Circular Economy projects | SeAMK

Examples of previous and on-going projects

On this page, you can find examples of SeAMK’s previous and on-going projects related to the Circular Economy.

  • Circular Economy Competence to Universities of Applied Sciences
    • Funding: Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland
    • Duration: 1.1.2018-31.12.2020
    • Coordinator: University of Applied Sciences in Lapland, Finland
    • Partners: 19 Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences

     

    The project improves the quality and openness of multidisciplinary education at universities of applied sciences by promoting circular economy competence and collaboration with emphasis on international activities.  The planning and piloting utilises the philosophy and strategy of Industry 4.0.

    Learning environments and methods are developed by utilizing the strengths of the 19 universities of applied sciences participating in the project. The learning environments are tested within the circular economy studies included in different competence areas at universities of applied sciences.

    The experiences and best practices of a new kind of cooperation will be established as a permanent part of the UAS world. Simultaneously, aspects of circular economy will be regularized as part of study plans. SeAMK’ role is to focus especially on sustainable food production related issues.

    Contact person:

    Dr. Kari Laasasenaho, Expert in RDI
    kari.laasasenaho(at)seamk.fi
    +358 40 680 7631

     

  • Hybrid decentralized energy production solutions in rural Southern Ostrobothnia (HYBE)
    • Funding: Eur 130 000 from European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
    • Duration: 1.1.2020-31.12.2021.
    • Coordinator: Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
    • Partners: University of Vaasa (??)

     

    Climate change and decrease of rural population will pose challenges for the future supply of energy to rural companies. Climate change is increasing extreme weather events, causing disruption, especially for rural energy supply. On the other hand, maintaining energy networks can be expensive in a sparsely populated area as people are moving to cities. This project will provide more information on hybrid solutions for decentralized renewable energy production for rural businesses. Initially, the project will draw up a road map for energy production and risk measures in the rural areas of Southern Ostrobothnia. Subsequently, information on the potential of different hybrid systems will be deepened and finally the information generated will be implemented in the project area.

    SeAMK’s role in the project is to:

    • develop regional energy production roadmap for South Ostrobothnia until 2030
    • assess regional road map for biomethane vehicle fuel production
    • calculate hybrid energy production potentials to pilot companies
    • share information about renewable hybrid energy production for business

    Contact person:

    Dr. Kari Laasasenaho, Expert in RDI
    kari.laasasenah(at)seamk.fi
    +358 40 680 7631

  • Regional Just Transition fund (JTF) plan for South Ostrobothnia
    • Funding: Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia, contract based
    • Duration: 9.-31.12.2020
    • Coordinator: Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia
    • Partners: Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences

     

    There has been a debate going on this year on peat production and climate change. Energy peat is considered to be a fuel with a high emission factor. The aim is to reduce the use of energy peat in order to mitigate climate change in national level. Southern Ostrobothnia is one of the world’s most important energy peat production areas. Peat production is one good example of the affected sectors. For this reason Just Transition Fund (JTF), has been set up as part of the EU’s Green Deal to support the sectors most affected by emissions reductions. The Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia has started to prepare a regional JTF plan in September 2020. The Council has signed a co-operation agreement with Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (SeAMK) to prepare the plan. SeAMK currently has both expertise in the field and project activities that support the work.

     SeAMK’s role in the project is to:

    • support regional JTF plan preparation
    • offer expert knowledge related to peat production and climate impacts

    Contact person:

    Dr. Kari Laasasenaho, Expert in RDI
    kari.laasasenah(at)seamk.fi
    +358 40 680 7631

  • Eco-innovation and Circular Economy Business Opportunities in South Ostrobothnia
    • Funding: Eur 258 700, ERDF
    • Duration: 1.8.2019-31.12.2021
    • Coordinator: Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, School of Business and Culture
    • Partners: SeAMK School of Technology, Ruralia Institute, University of Vaasa

     

    The aim of the project is to promote the capacity of SMEs for sustainable development and adaptation of circular economy thinking, thereby increasing their competitiveness in South Ostrobothnia.

    The project disseminates knowledge and know-how, and provides SMEs with tools for the introduction of eco-innovations. SMEs are assisted to identify their own know-how, opportunities, partners and new technologies that enable SMEs to implement circular economy business models and possibly develop new business.

