Good progress in the Beyond Circularity program in 2023

Mar 13, 2024

Beyond Circularity, Valmet’s R&D program and ecosystem, has been ongoing since 2022. This four-year program has reached its midpoint, so now is a good time to reflect on progress, achievements and next steps.

“With this program, we’re targeting the innovation and development of solutions and products with our ecosystem partners to transform waste and emissions into valuable resources for sustainable growth and to accelerate the green transition. Collaboration is essential to achieve a mission that is beyond a single player,” says Janne Pynnönen, Senior Vice President, Operational Development at Valmet and leader of the Beyond Circularity program.  

We believe the Beyond Circularity ecosystem will generate value and growth for its participants, encourage the best national and international partners in the field to join, and help create new jobs.

Virpi Puhakka, Janne Pynnönen and Viivi Villa-Nuottajärvi manage the Beyond Circularity program at Valmet. 

Collaborating with an extensive ecosystem

In 2023, we rapidly expanded our network of partners in the ecosystem, already establishing more partners than initially targeted. By the end of 2023, more than 220 partners had joined our ecosystem. Fifteen ecosystem projects started in 2023 (see the list of projects at the bottom of this page), increasing the total number of ongoing projects to 22. These projects extensively cover Beyond Circularity’s themes.

"Leading Valmet’s Beyond Circularity ecosystem and working with professionals and innovators in the green transition is a great pleasure. Our program and ecosystem have received a lot of interest, which is very positive and encouraging,” says Virpi Puhakka, Director, Ecosystems at Valmet.

I think ecosystem collaboration is the key to success and leadership in the future, and I welcome you to join Valmet on this journey!

A highlight in 2023 was our second ecosystem event in September. More than 180 ecosystem partners, Valmet R&D professionals and stakeholders joined us in Tampere. The inspiring day included updates about the program, a keynote speech, and a deep-dive panel discussion about ecosystem opportunities and challenges, collaboration at the workshops, and networking. Read more about the event here.


"I could also mention the Beyond Circularity video as another milestone from 2023. In general, we want to communicate widely about the program and its progress. Last year, for example, we published articles about the streams and ecosystem projects; see Beyond Circularity website," says Virpi Puhakka.  


Seven streams covering all Valmet businesses

The program is being implemented through seven streams, covering all Valmet businesses: program management; recycling technologies; bio-refining/value adding to waste; resource-efficient industries; automated and digitalized industry and services; service lifecycle concepts; and emerging new process concepts and disruptive business.


“The program has also raised a lot of interest internally at Valmet. Last year, we continued to grow the portfolio of topics the program addresses. During the year, we started more than 40 new internal projects, increasing the total number to 91. This program has also strengthened our internal collaboration,” says Viivi Villa-Nuottajärvi, Director, Internal Beyond Circularity program at Valmet.

Innovation collaboration continues

“The Beyond Circularity program still has almost two years to go, so we will continue systematic work to advance the projects and achieve our ambitious targets. Some projects will be completed this year, so I’m looking for exciting results from them,” Janne Pynnönen concludes.


Ecosystem projects started in 2023

Stream  Project
Recycling technologies stream
  • EU-funded project PESCO-UP – Transforming the textile recycling industry by creating new raw materials from mixed wastes. Read more here.
Bio-refining / Value adding to waste stream
  • Company co-innovation project – Non-wood raw materials
  • Co-research project Depoly2ols – Replacing fossil-based aromatics in the chemical industry with innovative bio-based alternatives. Read more on Åbo Akademi University's press release.
  • EU-funded project REDYSIGN – Resource-efficient processes for the production and circularization of innovative recyclable-by-design fresh meat smart packaging from wood. Read more on project's webpage
Resource-efficient industries stream
  • Company co-innovation project – Resilient bronze
  • Co-innovation project CARAMEL -Circular processes and sustainable applications for novel hard metal coatings and structures
  • Co-research project – Emission-free Pulping aims to significantly reduce biomass burning and increase the product yield of wood material used for pulping. Read more here.
  • EU-funded project SteamDry – Revolutionizing the paper industry with superheated steam drying technology. 
Automated, digitalized industry and services stream
  • Co-innovation project Biond4.0 – Data-driven control for bioprocesses
  • Co-innovation project BETTER – Beyond traditional roll service
  • Co-innovation project CTAC 2.0 – Cybersecurity assurance
  • Co-innovation project Virtual Sea Trial – Ensuring that a single shortened sea trial is sufficient to pass all future ship commissions. Read more on Novia University of Applied Science’ release.
Emerging new process concepts and disruptive business
  • Co-research project: CO2 capture


Interested in joining the Beyond Circularity ecosystem?  

If you are interested in ecosystem partnering, please fill in this contact form. If a joint project is accepted for the Beyond Circularity ecosystem (with Valmet approval), Finnish partners may submit a partnership funding application to Business Finland. Business Finland offers partnership funding for research, development and innovation projects under the Beyond Circularity program’s ecosystem themes. Read more on our Beyond Circularity webpage