Beyond Circularity

Beyond Circularity is Valmet’s R&D program and ecosystem to transform waste and emissions into valuable resources for sustainable growth and accelerating the green transition.

Valmet's Beyond Circularity is an R&D program in which Valmet and its ecosystem come together to innovate, renew and enable their customer industries in the shift to carbon neutrality and to facilitate the green transition.

The Beyond Circularity Program aims to develop process technologies, automation and services to create value by utilizing renewable and recycled materials, industrial sidestream rejects and waste. Circularity is at the core of the program and its ecosystem, and its targets are closely connected to Valmet’s Technology vision 2030 and Climate Program – Forward to a carbon neutral future.

The program is implemented through seven streams: program management, recycling technologies; bio-refining/value adding to waste; resource-efficient industries; automated and digitalized industry and services; service life cycle concepts; emerging new process concepts and disruptive business.

A new green transition ecosystem is being built as part of this program. Working together within the ecosystem will create value and business for the participants, expand competences to new areas, and encourage the best national and international partners to join. The core of the ecosystem is Valmet’s unique triangular approach of technology, automation and services, enriched by the partners’ interdisciplinary expertise. The ecosystem is expected to have more than 100 partners by 2025. ​

Valmet plans to invest EUR 40 million in the Beyond Circularity Program between 2022 and 2025. The program is partly funded by Business Finland and is part of the “Veturi” initiative, which invites international companies to solve some of society’s most pressing challenges through increased research, development and innovation.

We are very excited about this program - all the new opportunities it will bring to us in Valmet, to our ecosystem partners, to our customers and to the entire globe by making green transition happen."
Valmet's Senior Vice President of Operational Development Janne Pynnönen

Program streams

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Recycling technologies

The Recycling technologies stream focuses on recycling technology development across several areas. These areas include processes for recycling preindustrial and post-consumer textile waste; new solutions for chemical recycling of plastics to enable circularity in petrochemical industry; development of resource efficient continuous panelboard recycling process; and creating readiness to integrate and offer together with partners carbon negative solutions for biorefining and energy industry.

Read more about the stream

 

Ecosystem projects, which have received funding from Business Finland and EU:

  • Co-innovation project HiPer – Fiber based composite materials to generate a completely new product portfolio based on lightweight, sustainable composite materials. These new materials will be suitable for several industrial sectors, such as construction, automotive, transportation, furniture, and packaging. Read more in project’s web page and watch the video from the HiPer-project.
  • Co-innovation project UrbanMill to develop an industrial chemical recycling concept for plastic waste. Read more in VTT’s release.
  • Co-research project Sustafit – Sustainable fit-for-purpose nonwovens. The project will outline segment specific sustainability strategies around the use of sustainable and recycled fibres, and their processing into non-woven products. Understanding on the jointly identified knowledge gaps we be built, and sustainable fibres attractiveness for non-woven application by developing their hydrophobicity and antimicrobial performance will be boosted. Read more in project's web page
  • PESCO-UP, a Horizon Europe project, funded by the European Union to transform the textile recycling industry by creating new raw materials from mixed wastes. Read more: the article and the project's web page

Bio-refining / Value adding to waste

In the Bio-refining / Value adding to waste stream, bio-materials and waste are turned into products of value. One of the aims is to develop a new biomass pyrolysis solution to turn local sustainable feedstocks into global renewable transportation fuels and biochemicals. This stream also explores energy efficient continuous process to produce micro fibrillated cellulose for different applications and novel process solutions to turn ash waste and lignin into new products.

Read more about the stream

 

Ecosystem projects, which have received funding from Business Finland and EU:

  • Co-innovation project ReMatCh - Recycled material challenge
  • Co-innovation project Non-wood raw materials
  • Co-research project GreenAro will develop sustainable production routes from renewable raw materials to aromatics needed in high volume for the production of products such as glues, paints and plastics. Read more about the project.
  • Co-research project Depoly2ols to replace fossil-based aromatics in the chemical industry with innovative bio-based alternatives. Read more on Åbo Akademi University's press release
  • EU project REDYSIGN – Resource-efficient processes for the production and circularization of innovative recyclable-by-design fresh meat smart packaging from wood. Read more on the project's webpage.  

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Resource efficient industries

The Resource efficient industries stream focuses on utilization of low energy heat lost from industrial processes through extended energy integration; research into new technologies to find more energy efficient solutions; closing of material loops in industrial processes to enhance material efficiency; using materials with high energy content as energy storage in industry as a part of smart electricity networks; and developing new, sustainable solutions for machine components.

