Transforming Valmet's R&D mindset and creating new business

The past six months, during which I’ve been working in the Beyond Circularity program, have been inspiring and exciting. I’ve learnt a lot, even though I’ve worked at the company for eight years in various research and development (R&D) roles. I started my Valmet career as Process Technology Manager in the Stock preparation and recycled fiber R&D team. I’ve also worked as IPR Manager in the Services business line, taking care of several of Valmet’s patent portfolios, and recently, as R&D Manager for Paper Machine Clothing. 

I’ve enjoyed learning more about our innovative technologies and meeting new people from all Valmet’s business lines. At the same time, it’s been a nice challenge to implement demanding public funding reporting guidelines in Valmet and collect all the necessary data from more than fifty internal R&D projects. It’s also been exciting to study in practice how R&D ecosystems are built outside Valmet.

Ready, steady, go!

The results from the past year have been remarkable. It’s also been great to see people collaborating between different business lines, thus benefiting from Valmet-wide expertise. 

There have been more than 50 internal R&D projects and nearly 240 R&D engineers and specialists reporting hours to the program!

More than 80 external ecosystem partners are conducting the R&D work with us. We can gain new expertise through active collaboration with our external partners.

R&D collaboration work mindset

I’m enthusiastic because the Beyond Circularity program has already moved Valmet’s R&D work mindset toward a more collaborative and open way of operating. However, the program management is reaching more ambitious targets: Ecosystem thinking and the collaborative way of operating are also intended to continue after the Beyond Circularity program.

We also aim to maintain the open innovation culture after the Beyond Circularity program and partly transform it into open business models. To achieve this, we’re combining expertise from various functions like legal, finance, product management, HSE, and R&D. We need all these stakeholders to change our mindset and how we operate. We’re also pushing activities forward like developing a new global training program for the R&D personnel. 

Creating new business

In addition to the change in the R&D mindset, I expect the program to create new business for Valmet. The current Beyond Circularity project portfolio indicates significant potential in new revenue in 2030. To achieve this demanding target, we must all do our best to push the ongoing R&D projects to new products and services and thus help our customers in their green transition challenges. A few examples of these promising new initiatives are related to plastics chemical recycling, plastics replacement technologies, textile recycling processes and contemporary textile innovations.

One part of Viivi's responsibilities is to introduce the Beyond Circularity program to Valmet colleagues. Here Viivi is at Valmet office in Raisio with Virpi Puhakka, Director, Ecosystem, Valmet (on the left).