Circular Materials and Solutions for Construction Clusters starts – Turku Science Park coordinates, Nordkalk as frontrunner company

  • The new cluster will promote the transition of the construction industry towards an innovative circular economy
  • Cooperation is built between companies, universities, educational institutions and public actors
  • Nordkalk will join as a frontrunner, emphasizing circular economy solutions in its updated strategy

The newly established Circular Materials and Solutions for Construction Cluster (3C), which focuses on the circular economy of construction and is coordinated by Turku Science Park Ltd., brings together parties operating at different stages of the construction value chain. The cluster strives to find business models and operating methods that can accelerate the transition of the construction industry towards a circular economy and build strong innovation activities and co-operation in the Turku region that utilizes the expertise of various parties. Turku Science Park Ltd. has paved the way for the formation of a competency center by organizing workshops on the subject since last summer. These meetings have been attended by more than a dozen regional and national companies.

– The circular economy of construction offers a wide range of perspectives for companies, such as reducing CO2 emissions, saving natural resources, reusing materials and developing new business models. The aim of the competency center is to support companies in the region to move towards sustainable business in accordance with the circular economy, says Olof Malmström, Network Manager at Turku Science Park Ltd.

 Nordkalk as a front-runner company for the 3C cluster

The Turku region, in particular Parainen, has a strong construction industry concentration which has been built around the Nordkalk limestone quarry during the last hundred years or so. Limestone is a key raw material for the construction industry and it is used in cement and other building materials, soil stabilisation and road construction.

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Photo: Adobe Stock.

– Today, up to half of the earth’s virgin raw materials are used for the built environment and a third of all waste is generated by construction. In other words, there are still plenty of opportunities for recycling. The universities in our region have expertise in science and technology, which is central to the development of new recycling solutions, and the universities can support the companies in this process. Again, the value chains between companies must be designed so that valuable raw materials are not wasted at any stage and the reuse of materials must be taken into account already at the design stage. Nordkalk’s involvement as a frontrunner leading the charge creates a good basis for this cooperation, says Senior Advisor Reeta Huhtinen from Turku Science Park Ltd.

– Nordkalk’s new strategy places even stronger emphasis on circular economy solutions, says Mathias Snåre, Director of Research and Development at Nordkalk.

– Our goal is to be a leading player in our industry, focusing on sustainable limestone-based solutions. For us, sustainability means, among other things, that we will increase our investment in circular products and try to make use of all the materials we extract.

Due to the current exceptional situation, the operations of the competency center will be launched virtually in the first phase, but in the future it will be possible to utilize, among other things, hackathon-type innovation events and gatherings of various actors around the topic.