    Contact person:

    Krista Mäki, Project Manager, Expert in RDI
    krista.mak(at)seamk.fi
    +358 40 830 0356

  • Reducing Food Waste in Public Kitchens (Wasteless)
    • Funding: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
    • Duration: 1.3.2019-28.2.2021
    • Coordinator: Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
    • Partners: University of Vaasa, SC-Research and Lapua City

     

    The goal is to reduce food waste in public kitchens by 20% by:

    • improving the efficiency of monitoring the food waste of large public kitchens and food service centers
    • reducing the loss through recipe and digital metering.
    • improving the utilization of the generated food waste.
    • developing an order-delivery process, which improves resource efficiency.

     

    The implementation of the project is divided into the following work packages:

    1. Situation analysis (baseline)
    2. Recipe development and serving size optimization
    3. Development of digital solutions and promotion of new business
    4. Utilization of food waste and future processing
    5. Influence on opinion and attitude development
    6. Exit strategy I.e. an action plan for the future steps

    Contact person:

    Taina Seppälä-Kolkka, Project Manager, RDI Expert
    taina.seppala-kolkk(at)seamk.fi
    + 358 40 680 7095

  • Towards Sustainable Tourism in South Ostrobotnia
    • Funding: Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
    • Duration: 1.2.2020-31.1.2022 (extented 31.7.2022)
    • Coordinator: Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland
    • Partner: University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute, Finland

    The aim of the project is to enhance understanding of sustainable tourism principals in tourism companies and support the collaboration between tourism actors in the region and core actors nationally. It is important to make tourism companies recognize the ways to adapt sustainable tourism principals in everyday business actions. One of the main aims of the projects is to help tourism companies in the area to achieve the required level in sustainability so that companies can start and proceed applying to the Visit Finland’s program Sustainable Travel Finland. Long term aims include strengthening regional tourism brand as a sustainable destination, developing international tourism, attracting responsible tourists and enhancing attractiveness in South Ostrobothnia region.

    The most significant action is knowledge sharing and implementation of sustainable actions in tourism companies as well as the cooperation with Visit Finland in Sustainable Travel Finland program. Actions are steered to support the cooperation among companies and other actors. Through this cooperation product families and services are developed under the sustainability umbrella. Also, some sustainable communication actions are taken to support the sustainable development and marketing in the region. Showcases, the best practices are planned, conducted and communicated during the project so that the aims of knowledge sharing are achieved.

    Contact person:

    Sanna Jyllilä, Project Manager, Expert in RDI
    sanna.jyllila(at)seamk.fi
    +358408300400

  • Climate Resilient SME Food Production
    • Duration: 1.12.2021-31.8.2023
    • Funding: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
    • Budget: 152 840 €

     

    The objectives of the project

    The environmental and carbon footprint of South Ostrobothnia food sector is large, and consumers are more and more interest in the product environmental footprint (PEF) of food. The aim of the project is to develop PEF calculation tools for local food SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to the green transition. This project will implement and test various methods in Frami Food Lab, which is located in the premises of Seinäjoki UAS. Cooperation and co-creation with local SMEs will be done by the project with interested parties. The work done will be documented and the local SMEs and other food sector RDI operators can utilize the project experiences in their own work to calculate PEFs.

    Project implementation in work packages

    1. Current situation: methods, operators and needs
    2. Developing and selecting methods for PEF calculation
    3. Testing selected methods for the various food processes and comparison of results
    4. Communication and knowledge sharing
    5. Administration and reporting

    Results

    The result of the project and work packages will be a transparently documented process of calculating PEF in food processes used in Frami Food Lab. The project will produce actionable knowledge for other users in need of PEF calculations, especially SMEs of the food sector. The project will help in turning the challenge of PEF calculations to possibilities.

