The newly launched National Battery Strategy strengthens Finland’s role as a competitive, competent and sustainable player in the international battery industry. Spinverse collaborated with Gaia Consulting to provide their collective expertise on the battery strategy work for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
Finnish companies have the potential to play a key role in the sustainable electrification of European industry, transport and society. The Finnish Battery Strategy, newly published on the 26th January by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, is founded on promoting responsible battery production and electrification. The strategy builds on the unique strengths of the Finnish battery sector, which include the availability of raw materials and capability to process them, high-level expertise in research and production of battery materials and recycling solutions, and competence in electrification and digitalization.
The electrification of society and the solutions offered by the battery industry will have a significant role in achieving the ambitious climate targets set by the EU. Responsibility and ecological sustainability are recognized in the strategy as key prerequisites for the renewal, growth and long-term success of the Finnish battery and electrification sector. The Finnish Battery Strategy also promotes sustainable and responsible production of battery minerals and the circular economy of batteries to respond to the growing demand for critical materials that are required for the electrification.
Competitiveness builds on innovation, renewal and responsibility
The Strategy envisions Finland’s battery cluster as a forerunner that provides innovations, sustainable economic growth, wellbeing, skills and jobs in Finland. To achieve the vision by 2025, the Strategy outlines seven key objectives:
- The battery and electrification cluster will grow and undergo a renewal.
- Investments in the battery and electrification cluster will increase.
- Operators in the battery and electrification sectors will promote competitiveness in cooperation.
- The Finnish battery and electrification sector will be known as a successful brand across the world.
- Responsibility will be a key part of the growth, renewal and brand of the Finnish battery and electrification sector.
- Finnish operators will play a key role in the new value chains.
- Digital solutions will expand the knowledge and business base and speed up the development of the battery sector.
The Strategy also directly contributes to the EU’s aims to create an innovative, competitive and sustainable battery industry in Europe.
“We need renewal and cooperation. Skills, responsibility and competitiveness are key words in the strategy. To achieve the objectives, gaze needs to be put on the potential that comes from developing cross-sectoral competences that stem from traditionally strong industrial areas in Finland: raw materials, processing and circular solutions, and machine, transport and electronics industries”, says Mika Nykänen, Chair of the working group and Director General of the Geological Survey of Finland.
“The strategy calls for closer cooperation within and across industry and academia nationally and more active participation in formation of the prerequisites for the battery industry sector internationally”, Nykänen continues.
Green electrification requires new sustainable business models and close international cooperation
A large number of experts from companies, research institutions, ministries and other public sector organizations participated in the preparation of the National Battery Strategy. Gaia Consulting and Spinverse brought their expertise of the battery sector to the strategy work by facilitating a series of workshop sessions in November 2020 to sharpen the analyses of the working groups and crystallizing the strategy.
Finnish companies have significant know-how and competence spanning across the battery value chain. However, building long-term success requires taking a more active stance towards EU and international level cooperation. The strategy recognizes the importance of public funding to leverage the growth and renewal of the industry through enabling large-scale investment projects. One of the strategic actions proposed by the strategy is to strengthen the role of Horizon Europe financing instruments and partnerships in the RDI strategies of Finnish battery ecosystem players.
"Finnish companies should actively pursue the funding and collaboration opportunities which are readily available for innovative solutions in the battery and electrification sector. Now is the time for a step change in seizing the opportunity," says Timo Ropponen from Spinverse.
Green and sustainable electrification will form significant market opportunities and basis for growth for the Finnish battery sector. The strategy recognizes responsibility, digitalization and new business models as enablers and market changers and as such important prerequisites for new business development for the battery industry.
“By developing and integrating means and measures that conform with the responsibility demonstration requirements posed by the end customers, whether B to B along the value chain or B to C, is a prerequisite for doing business in the battery sector already now and especially in the future. Implementing digital means as part of operations across the value chain and developing new business models that respond to the market needs of the electrified society are lubricants that speed up the growth,” says Solveig Roschier from Gaia Consulting.
The time to act is now – actions are needed from all ecosystem players
Grasping the business opportunities of the fast-evolving battery sector requires determined action and close collaboration from all players of the battery ecosystem – industry, academia and public sector all have a key role in implementing the ambitious action plan. As the strategy points out, global competition is intense and there is no time to waste.
Gaia Consulting and Spinverse joined their expertise in strengthening the Finnish battery sector in the context of this battery strategy work for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, and earlier in the study of battery ecosystems development for Business Finland. The team of experts participating in the strategy work included Timo Ropponen, Erika Forstén, Jani Adolfsson-Tallqvist, Markku Heino and Maria Rinkkala from Spinverse and Solveig Roschier, Håkan Jonsson and Santeri Palomäki from Gaia Consulting.
Gaia is a consultancy for sustainable business that provides innovative solutions for sustainability.
Spinverse is an innovation consultancy specialised in driving open innovation ecosystems, arranging funding and commercialising emerging technologies.