Resource efficient industry paves the way to progress
Resource efficiency will be the corner stone of competitiveness in all
industries. When we think of the near future, most everyone acknowledges what
awaits around the corner - materials and energy shall be saved, recycled and
reused to a much greater extent than they are today. We are looking forward to
cost efficiency, new competitive edge and cleaner production.
Views and foresights of resource efficient industry
Resource-efficiency is a paradigm change ongoing in the material and energy
basis of sustainable society and economic growth. Global shortages in critical
materials have strategic and economic implications. Parallel approaches are
requested towards substitute solutions and eco-efficient economy: In the short
term we need to improve materials efficiency and in the medium term to adopt
green growth business models.
The ongoing energy shift is also all-encompassing and affects every line of
business. Both research and business strive for eco-innovations to deal with
the paradigm change and to achieve higher raw material yield, reduced energy
usage, reduced CO2 emission, higher product quality, improved safety and
increased plant security.
Novel innovation patterns are challenging traditional research and development
models. The end users are increasingly part of the design process. The
manufacturing industry has a chief role in resource efficiency both as a user
of resources and as a provider of solutions.
Resource efficiency and VTT
As a rule, the eco-innovations driving resource-efficiency are closely
connected both to public decision making regarding regulation, and strategic
decision making on a company level. A lean and agile innovation policy system
is a prerequisite to future success.
In order to harness the full potential of cost savings and new business
creation that resource-efficiency holds, we must ensure that innovations are
rapidly brought to the market.
VTT research covers the full scope of resource efficiency from the development
of new business models and value chains to the simulation based production,
product and material design.
Market oriented, flexible and resilient value chains and networks are
developed via open engineering and operation platforms and can be monitored by
novel indicators on energy use and eco-efficiency. Virtual methods and tools
are developed for open environment aware engineering systems. Control and
automation at all levels of value chains is an obvious way to find solutions
for process and manufacturing industry aspiring to achieve resource efficiency.