    Contact person:

    Joni Viitala, Project Manager
    joni.viitala(at)seamk.fi
    +358 40 830 1246

  • GreenGrow – Facilitating green and inclusive growth in South Ostrobothnia
    • Funding: Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
    • Duration: 1.8.2021-31.8.2023
    • Coordinator: Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland

    The main goal of the project is to accelerate the green and inclusive growth of SMEs in South Ostrobothnia by supporting their RDI activities and co-operation networks. The project develops the skills of both companies and developer organizations in terms of green and inclusive growth. The project will help to identify barriers to growth and skills gaps related to green growth, as well as the service and development needs of different SMEs, especially from the perspective of RDI activities. The project will help to identify barriers to growth and skills gaps related to green growth, as well as the service and development needs of different SMEs, especially from the perspective of RDI activities. Thus, the project will promote business and knowledge-based RDI activities related to green growth, sustainable use of natural resources, sustainable technology and the circular economy.

    Contact person:

    Krista Mäki, Project Manager, Expert in RDI
    krista.maki(at)seamk.fi
    +358408300356

  • Towards sustainable industry by promoting environmental expertise
    • Funding: Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Central Finland,  European Social Fund (ESF)
    • Duration: 1.1.2022-31.8.2023
    • Coordinator: Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland

    The business built around sustainable development is growing rapidly. Various crises and sustainability goals are creating both challenges and opportunities for all companies everywhere. Concerning industrial SME sized companies there is already a rush to identify and respond to the ongoing changes in operating environment to ensure their future competitiveness.

    Benefits of the project

    1. Competitiveness through environmental expertise
    2. New jobs, labour market value and labour
    3. The supply of environmental training in the area expands
    4. The regional cooperation boosts sustainability, vitality and change management capability

    The main goal of the project is to increase the skills of industrial companies in relation to environmental impact management and green business opportunities. Utilizing a company’s environmental expertise in business and turning it into a competitive advantage requires professional management of environmental issues.  This project aims to develop these required skills of various target groups:

    • entrepreneurs, managers and staff of industrial SMEs
    • students and SeAMK staff
    • unemployed

    This project will create practical tools calculating carbon footprint and the economic impact of circular economy business models in SME sized companies. The training program on expertise of environmental management in SMEs are also created and implemented. The material will be collected and shared on the circular economy know-how platform later. It is currently being built in SeAMK’s CircEPOs project. Tools are tested and developed together with representatives of the target group.

    Contact person:

    Heli Hietala, Project Manager, Expert in RDI
    heli.hietala(at)seamk.fi
    +358408302028

     

  • Climate warriors
    • Funding: European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
    • Duration: 1.1.2019-31.12.2022
    • Coordinator: ProAgria South-Ostrobothnia
    • Partners: SeAMK, Natural Resources Institute of Finland (Luke)

    The goals of the Climate warriors project are to find out farm-specific solutions for more efficient carbon sequestration (carbon farming), efficient use and recycling of nutrients, and risk management for extreme weather conditions. The project aims to present the potential of agriculture to act as a solution to mitigate climate change.

    In the project, there are ten pilot farms on the area, from different production systems, who are testing different kinds of carbon farming techniques. These experiences will be actively communicated through social media and other communication channels. The project also organizes field days during the growing season, where the results of the carbon farming are introduced. The results of the project increase also the knowhow of the scientist about different methods of carbon measurements in the field.  The focus is on biomass and soil respiration measurement methods.

    Contact person:

    Dr. Arja Nykänen, Head teacher, plant production
    arja.nykanen(at)seamk.fi
    +358 83 00 371

  • Sustainable driven entrepreneurship
    • Funding: Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership
    • Duration: 1.9.2019–31.8.2022
    • Partners: Sedu (coordinator, FI), Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (FI), Apro Formazione S.c.a.r.l (I), Department D’ensenyament-Generalitat de Catalunya (ES), Berufsbildende Schulen des Landkreises Nienburg/Weser (DE), Kurikan Luko (FI), Hogeschool Gent (BE), Stichting voor Christelijk beroepsonderwijs en volwassen educatie Friesland/Flevoland (NL).

    Entrepreneurship education has been on the agenda of pedagogical development in all levels of education for years. Student companies have been one common form of entrepreneurship education. Nevertheless, it seems that sustainability is not so often included in student companies or other entrepreneurship initiatives applied at educational institutions. It would be important that those who are considering starting a business also understand the importance and potential of sustainability. Sustainability – from cultural, social, ecological and economical points of view – offers an opportunity to equip students with more positive expectations and images for the future. From ecological and economical point of view, resource saving in business is a necessity.

