Circular economy innovations, digitalisation and skills

How we implement the circular economy programme

Digitalisation is essential for making the circular economy a reality. The new business practices and operating methods of the circular economy are built with cooperation between different sectors and by combining new kinds of technology and operator networks. Connecting these networks together and their operations require a compatible data architecture that enables open data to be shared reliably.

The interoperability of digital solutions for the circular economy must be coordinated at the national level. In addition, we must make sure that the data sharing infrastructure develops alongside the circular economy market.

Operating models are reshaped in ecosystems where operators in the value chain or different sectors can find each other and develop new solutions. The development and growth accelerators of these ecosystems must be supported and reinforced. The activities of these accelerators should also be strengthened in international contexts. The operating model of the Finnish Industrial Symbiosis System (FISS) should be expanded.

Working life of the future will need competence and skills in sustainable development and digitalisation and continuous learning. Circular economy solutions are often created by bringing together different types of competence and organisations. This is why collaboration between research institutes, companies and other RDI actors related to the circular economy must be strengthened. Our level of competence and research in the carbon-neutral circular economy must be considerably enhanced.

What we do and where we are now:

1. We will promote digital solutions that support the circular economy.

  • The circular economy requires reliable, traceable and trackable information. Digitalisation makes this possible. We have taken the first steps to define the information, architecture and operating methods that will be needed. We will also analyse the digital opportunities related to incubators. Responsible organisation: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

2. We will launch and promote circular economy ecosystems.

  • This measure is still in the early planning stage. Responsible organisation: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

3. We will prepare a design programme for the circular economy. 

  • We are preparing a training and coaching programme on the circular economy for corporate management and persons in charge of design, research, and development. The plan and concept of the plan were finalised in early 2022, and the training that takes about a year will be organised in 2023. Responsible organisation: Ministry of the Environment.

4. We will include circular economy competence in our education system and working life skills.

  • We will cooperate with partners that promote foresight work on competence needs, lifelong guidance and continuous learning to make sure that the circular economy perspective will be incorporated in the existing operating models. Responsible organisations: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Education and Culture.