Highlights in 2020
Highlights in 2020

High impact innovation activity triggered by MI

To meet the targets set in the Government Programme for climate neutral Finland by 2035, The Finnish Government, in cooperation with the major industries, has prepared the low-carbon roadmaps for different sectors. The roadmaps show that for example electrification, sector integration and digitalisation are among the key concepts to be advanced to reach the targets. These roadmaps include technology roadmaps regarding solutions needed to achieve climate targets. The Finnish Government is using the information when planning its next energy and climate strategy’s clean energy innovation policies. The strategy will take into account and coordinate the Government Programme’s energy and climate policies, the long- and medium-term climate change policy plans referred to in the Climate Change Act, and the EU’s energy and climate targets for 2030. The Strategy will also note Finland participation in the MI and will state Finland’s priorities in the MI. The strategy will be published in autumn 2021.

Finland has participated in the MI joint calls. The Joint Calls have deepened global cooperation in the fields which are important for Finland and the calls complement Finnish national innovation actions well.

Currently the key innovation themes in clean energy sector in Finland include the following.

  • Power-to-X technology including different hydrogen solutions. It can be used to produce different raw-materials and products, such as synthetic methane, ammonia and even protein.
  • Electricity storage
  • Energy-sector cybersecurity and other digital energy solutions
  • Circular economy solutions, such as waste heat from data centers

Update on clean energy innovation policies and strategies

Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government Programme was published in December 2019. According to the Programme, Finland aims at carbon neutrality by 2035.

Finland submitted its integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) to the European Commission on 20 December 2019. The plan covers all five dimensions of the EU Energy Union, including research, innovation and competitiveness. The plan lays down the 2030 targets for these five dimensions, and the policy measures to achieve them.

Finland is currently preparing its climate and energy strategy. One of the key aspects to be state in the strategy is funding of energy and climate innovations. Sector integration and digital solutions, among others, will be included in the priority sectors. The strategy will also highlight solutions for hard-to-abate-sectors.

Major innovation initiatives and programmes in 2020/21

There are three major innovation initiatives and programmes up and running. Joint funding volume is over 200 MEUR and the programmes are being implemented with private sector and other stakeholders.

  • Smart Energy program (2017-21)
  • Batteries from Finland campaign (2018-2020)
  • Smart Mobility program (2018-22)

Private sector engagement in 2020/21

Public-private testbeds and innovation platforms are listed below. These public-private partnerships involve more than 100 companies in total. In addition, there are several business-led ecosystem initiatives ongoing.

There are several innovation ecosystems and testbeds operating:

  • Smart Otaniemi platform[1] over 100 companies involved, joint initiatives involving companies, research organizations and other actors from the energy and high-tech sphere. Several pilots operating in field including AI and blockchain, aggregator business models, smart EV charging infrastructure and 5G and IoT services.
  • Åland Island Smart Energy Platform, over 20 companies and research entities are involved. The project aims to create a piloting area for new smart energy technologies and a 100 % renewable energy system on Åland Islands. The platform was awarded a capital loan from the State of Finland in 2019 and is now in implementation phase.
  • Power to X innovation ecosystem spearheaded by the Lappeenranta University of Technology and VTT, and involving several companies. The aim is to produce an operating model for a dynamic ecosystem based on clean, affordable and unlimited resource of electricity. The cornerstone of the ecosystem is the rapid electrification of society, including Power to X to Power solutions combined with maximum utilization of digitalization. In addition to the ecosystem theme, the project aims to produce a road map for the commercialization and research activities of the topic for coming years.
  • BatCircle innovation ecosystem, involving 30 companies and research organizations and focusing on sustainable primary resources, value addition in metal refining, battery recycling, precursor and active materials, circular business ecosystems. This ecosystem was recognized by EU commission and Finland was asked to lead the Battery Recycling sub working group under the Battery Implementation plan.
  • BEI innovation ecosystem focusing on research and production incl. machine learning, artificial intelligence and extensive automation, EV systems and energy storage solutions with modern design methods and tools.
  • Baltic Offshore innovation ecosystem exploring the utilization of offshore wind power in the Baltic Sea.

Major activities in support of the Innovation Challenges in 2020/21

Finland has been actively involved in the operation of the EU SET-Plan. The SET-Plan combines the promotion and better coordination of energy technology in the EU and the EEC countries. A total of 14 implementation plans have been prepared in the SET-Plan between 2016 and 2019. Finland has participated actively in the preparation and introduction of these implementation plans.

Set Plan key action no 7. “Batteries for e-Mobility and Stationary Storage” where Finland is leading WG related battery recycling. Finland has launched an innovation ecosystem named BatCicle, where over 30 companies, universities and research institutes are involved.

Public sector RD&D investment

New Collaborations


Collaborator: Several, 18 countries and regions in total