Aiming for the electrification of society and sustainable growth of the battery industry

The battery sector is a major opportunity for Finland. The electrification of society and solutions developed by the battery industry have a significant impact on the achievement of climate goals.

The battery strategy presents the ways that help Finland to become a competitive, skilled and sustainable part of the international battery industry. The working group which prepared the strategy, submitted its proposal to the Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä on 26 January 2021.

Finland has excellent opportunities to become a front runner in the battery sector. Finland’s strengths include raw material resources and their processing, strong production and research of battery materials and recycling, and expertise in electrification and digitalisation. To become a pioneer in the battery sector, these strengths need to be developed further. Now, Finland must seize this rare opportunity for growth.

“Over the next few years, competition will be fierce in the battery sector. Finland has every opportunity to produce the solutions required to stop climate change. We can only succeed in this by investing in high-quality expertise”, says Mika Nykänen, Director General of the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) and chairman of the strategy working group.

Ground-breaking research, the world’s leading research infrastructure

Battery research is constantly evolving. GTK conducts ground-breaking research related to battery minerals, especially lithium and cobalt, and develops new solutions for the recycling, traceability and processing of raw materials.

Research infrastructures are quickly becoming more developed and modern. An example of an innovative test platform is GTK Mintec based in Outokumpu, the only test plant for mineral raw materials in Europe, which provides services internationally for the circular economy, mining, metal, environmental and chemical industries, among others. The new Circular Raw Materials Hub and its laboratories in Espoo bring together professionals from many research institutes with a multidisciplinary approach.

What is more, GTK’s geological datasets are among the best in the world, contributing to sustainable mineral production.

Raw materials, their further processing and the circular economy feed each other

Finland’s raw material resources and the production of primary and processed metals are significant in Europe. GTK has worked long and hard to survey mineral potential. In addition, mineral resources are well known and investments are made in geological survey methods. Furthermore, the level of activity and quality in the processing of raw materials is high.

Primary raw materials are needed because recycling cannot cover the growing demand for battery materials for a long time. The goal is to increase the share of recycled raw materials. To make this possible, research is still needed into solutions that ensure the recycling of materials.

Proposals by the battery strategy working group

A large group of specialists from companies and research institutes, as well as ministries and other public organisations, participated in the preparation of the national battery strategy.

“The battery strategy and its proposals for actions comprise the large working group’s common view of what is in Finland’s best interests”, says professor Kirsti Loukola-Ruskeeniemi, secretary of the working group.

Facts

The national battery strategy proposes seven key goals for the 2021–2025 strategy:
1. a growing and modernising battery and electrification cluster
2. growing investments in the battery and electrification cluster
3. improved competitiveness through cooperation of all organisations
4. increasing the global awareness of Finland’s battery and electrification cluster
5. responsibility as a significant part of growth, modernisation and branding
6. Finnish organisations play key roles in new value chains
7. promoting the circular economy and digital solutions

To achieve these seven goals, the following actions are proposed:
1. promoting national cooperation by means of a national cooperation body
2. developing competence in the industry
3. developing international cooperation in the areas of regulation, standardisation and research funding
4. developing an operating environment that attracts investments by means of licences, for example
5. developing and demonstrating the industry’s responsibility
6. developing the brand and communication in the battery sector
7. developing funding through public and private sector partnerships

Further information

National Battery Strategy 2025
Batteries from Finland – Webinar 28 January, 2021
Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Mika Nykänen, Director General, chairman of the strategy working group, tel. +358 29 503 2200
Kirsti Loukola-Ruskeeniemi, Senior Scientist, Professor, secretary of the strategy working group, tel. +358 29 503 2850
Saku Vuori, Director, Scientific research, tel. +358 29 503 2459