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Finland has a national bioeconomy strategy which aims to make the best and most sustainable use of the large volumes of woody biomass available in the country. However, authorities have no special focus on industrial biotechnology to unlock the potential of the Finnish bioeconomy.
A fairly interesting initiative is the Innovative Cities programme set up by the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy which aims to position Finland as an Innovation Hub. The objective is to accelerate the development of major projects that create new business and international competitive advantages through cooperation between cities and the state. The themes to focus on include “value added from the bioeconomy” and “sustainable energy solutions”. In addition to the funding from cities and the state, EU structural funds are used to develop the programme.
Who is there?
- ROAL is one of the world´s largest enzyme companies. The company produces enzymes for different industrial applications, including baking, food, technical and feed industries.
- St1 produces bioethanol for land transport from various wastes and residues, e.g. biowaste from households, leftover dough from bakeries, expired bread, beer and other beverage production wastes, waste and residues from confectionery production, and starch- and sugar-containing waste from the food industry
For a full catalogue of biotechnology related companies in Finland, click here.
- IBC Finland, Industrial Biotechnology Cluster Finland. The cluster builds novel biotechnology solutions and products by promoting cooperation between companies and research institutes within diverse projects. The cluster gives industrial players the opportunity to achieve sustainable processing and production of biobased products, chemicals, materials and fuels from renewable raw materials using biotechnology.
- Finnish Bioindustries FIB is Finland’s biotechnology industry association. It promotes national and international networking and information transfer between different players in the industrial biotechnology field.
Examples to watch
- Biosolar – Utilization of CO2 with microbial processes led by VTT research institute
- Protein feed from grass silage through biotechnological means led by Valio, finlands biggest milk processor
- Living Factories: Synthetic Biology for a Sustainable Bioeconomy led by VTT research institute
In Finland, there are two companies which operate commercial scale facilities: ROAL Dupont Industrial Biosciences/Genencor.
- TEKES is the Finnish funding agency which supports projects in a wide range of sectors, including the industrial biotechnology field. TEKES funding streams can be used for R&D, business and organisational development, and in planning for global growth. Universities, educational institutes, and research units are eligible for TEKES research funding for high-quality research activities that generate new business opportunities for Finnish companies.
- The Academy of Finland is an agency of the Finnish Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and provides funding for breakthrough and impactful basic research.
- The Finnish ministry for Employment and the Economy provides investment funding for demonstration and commercial scale plants.
- Strengths: 2G feedstock availability, strong focus on innovative R&D, existing industrial biotechnology know-how
- Weaknesses: limited availability of 1G feedstock, limited number of companies and SMEs in particular
- Finnish Bioindustries FIB – Carmela Kantor-Aaltonen, Director
Documents and links
Report of the BIO-TIC workshop in Finland – September 2013