Focus on growth through innovation in the post-COVID-19 world at the EIT RawMaterials Innovation Hub Baltic Sea Stakeholder Day

As EIT RawMaterials is turning six years in 2020, quite a few activities during the past years are now bearing fruit and showing results. Numerous technologies, processes, and services have been developed and upscaled during the years. Professionals and students have received education and coaching on how to become entrepreneurs. Start-ups have been scaling up their businesses within the raw materials sector. A few of these success stories were presented at the Innovation Hub Baltic Sea Stakeholder Day on 16 September 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, half of the speakers at the Stakeholder Day presented online, and half of them presented in the studio. The event was streamed, providing the public with an opportunity to get exclusive insight into the innovative core of the industry. You can watch the presentations on EIT RawMaterials YouTube.

Importance of raw materials in the European industrial value chains

In the first session three core partners from industries along the value chain, from mining to processing and to metals production, talked about the key points on how to bring good ideas to the market.

First out was Mr Matti Hietanen, CEO of the Finnish Minerals Group, a company very active in how to get European raw materials into the batteries’ value chain. The two following speakers represented founding members of EIT RawMaterials; Metso Outotec and Höganäs. Both companies have been very active in EIT RawMaterials. In his talk, Kaj Jansson, Director at Metso Outotec, stressed the importance of integrating water into current and future business strategies and the value of the EIT RawMaterials network.

EIT RawMaterials has been an extremely good networking resource for us, thank you.

Kaj Jansson, Director at Metso Outotec

Höganäs is a global leader in the metal powder industry and Dr Rose-Marie Yttergren presented some of the many projects Höganäs and EIT RawMaterials have been carrying out together during the years.

How to commercialize research results

In the second session, the latest from Research and Technology Organisations within the Innovation Hub Baltic Sea was presented. These organisations are in a key position to move ideas from basic research to higher technology readiness levels and to the market as new products and services.

First out to talk about commercializing research results was Dr Tarja Laitinen, Head of Research Area at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

EIT RawMaterials has specialised services and capabilities to fill up the gap between innovations and ready-made viable products. As a co-partner and founding member, one of the most valuable benefits VTT haa gained is increased understanding about the key challenges of the raw materials companies.

Dr Tarja Laitinen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

In the EIT RawMaterials network, the activities run by the national geological surveys and the exploration industry are key players to discover the raw materials needed.

Juha Kaija, a Senior Specialist at the Geological Survey of Finland represented the sector.

EIT RawMaterials is one of the key instruments for critical research and innovation activities, and one good example of this is the company Radai.

Juha Kaija, Senior Specialist at the Geological Survey of Finland

Skills needed in making the European Green Deal

The third session focused on the universities’ role in bringing innovators and innovations to the market and what skillsets the graduates should have to be able to thrive in the raw materials sector. Professor Riina Salmimies, Dean at the Lappeenranta University of Technology School of Engineering Science, Professor Michael Hitch, who leads the Institute of Geology at the Tallinn University of Technology, and Jari Koskinen, Professor at the Aalto University talked about their entrepreneurship education and how it should be integrated into raw materials education.

Finally, five successful projects where sustainable innovations have been scaled up with support from EIT RawMaterials Innovation Hub Baltic Sea were presented:

  • 3D Strong — Breakpoint in the 3D printing industry – new additives triple durability.
  • Fractuscan — Drone assisted fracture analytics.
  • Kierto Ympäristöpalvelu —  Innovative hazardous waste utilization solutions.
  • Nanopow — Transforming silicon powder into Li-ion batteries and cells.
  • Viezo — Vibration energy harvesting for heavy duty machines.
Watch all presentations on EIT RawMaterials YouTube