The Helsinki-Uusimaa Circular Valley is aiming to take the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region and Finland to the pinnacle of circular economy. It was kicked off with a slightly more than 250 participants on 9 February 2023.
The aim is to create new forms of business and increase turnovers of companies, help international businesses to grow and to intensify any cooperation with active support. New solutions, pilot projects and workplaces are especially on the agenda in the circular economy of construction, food, plastics and textiles, as well as in the area of electricity and electronics.
– Helsinki-Uusimaa is a favourable region when it comes to being a pilot platform and guide for circular economy. We have material flows, a comprehensive network of actors and solid skills, Mr Simo Karetie says. He is the Project Manager for the Valley at the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.
The kick-off of the Valley brought together people engaged in circular economy – from various companies, municipalities, development companies and higher education institutions. The event started with Mr Freek van Eijkin from the Netherlands presenting circular economy innovations that are shared on the platform called Holland Hotspot. It is a contact point for circular economy actors, similarly to our Circular Valley.
A shared understanding of circular economy as a systemic challenge was strengthened during the event. It will be met with cross-functional cooperation. Even radical solutions for circular economy can be found in co-development.
It is important to bring together experts from various fields of activity. During the event, a useful clash of technical specialists and social scientists was brought up. Besides the presentation of the Valley, the focus was put on networking, which continued fruitfully after the official part.
During spring 2023, thematical workshops will take place. Information about them will be given on the website and in the newsletters of the Valley. The workshops have the themes of circular economy of construction, food, plastics and textiles, e-waste and e-scrap, and a sharing economy.
Our EER year led to Circular Valley
The kick-off of the Circular Valley was also the final event of the EER year 2022 in Helsinki-Uusimaa. Six areas were selected as European Entrepreneurial Regions (EER) 2021–2022 by the European Committee of the Regions. Green and Digital Entrepreneurship was our theme. One of its aims was to bring forth circular entrepreneurship as the core value of our development actions.
The activities and events of our year formed the base for a circular valley by resulting in good examples and sustainable business practices, along with procedures, actors and services.
– The Helsinki-Uusimaa Circular Valley will continue the cooperation established during our EER year and bring forward its results, Mr Karetie continues.
Pioneering together in circular economy
The Helsinki-Uusimaa Circular Valley brings together various pilot projects (PPs), along with other projects, and certainly not forgetting the actors. It increases their cooperation and offers the most recent research information and possibilities available for companies. The Valley also helps to start new regional PPs and other projects.
The Valley is a community with municipalities, various organisations, companies, research institutions and experts. It is a shared project of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council and CLIC Innovation.
The project receives funding from our national funding for regional sustainable growth and vitality (AKKE), which is also offering support to the implementation of our national strategic programme to promote a circular economy. Helsinki-Uusimaa was chosen as a Circular Cities and Regions Pilot (CCRI), related to an initiative by the European Commission.
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