Borealis Finland launches SPIRIT — a gamechanger programme to boost sustainable plastics industry

Borealis Finland has received 20 M€ in funding from Business Finland to launch their innovative SPIRIT programme (Sustainable Plastics Industry Transformation). As project leader, Borealis Finland will coordinate research and development efforts among a wide range of existing and new partners. Spinverse team will help Borealis to build and lead the ecosystem and related projects needed to fulfil the ambitious mission. 

SPIRIT aims to drive the transformation of the plastics industry in Finland by means of three main activities: the replacement of conventional fossil fuel-based feedstocks with renewably sourced ones; the development of technologies and processes for the mechanical and chemical recycling of plastics; and the decarbonisation of production operations through electrification as well as the use of hydrogen and renewable energy sources. 

Salla Roni-Poranen, Managing Director at Borealis Finland says: “Plastic is one of the most versatile materials available and is an important source of economic growth. Yet as an industry, we must address the issues of dwindling resources on the one hand, and plastic waste on the other.” She continues: “SPIRIT allows us to maintain our industry leadership as we innovate and collaborate to find alternatives for fossil fuel-based materials and energy supply, and to make plastic recycling even more viable.” 

“Borealis has taken on a brave challenge to redefine plastics manufacturing aiming towards carbon neutrality by 2045. Replacing fossil raw materials with biobased ones and boosting both mechanical and chemical recycling of polyolefins are major tasks, which require intensive collaboration with a variety of partners. This is a great opportunity for many companies and research partners, both in Finland and abroad, to join the development to build relevant competence and new sustainable business,” says Dr. Markku Heino, Principal Consultant and Ecosystem leader at Spinverse.

“Spinverse’s expert team supported Borealis in planning and preparing the winning Veturi Programme proposal in the Business Finland Veturi challenge. The application preparation was performed in a good spirit with Borealis’ dynamic group of experts. Co-operation was easygoing and Borealis’ team own enthusiasm and commitment for this important programme was inspiring,“ commented Consultant Minna Lahtinen from Spinverse. 

The leading company projects, also known as Veturi, are Business Finland's largest single funding decisions. If successful, the projects will lead to outgrowths on a business level that will be worth several billions of euros, industrial investments, significant impact on employment, growth in export earnings and tax revenue, and positive effects on the environment. In addition to the 20 M€ funding for each Veturi company, Business Finland plans to fund the partners of each leading company with 50 M€. 

Spinverse will help Borealis in the four-year SPIRIT Programme, in particular to build the ecosystem and portfolio of key projects needed to tackle the ambitious challenges in all these areas. “Spinverse team brings to the collaboration key capabilities in ecosystem leadership, but also wide expertise on polymer technology, bio and circular economy, which are important assets in our partnership,” says Jari Lehtinen, Programme Manager at Borealis.

Photo: Borealis

More information:
Borealis press release (eng)
Borealis press release (fi)