Beyond Circularity: Ecosystem projects in action

Jun 20, 2024

The Beyond Circularity program is one of Valmet’s most significant research and development investments. This four-year program covers Valmet’s entire offering and aims to transform waste and emissions into valuable resources for sustainable growth and accelerate the green transition. The program is co-funded by Business Finland.

The Beyond Circularity ecosystem event in 2023.

Photo: More than 180 ecosystem partners gathered in Tampere in September to discuss and network at the Beyond Circularity ecosystem event. 


The program has been ongoing for 2.5 years and it has made substantial progress. A critical component of the Beyond Circularity program is its ecosystem. 

In the innovation field, one plus one is always more than two. By combining diverse skills, experiences, and approaches, we can create added value beyond a single company or organization could achieve. Given the complex challenges humankind is facing, innovation, collaboration, and leadership from different stakeholders are a must,

says Virpi Puhakka, who leads Valmet’s Beyond Circularity ecosystem. 

The Beyond Circularity ecosystem has grown remarkably fast. Originally targeting 100 partners by the end of 2025, it has already attracted over 250 partners working on 30 ecosystem projects. The ecosystem project portfolio is very wide, including projects from all streams and from all our businesses.

Ecosystem projects are in different stages, some are on the final phase, when some are only starting. Internally, nearly 100 program-related R&D projects are underway, with active participation from most of Valmet’s R&D professionals. 

Some examples of ecosystem projects

Stream 2: Recycling technologies

The co-innovation project ‘High Performance Cellulose-based Composites’ (HiPer) is the first ecosystem project to be completed. Valmet collaborated with nine other Finnish companies and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to study the usage of biocomposites on an industrial scale. Biocomposites play a crucial role in transitioning to lighter materials, reducing the use of fossil-based raw materials, and improving recycling efficiency to lower industrial emissions. During the project, HiPer team successfully demonstrated the manufacturing of thermoplastic composites on a pilot paper machine.

Read more about the results on


Photo: VTT, Niina Hyry, 2023


The EU project called PESCO-UP aims to transform the textile recycling industry by creating new raw materials from mixed waste. The project is led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and the consortium covers the entire textile recycling life cycle. 

Valmet brings its proven solutions and know-how in fiber treatment to the project. We contribute to the evaluation of various mechanical pre-treatment methods and our expertise on the decolorization of textiles and the handling of filtrates and effluents, as well as in addressing the separation of blend textiles. Additionally, we are actively involved in the demonstration of upcycling polycotton blend textiles into valuable products and in assessing the feasibility and sustainability of upcycling routes. We also play a role in scaling-up, technology transfer and exploitation. Read more on


Stream 3: Bio-refining / Value adding to waste

The collaborative research project GreenAro explores sustainable production routes from renewable raw materials to aromatics needed in high volume for the production of products such as glues, paints and plastics. This collaborative effort between VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Aalto University and Åbo Akademi University, also involves Finnish companies through the Veturi program. Read more on

Photo: VTT


The EU project called REDYSIGN aims to develop a bio-based recyclable alternative for fresh meat packaging to replace conventional packaging materials. The aim is for every intermediate product – the tray, the barrier coating, the absorbent pad and the transparent film – to be made almost exclusively from wood constituents. 

The REDYSIGN multidisciplinary consortium brings together 13 partners from 7 European countries, including some of the leading companies and research institutes in the European bio-based sector. The project is coordinated by Tecnalia Research & Innovation in Spain.

In this project, Valmet will develop refining processes for MFC production based on unique refiner technology, with significant energy consumption savings. The production process combines advanced refiner and plate technology with an innovative control system designed to maximize production efficiency. Read more on

Photo: REDYSIGN project

Stream 4: Resource efficient industries

In the Emission Free Pulping research program, Valmet collaborate with the forest industry, other technology companies, research organizations, and universities will collaborate to revolutionize the traditional pulping processes. Aim is to significantly reduce biomass burning and increase the product yield of wood material used for pulping from approximately 50% to around 70%. Read more on


The co-research project POWER Beyond seeks to minimize friction through aerostatic solutions. Working together with Aalto University and other industrial partners, Valmet is especially looking to discover ways for making paper machine rolls more energy efficient. Read more on


Stream 5: Automated, digitalized industry and services

The co-research project SEEDForest COACH explores tomorrow’s intelligent industrial work. In this project, Valmet is working with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and other research partners to create steps towards human-centered, technologically enabled intelligent industrial work of the future. Read more on


The co-research project CEBIPRO develops innovative analysis technologies for circular economy biorefineries. Valmet is working with six other companies, and the project is coordinated by Xamk (South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences).

At Valmet, we believe that analyzers and measurements are the cornerstones of successful process controls and optimization. Valmet’s special camera technology will be utilized in this project to improve the analysis of new cellulose grade and the efficiency of production processes. Also, the applicability of novel analytical techniques to monitor critical parameters in pulp and paper mill water streams will be studied. Read more on 


The co-research project Hydrogen UnderGround (HUG) joins forces with the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), and 15 industrial partners. This groundbreaking initiative focuses on the underground storage of hydrogen, a critical component in the transition to a more sustainable energy future. 

With over 50 years of experience in serving the hydrogen industry, Valmet brings valuable technology knowledge to the project. Our portfolio covers both valve and automation solutions for the hydrogen industry.