Finland

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The eco-innovation landscape in Finland has been remaining quite stable over the last years. Importantly, Finland is still ranked as one of the most innovative countries in the world. Finnish eco-innovation continues to benefit from a well-developed innovation system, open economy, and close collaboration between industry, academia and national research organisations.

Energy efficiency and circular economy have been established as key high-level policy priorities, and related national and regional initiatives are manifold. Both start-ups and established companies generate technologies, products and services in several sectors relevant to eco-innovations and the circular economy. Applications range from a mobile app designed to rescue leftover food from restaurants to pioneering energy management solutions and transformative products based on material recycling.

One of the most important policy developments is the inclusion of circular economy as a priority in the Strategic Programme of the Finnish Government from 2016 onwards. The Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy also published the Strategy to Promote Cleantech Business in Finland in 2014, which continues to guide policymaking and business initiatives. Other important strategies and programmes relevant to eco-innovations and the circular economy include the Finnish Bioeconomy Strategy (2014), the Finnish Material Efficiency Programme (2014), and the new Circular Economy focus area (2016) in Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund.

The main challenges for eco-innovation in the country are associated with the weak national economy and decreasing public and private research and development  (R&D) spending .

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Finland

Finland

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Product eco-innovation – Solution to product energy from biomass cleaner and more energy efficiently

WaterKemira Plc operates in chemicals industry and is focused on serving customers in water-intensive industries. Their aim is to improve the energy, water and raw material efficiency of their customers via water quality and quantity management. The company developed DesinFix, a complete, chlorine-free disinfection system that disinfects water in ten minutes, and within an hour no active substance can be detected as the compound (DEX-135) breaks down into carbon dioxide and water. DesinFix is based on the combination of formic acid (hydrogen carboxylic acid) and hydrogen peroxide. It is primarily targeted to municipal waste water treatment plants, but the method can be applied also for example to industrial process waters. (Kemira DesinFix 2011.)

Kemira has long roots in the Finnish know-how as it was established already in 1920. The company has a large-scale research and development operations, which expenditure totalled €47m in 2009. The R&D concerns, in addition to drinking and waste water treatment, pulp and paper, oil and mining, and other water intensive customer industries. (Kemira 2011.)

Determinants

Barriers

  • Not known yet

Drivers

  • EU bathing water directive
  • Increasing demand for water disinfection in water reuse applications
  • Low energy consumption & competitive operational costs
  • Minimal maintenance requirements, compact size & easy installation
  • Lower investment costs (compared with UV-light or ozone disinfection)
  • Versatile use of technology

Sustainability effects

DesinFix was invented particularly to meet the increasing demand for waste water disinfection in water reuse applications (such as agricultural and landscape irrigation, industrial applications; disinfection of internal service water), the environmental effects of the innovation concern the sustainable (re)use of water as well as sustainable energy and material consumption. DesinFex has low energy consumption and inexpensive operational costs, which also contributes to the total cost, which is well below the alternative methods. Thus, in the long run the sustainability effects could also concern cost reduction and market creation through new improved and sustainable water management solutions at both national and the EU/ global level.

The DEX-135 compound used in this innovation does not leave any toxic disinfection by-products in water and enables a 99.9999% kill ratio. Thus, the innovation excludes health risks (infections, gastroenteritis cancer etc.) as well as contamination damages of nature. The system can also handle rapidly varying flow rates guaranteeing continuous disinfection even in more demanding environments.

Condens

Further Information

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