3.1 Higher value added from the bioeconomy

The aim of the Bioeconomy Strategy is to create economic growth and jobs based on sustainable solutions by producing products and services of the highest possible value added. The aim is also to increase the resource-efficient use and recycling of materials, to utilise side streams and to reduce dependence on non-renewable – especially fossil-based – raw materials. In order for the implementation of the strategy to be possible, the capacity for renewable natural resources to renew, ecological sustainability and social justice must also be ensured.

The economic output of the bioeconomy has primarily increased through increasing production volumes. However, in the future, more emphasis should be placed on investments and production that produce more value added. Concerns about the changing climate and the decline in biodiversity challenge the life cycles of the bioeconomy, the procurement of its raw materials and its products. Investing in new, resource-efficient processes will offer significant potential for increasing both total production and the value of the use of existing resources in the bioeconomy. Versatile service business has become an important part of the production of the bioeconomy’s value added.

One of the bioeconomy’s key strengths is the ability to make sustainable and efficient use of raw materials, including side streams, in the production of high value added products and chemicals. In the future, multi-product biorefineries, in which cellulose is not alone the main product, will produce a number of sustainable alternatives for existing fossil-based products. In biorefineries, cellulose can also be further processed into new products.

Resource efficiency through material recycling is an important area. It must be possible to recycle the materials used in the products as raw material either in the same or other value chains. Efficient recycling processes and effective circular economy business and social models are needed for this.

In order to recycle bio-based materials and products in a manner that increases the value added, new expertise and a new approach are needed for the design of materials, material systems and products. The design of products made from bio-based materials should take into account not only customer and functional requirements, but also material connections and differences, as well as the possibility of finding new uses for the components of the product or possibilities for clean material recycling.

The starting point for updating the Bioeconomy Strategy is a value pyramid, which begins with using the available raw materials as accurately and sustainably as possible. The realisation of a value chain requires the sustainable and profitable production of intermediate products. In addition to the current intermediate products, a larger amount and wider range of higher value added products will be produced. The products must be competitive and have a functioning market. Many bioeconomy products must also be competitive globally.

When aiming to increase the value added, it should be noted that sustainable, competitive volume business creates an important foundation for maintaining and increasing the existing value added and thus well-being.


Draft and implement an RDI programme for the bioeconomy’s green transition to strengthen the knowledge base for the development of bioeconomy competence, new products, resource efficiency, business and services

  • Reform the contents of research and produce information for the development and commercialisation of new bioeconomy products and services
  • Ensure cooperation between funding providers for the implementation of a coordinated programme package. This will ensure interaction between research and innovation work, the development of strategic competence in research and the impact on the entire bioeconomy cluster.
  • Accelerate the commercialisation and scaling of new materials resulting from a bioeconomy where resources are used efficiently by supporting SMEs, start-ups and growth enterprises. Support can be focused on the development of spin-offs, on patents and on learning about commercialisation and scaling
  • Identifying the role of flagship companies as an accelerator of ecosystems
  • Gather research actors, companies and funding providers to discuss product concepts according to the PPP model and ensure that products are placed on the market, for example forest resource data collected with public funds and research data will be processed into a form needed for product development
  • Measures will be produced to increase the sharing of researchers’ expertise among higher education institutions, research institutes and companies, for example through fixed-term mobility funding
  • The compatibility of the RDI programme with the national RDI roadmap (national smart specialisation programme) and the regions’ smart specialisation programmes will be ensured
  • The chain from scientific research in the bioeconomy to applied research must be intact

Responsibility: Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Employment and the Economy

Actors: Academy of Finland, Business Finland, other ministries, regions

Promoting Finland as the location of pilot and demonstration plants for new, innovative bio-products and the first industrial scale plants of their kind.

  • Strengthen funding for demonstration and equipment investments promoting the bioeconomy and the circular economy
  • Strengthening the role of national (such as Bioruukki) and regional piloting environments in developing new methods for the sustainable and efficient utilisation of biomass and industrial side streams
  • Reform and better reconcile Business Finland and Finnvera and regional development instruments and operating models to accelerate piloting and demonstration projects
  • Utilise the room for manoeuvre provided by the EU Green Deal, sustainable growth (RRF) and a more European-centred industrial policy to support new industrial production pilot/demonstration and industrial scaling plant projects
  • Bioeconomy and technology expertise to be increased to support the export of services

The objectives are also supported by such things as the acceleration lane for investments and the related development of the investment permits procedure, which have been agreed upon in the Government’s mid-term policy review in 2021.

Responsibility: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Actors: Business Finland, Finnvera, VTT, Luke, Syke

Identifying the means of the bioeconomy to mitigate climate change and promote adaptation to its impacts and halting the loss of biodiversity.

Responsibility: Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Regions are encouraged to prepare bioeconomy implementation plans on the basis of their own strengths

  • Support the development of regional bioeconomy clusters and technology platforms and cooperation between them
  • When preparing regional bioeconomy action plans ensure their compatibility with regional programmes and regional smart specialisation strategies.
  • Implement the monitoring of regional action plans in the regions

Responsibility: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Actors: ELY Centres, regions, Finnish Forest Centre