Circular economy innovations, digitalisation and competence

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 in cooperation between different sectors and by combining new kinds of technology and operator networks. Connecting these networks 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, including 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. The 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 monitorable information. Digitalisation makes this possible. We have taken the first steps to specify what kind of information, architecture and operating methods will be needed. We will also analyse the digital opportunities related to incubators. The report prepared by Motiva on the digitalisation of the circular economy and ecosystems will be published in early 2023. Responsible organisations: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Ministry of the Environment.

2. We will launch and promote circular economy ecosystems.

  • The work on circular economy ecosystems will be boosted by the report prepared by Motiva on the digitalisation and ecosystems of the circular economy. The report will be published in early 2023. Responsible organisation: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

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

  • The circular design coaching programme (; in Finnish) is a one-year training and coaching programme for companies’ management and persons responsible for design and research and development where the key focus is on product and service design based on the circular economy. A total of 50 companies were selected to the programme that got started in late autumn 2022. 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 the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and partners that promote foresight work on competence needs, lifelong guidance and continuous learning to make sure that the circular economy perspective will be incorporated into the existing operating models. A survey was conducted on the different ways to promote competence building. The Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, together with Circular Economy Finland, organised a webinar Where can we find experts for a circular economy in November 2022. Based on this workshop, the work will continue e.g. by improving the exchange of information between the key players in terms of expertise on the circular economy. Responsible organisations: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Education and Culture.