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Innovations, latest scientific knowledge and state of the circular economy on the agenda in Helsinki, 30 September–1 October

Ministry of the Environment
Publication date 24.9.2019 5.22
Press release

Finnish Ministry of the Environment, Business Finland, European Institute of Innovation and Technology, EIT Digital, EIT RawMaterials and EIT Food:

The conference European Days for Sustainable Circular Economy will be held between 30 September and 1 October 2019 in Helsinki, Finland with a view to presenting the state of the circular economy and recommendations for promoting a sustainable circular economy based on the latest research data. The conference will also present circular economy innovations and success stories.

The conference is one of the events held during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It will bring together about 750 scientists, policy-makers, business and industry representatives, and representatives for funding agencies, authorities and NGOs. A synthesis drawn up based on the conference presentations will be distributed to Finnish and EU policy-makers in October.

Krista Mikkonen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, says the conference serves to promote the EU’s sustainability-based competitiveness.

“The circular economy can provide us with solutions to the greatest challenges of our time: climate change and biodiversity loss. At the same time, the transition to the circular economy is an opportunity for European businesses to develop new practices and take the lead. The circular economy is the economic model of the future, replacing the disposable economy,” minister Mikkonen says.

The Environment Council is set to discuss the EU’s circular economy conclusions on 4 October. The conclusions will set out how the new Commission should promote the circular economy over the next five years.

“The EU needs a new circular economy action plan, a circular economy 2.0, which would extend the concept into all significant sectors such as construction, textiles, mobility and food,” Mikkonen says.

The first day of the conference focuses on the transition towards a sustainable circular economy. The topics to be discussed include climate-smart and nutrient-smart food production, new services for sustainable mobility and the opportunities of artificial intelligence. Day two of the conference deals with the knowledge base of a low-carbon, climate-resilient circular economy, sustainable and smart manufacturing, and sustainable innovation.

Business Finland is in charge of the event Manufuture 2019 - Sustainable and Smart Manufacturing on the 1st of October. The event focuses on manufacturing industry challenges and circular economy opportunities.

“Today’s manufacturing systems are traditionally designed to mainly address the manufacturing phase of a product. The transition towards a circular economy asks for the development and availability of de-manufacturing and re-manufacturing plant facilities. How to develop and utilize new business models and value networks”, asks Director Jarmo Heinonen, Business Finland.

The conference is organised by the Ministry of the Environment, Business Finland, EIT, EIT Digital, EIT RawMaterials and EIT Food.


Ministry of the Environment: Tanja Suni, Research Director, tel. +358 50 441 7164, [email protected]

Business Finland : Advisor Pasi Viitanen, tel. +358 50 395 2475, [email protected],

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT): Caroline Vandenplas, Head of EIT Communications Section, tel. +36 148 193 71, [email protected]

EIT was created in 2008 to drive Europe’s ability to innovate. The EIT is a unique EU initiative, the only one to fully integrate business, education and research. The Institute supports the development of dynamic pan-European partnerships among leading companies, research labs and universities. These are called EIT Innovation Communities and each is dedicated to tackling a specific global challenge.

EIT Digital is a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation driving Europe’s digital transformation. Its way of working embodies the future of innovation through a pan-European ecosystem of almost 250 top European corporations, SMEs, startups, universities and research institutes. As a Knowledge and Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, EIT Digital invests in strategic areas to accelerate the market uptake and scaling of research-based digital technologies (deep tech) focusing on Europe’s strategic, societal challenges.

[email protected]

EIT RawMaterials , initiated and funded by the EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology), a body of the European Union, is the world’s largest innovation community in the raw materials sector. Its vision is to develop raw materials into a major strength for Europe. Its mission is to enable sustainable competitiveness of the European minerals, metals and materials sector along the value chain by driving innovation, education and entrepreneurship.

[email protected]

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food innovation initiative, working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted by consumers. EIT Food’s vision is to put Europe at the centre of a global revolution in food innovation and production, and its value in society. EIT Food will engage consumers in the change process, improve nutrition and make the food system more resource-efficient, secure, transparent and trusted.

Krista Mikkonen