Since the beginning of 2018, the Council of Tampere Region has coordinated the national Future Battery Ecosystem project as part of development activities focusing on the circular economy. By identifying battery-related actors and promoting cooperation between them, we can support the circular economy of batteries in terms of material flows, business capabilities and the operating community – in the Tampere Region and throughout the country.
Why is the battery ecosystem so important?
Solutions utilising various chargeable batteries are becoming increasingly prevalent in society. Strategic guidelines and political decisions also actively steer society towards a demand for battery-operated applications and the use of batteries to reduce the emissions of travel, for example. It is therefore important to secure the availability of batteries, their raw materials and various battery-related services in Finland, without forgetting safe use. Since Finland boasts expertise in many phases of a battery’s life span, we are well positioned to build a Future Battery Ecosystem that adheres to the principles of the circular economy and utilises the material and competence resources related to batteries in an efficient manner.
What have we done?
Before development, it is important to form a situational picture. For this reason, information on Finnish battery expertise and battery-related operators were compiled into the current state analysis and ecosystem overview available on the project websites. The analysis indicates how complex the battery-related network of operators is in Finland and on an international level.
The battery ecosystem of the future can be brought into sharper relief by increasing the visibility of the current operators and their types. You can view the current state analysis and situational picture on the project website at https://akkuekosysteemi.com/.
The recycling of batteries has been highlighted by organising a pop up battery recycling café with parties responsible for implementing producer responsibility and publishing expert write-ups on the battery collection and recycling system, producer responsibility, and material collection and recycling through the project blog.
The pop up battery recycling café set up in the Tampere Central Square on 11–13 September 2018 collected recyclable material from consumers.
The possibilities of piloting smart charging solutions in the Tampere area have been explored with the City of Tampere.
Cooperation and information exchange between battery-related operators are promoted by organising workshops and communicating actively about interesting events, research and cooperation opportunities.
What will we do next?
The aim of the project is to promote new business opportunities on a national and international scale. To that end, the intention is to focus the collaboration around the innovation workshop, for example. The safe use of batteries for the entire duration of their life span has also risen to the fore as an interesting question, which we will strive to unpack in the future workshop held late this year or early next year. The electrification of transport will be taken into account by organising an information event on the charging of electric cars to housing companies, in cooperation with the City of Tampere and the sub-region.
We are also actively considering ways to continue the cooperation between battery ecosystem operators after the end of the project efforts in May 2019.
Johanna Valio, project expert, The Battery Ecosystem of the Future project, Council of Tampere Region