and benefits from new circular economy business models. In particular, we will be focusing on service businesses that use circular economy models, using the concept of “X as a service”.

Leading circular economy experts will be advising companies. We will be developing practical circular economy tools to enable companies to make a controlled transition to these new business models. In addition to these tools, companies will also be developing global networks and acquiring development partners with whom they can start improving and implementing their new business models. The tools, information and benefits will also be available, for free, to all Finnish companies.

We will be organising workshops focusing on five areas: the maritime industry; energy; transport and logistics; machines and devices; and all related service providers, developers, sponsors and research institutes in the field of business and technology. The aim is to start pilots with 10 companies to develop their process, technology, product or business model to match the principles of a circular economy.

Who is participating?

The project is being implemented through co-operation between Sitra and the Technology Industries of Finland. The research is being produced by Accenture Oy, whose leading experts will also run the workshops and develop tools for the companies’ use.

What has been achieved?

The research started in April 2018. Currently, we are looking for technology companies willing to join the network. The co-operation will be launched at an event organised on 24 April . The results of and tools developed by the research will be published in autumn 2018 and presented at events organised all over Finland in September and October. The project will be ending with the World Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki in 2019, where the results of the project and companies’ development projects and pilots will be presented. The results will also be presented at other technology events, such as the EU Smart Manufacturing Summit.

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