Read more about the stream

Ecosystem projects, which have received funding from Business Finland and EU

  • Co-innovation project Resilient bronze
  • Co-research project POWER Beyond – Process optimization with friction- and vibrationless technologies for energy efficiency and circularity. Read more about the project
  • Co-innovation project CARAMEL – Circular processes and sustainable applications for novel hard metal coatings and structures
  • Co-research project Emission Free Pulping aims to significantly reduce biomass burning and increase the product yield of wood material used for pulping from approximately 50% to around 70%. Read more: the article about the project and project's web page
  • SteamDry, an EU-funded project revolutionizing the paper industry with superheated steam drying technology. Read more on the project page in LinkedIn.

Automated, digitalized industry and services

In the stream Automated, digitalized industry and services, the aim is to enable major leaps towards autonomous mills and safe processes, creating a thriving network with partners for developing energy saving and emission reducing services, and innovating novel process measurements for insight into the new processes developed within this Beyond circularity initiative.

 

Ecosystem projects, which have received funding from Business Finland and EU

  • Co-innovation project USWA – Ultra scalable wireless access
  • Co-innovation project Biond4.0 – Data-driven control for bioprocesses
  • Co-innovation project BETTER - Beyond traditional roll service
  • Co-innovation project CTAC 2.0 - Cybersceurity assurance
  • Co-innovation project Virtual Sea Trial - Ensuring that a single shortened sea trial is sufficient to pass all future ship commissions. Read more on Novia University of Applied Sciences' release
  • Co-research project CEBIPRO – New analysis technologies for circular economy biorefineries. Read more about the project
  • Co-research project SEEDForest COACH creates steps towards human-focused, technologically enabled intelligent industrial work of the future. Read more in project's web page.

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Service lifecycle concepts

Within the Service lifecycle concepts stream, research is conducted on life cycle modelling for the technologies developed in the Beyond Circularity program. Another focus area is development of lifecycle services concepts, taking into account critical indicators such as technical age, emissions, energy consumption, and water use. 

Emerging new process concepts and disruptive business

The stream focuses on developing new processes for manufacturing of biochemicals, biofuels, 3D fibers etc. and investigating and piloting value chain (pilot and industrial scale technologies, business values, and partnerships) in e.g. food, medical and cosmetics.

 

​Ecosystem projects, which have received funding from Business Finland and EU

  • Co-research project: CO2 capture 

Ecosystem

A green transition ecosystem is to be built as part of Beyond Circularity program to create value and growing business for participants, expand competences to new areas, and encourage best national and international partners in the field to join in. The ecosystem enables to find solutions for complex and challenging problems together, and systematic collaboration towards a shared vision will accelerate the development of innovation.
 
Beyond Circularity Vision: Valmet and ecosystem will renew the industry and reduce emissions through integrating renewable raw material streams with efficient recycling using smart automation and electrified processes.
 
If you are interested in ecosystem partnering, please fill in the contact form below. If a joint project is accepted to Beyond Circularity ecosystem (with Valmet approval), Finnish partners may submit a partnership funding application to Business Finland. We also encourage the ecosystem members to cooperate for example through EU funded projects.
 
If you have questions regarding the ecosystem partnership, please see the frequently asked questions or contact us at beyondcircularity(at)valmet.com.

Business Finland partnership funding

Business Finland offers partnership funding for research, development, and innovation projects in leading companies' ecosystem themes. Our Finnish partners, whose joint projects have been accepted to Beyond Circularity ecosystem, may submit a partnership funding application to Business Finland.

Applying funding from Business Finland:

  • Co-Innovation and research, development and pilot funding can be applied for continuously.
  • Two call rounds for Co-Research funding will be organized in 2024, ending on April 29  (note: one day earlier than previously announced) and August 30.

 

More information: Business Finland website and beyondcircularity[at]valmet.com

Contacts

Contact us at beyondcircularity(at)valmet.com.

Janne Pynnönen

Senior Vice President, Operational Development

Valmet​

Virpi Puhakka 

Director, Ecosystem

Valmet​

Viivi Villa-Nuottajärvi 

Director, Internal Beyond Circularity program

Valmet​

Kari Koskela

Valmet Veturi lead

kari.koskela(at)businessfinland.fi

Business Finland