    The core idea of the project matches the international and European need to reverse and lessen the effects of the climate change. The recent strikes with 1.3 million people on climate change is just one evidence that the younger generation is concerned about the future and the sustainability of the mother earth. Therefore, the consortium partners, monitored by external stakeholders, will develop the concept, the content, and pedagogical methods for the Sustainability-driven Entrepreneurship study unit. This will be done by gathering and analysing learning outcomes from local curriculums and developing new ones to match stakeholders’ needs for creating the concept for the study unit. Learning and teaching material will be produced including case examples from local companies highlighting their current sustainability-driven practices in partner countries.

    Sustainability-driven Entrepreneurship -project aims to

    • improve and increase entrepreneurial competence among students, teachers and trainers
    • increase background knowledge on sustainability and sustainability-driven entrepreneurship
    • produce learning and teaching material and related pedagogical methods to support the students when acquiring these skills and competences
    • create and pilot a competition at local and European level, where multi-sectoral student teams solve challenges given by companies.

    The project partnership consists of four vocational schools (VET), two higher education institutions (HEI), one high school, one enterprise and one regional ministry of education in seven countries (FI, IT, DE, NL, BE, UK and ES). Each partner has its own network for monitoring and dissemination purposes of the project. These networks will be involved in arranging local competitions and other project activities. In average, five staff members and 20-30 students from each partner will be involved.

    The key target groups of the project are students, teachers, trainers and local small and medium sized companies. Partners will develop the concept, content and pedagogical methods for the Sustainability-driven Entrepreneurship study unit in close cooperation with local working life representatives. Surveys will be used for situation analysis and evaluating the impact of the training the trainers and the pilot.

    The activities can be grouped in the following thematic areas:

    • situation analysis survey
    • development of learning and teaching material including compilation of best innovative practices in companies in seven countries; innovation with sustainable approach; and service design
    • development of train-the-trainers material and building-up the capacity of trainers
    • pilots including local competitions and European level final competition in implementing the sustainability-driven entrepreneurship study unit
    • quality assurance by the local project group including key stakeholders and representatives of enterprises
    • impact evaluation to verify the impacts of the implemented study unit among the students and teachers
    • dissemination activities including website, social media campaigns, joint articles and publications, conference presentations and the multiplier event
    • project management and coordination including transnational meetings.

    The project will produce International Sustainability-driven entrepreneurship study unit (15 competence points/ECVET points) with a practical plan including learning outcomes as well as a handbook for trainers and the learning material. Local and international competitions will bring the learning close to practice. Students in multi-sectoral and international teams will strengthen the key competences/transversal skills, which should match the requirements of their future employees better.

    The partner organizations will include the study unit in their current/future curricula to sustain the results after the project. National level education authorities will be sensitized on the results in order to present the sustainability-driven entrepreneurship unit as a vital option for educational institutions at all levels.

    Contact person:

    Jussi Kareinen
    jussi.kareinen@seamk.fi
    +358408304193

     

  • Circular Economy Knowledge Platform for South Ostrobothnia – CircEPOs
    • Funding: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
    • Duration: 1.3.2021-31.12.2022
    • Coordinator: Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland

    The main goal of the project is to build a cross-sectoral circular economy knowledge platform in the Southern Ostrobothnia region. The knowledge platform along with other measures of the project (e.g. webinar series, workshops and guides) will promote circular economy expertise of SMEs and other organizations in the region. The information provided in the project will help SMEs become aware of current and future ecological requirements for businesses as well as the remarkable potential of the circular economy in increasing competitiveness of SMEs. In addition, the knowledge platform aims to promote networking and cooperation between different actors that is not only beneficial for cooperating parties but also vital in implementing the principles of circular economy. Increased knowledge on circular economy and dialogue between actors will lead to the development of circular product, service and business innovations, thus contributing to the green transition in South Ostrobothnia.

    Contact person:

    Laura Könönen, Project Manager, Expert in RDI
    laura.kononen@seamk.fi
    +358 40 830 1244