International bioeconomy and circular economy event to be held in Turku in May

The first SmartCHEM Summit, an international event focused on bioeconomy and circular economy, will be held in Turku, Finland in May 2018. The visiting lecturers of the summit include speakers from forerunner and startup companies of the bioeconomy and circular economy industry, as well as international guests. The summit is a part of the largest annual European event of the environment sector, EU Green Week, where the theme is ”Green Cities for Greener Future”.

This May, SmartCHEM summit 2018 presents the newest bio-based innovations and shows how to create new business out of side streams. The speakers include, among others, the Nordic director of BASF, Tor Stendahl, as well as the research and technology director of Neste, Petri Lehmus, who tells the audience about the cooperation between IKEA and Neste. Welmu International, the developer of biodegradable cling film, shares the company’s story of growth from a university innovation to a commercial product. After the seminar section, we will have a mini Hackathon where guests can help companies solve the challenges of bio-based production.

Reeta Huhtinen, Annika Myrsky and Linda Fröberg-Niemi are making SmartCHEM into a new top-class international event for bio-economy and circular economy.

On both a national and European scale, bioeconomy and circular economy are expected to yield economic growth. Sources of growth have been partly identified. The companies’ challenges include finding their place in the new value networks and bringing products to the market.

”Bioeconomy is much more than forestry, and circular economy comprises a great deal more than recycling. In both of these economic models, the idea is to increase the processing value of products and create added immaterial value for bio-based raw materials and materials classified as waste,” says Linda Fröberg-Niemi, Business Development Manager from Turku Science Park, the company behind the SmartCHEM summit.

Promising new products include, for example, various wood-based bio-composites and products based on nano-cellulose and lignin. With the help of chemistry, it is possible to create a great deal of added value for products. The realisation of bioeconomy and circular economy requires cooperation between the different business sectors.

”The strengths of Finland and Turku include not only wood and natural material chemistry, but also broader expertise in chemistry and material sciences. This is evident in the large number of startups and growth companies creating new solutions for bioeconomy and circular economy,” says Fröberg-Niemi.

The SmartCHEM Summit will be held in Turku, at the Joki Visitor and Innovation Centre on 22 May 2018. The event brings together major international companies, startups and universities and makes them a part of a more extensive, multi-sector model of an economic network. The summit is also a free-of-charge side event to the SHIFT Business Festival.

More information:

Linda Fröberg-Niemi, Business Development Manager, Turku Science Park Oy / Smart Chemistry Park. Tel. +358 (0) 50 587 3441, e-mail:

Annika Myrsky, Advisor, Turku Science Park Oy / Smart Chemistry Park.

Tel. +358 (0) 50 491 0893, e-mail: