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Mirka and the Finnish Industry Jointly Invest 200M € in Net Carbon Negative Solutions

January 9, 2023

Rapid economic growth, urbanization and excessive material usage pose a significant threat of an increasing manufacturing footprint. Despite this, Mirka sees an opportunity to develop new innovative solutions to support the green transition in cooperation with the Finnish industry. The aim is to create a cross-industrial ecosystem to develop solutions for the remanufacturing and construction industries, contributing to a net carbon negative impact. Business Finland has granted 10 million euros in development funding for the Mirka SHAPE project in the challenge competition as well as 20 million euros to the ecosystem companies surrounding the project. This is a unique project and first of its kind in Finland.

In the future Mirka’s surface finishing solutions and the SHAPE ecosystem can together decrease the carbon footprint of the European industry by 100 Mt, creating export opportunities worth several billion for the Finnish industry. In total, Mirka’s, Business Finland’s and the Finnish industry’s investment in developing net carbon negative solutions will be around 200 M€ during the next five years.

- The remanufacturing business growth is expected to reach 90 B€ in the European Union by 2030​. We want to be part of this, shoulder our responsibility and contribute to further developing the circular economy. We are very excited about the funding granted by Business Finland. Thanks to this, we can now start the SHAPE project in cooperation with the Finnish industry and the research field. The project creates an excellent opportunity for the whole ecosystem to develop new innovative remanufacturing solutions, create new jobs and strengthen the competitiveness of the Finnish industry in the coming years, says Mirka’s CEO Stefan Sjöberg.

- In concrete terms, the Mirka SHAPE project will concentrate on four areas, which together enable net carbon negative remanufacturing and construction solutions:

  1. Sustainable material solutions in production
    Usage of recyclable and bio-based raw materials, e.g. wood based replacements for plastic.
  2. Repair, reuse and remanufacturing solutions
    Extending product lifetime, e.g. through innovative surface finishing solutions.
  3. Boosting circularity
    Finding new ways to utilize side products of manufacturing processes, e.g. utilizing waste that is created from surface finishing.
  4. Intelligence throughout value-chains
    Developing measurement and analytic solutions for product lifecycle management.

- One development direction in the project can, for example, be to find new ways to turn the side products, meaning the waste of today’s ecosystem into raw materials of the future. On the other hand, it can be about extending the lifetime of a product by utilizing new and innovative repair methods. Mirka’s core competence in the ecosystem is the further development of surface finishing technologies. Put simply, the aim of the ecosystem is to create remanufacturing and construction solutions that enable repairing a product so that it is no longer necessary to make a new one. This requires ecodesign throughout the entire value chain. The result is a durable good and a net carbon negative manufacturing process, says Mirka’s Research and Development Director Mats Sundell.

Mirka is the driver of the project, and the surrounding ecosystem consists of tens of actors from small-scale industries to large corporations, research institutes and universities. The launch event of the project will take place in the spring of 2023.

- Co-operation beyond industry borders is a natural part of Mirka’s corporate culture. We are now happy to invite all companies and research organizations that share our vision to take part in this development project and build up the complete ecosystem, Sundell says.

Business Finland shares Mirka’s view on the topic.
- Mirka has for a long time been an industry forerunner driving development projects for innovation and international growth. These kinds of companies are very important for Finland, they are the basis for our industrial competitive edge. Now is a natural phase for Mirka to receive the so-called leading company status and take a strong lead to shape ecosystems for the green transition in their field of the manufacturing industry, says Account Lead Ulf-Erik Widd at Business Finland.