Topinpuisto is a sharing platform for the companies in so-called industrial ecology setting, where they share ideas, do projects and development together.
Industrial symbiosis (industrial ecology) has sought to combine factors, as an idea in order to make more efficient use of resources and energy. Business co-operation has started around waste centers or old landfills elsewhere in Finland; the managers and employees of waste facilities have exchanged ideas in the field. The platform is for companies to experiment, pilot, exchange know-how, develop together and do projects.
The idea was to take the action to wider shoulders, but so far it is driven by Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto (LSJH). The core is the companies that operate in the area. More broadly it is a co-operation network with partner companies, universities in the region (e.g. Turku UAS) and the City of Turku Development Action. The co-operation will lead to the emergence of new ideas and new business and operational development. This benefits those companies within the network and the development of the entire circular economy in the region. LSJH maintains communication channels and regular meeting practices, such as Topinpuisto days, development forum meetings and projects joint activities.
Target groups are the companies which form Topinpuisto, with emphasis on new business ideas in old companies or start-ups. Other target groups include members of the network; schools, development actors and municipalities. Other important stakeholders are public authorities (funding- & municipal decision makers) and the media.
The development of Topinpuisto has been funded by ERDF, approx. 500 000€ (incl. several different projects aiming to develop joint model).
3 project leaders involved part-time. 3-30 people who participated Topinpuisto network meetings. The network uses their own staff resources in cooperation.
Evidence of success
Topinpuisto aims to increase circular economy and innovation. The public funding has helped to create a network of about 17 organisations and companies work together for common goals. For companies, brand benefit, the exchange of know-how and information in terms of quality, and marketing as feedback are considered beneficial. There has been small savings in materials, etc. in individual demo sites.
Creating trust and motivation for the sharing platforms’ network; hard work and close communication helps. Finding external financing; there is money moderately available for research, development and study.
Potential for learning or transfer
The courage to be open helps moving forward. Excessive trade secrets dim on the sharing platform. Involvement, all planning and decision-making must be implemented in the network of the sharing platform so that everyone can influence progress.
Topinpuisto had no operator, which can be interpreted as a plus or a minus; there was no legitimacy brought by the operator. The responsibility of traction has remained within one company, which means that dissemination and involvement has not been the easiest. It would be more useful to spread power more widely. On the other hand, central management is also good; decisions are made quicker in various matters. This may reduce network engagement.
It is worth putting even more effort on engaging corporate management so that management is involved at a strategic level, so that their strategy also includes the resources of the network, and that cooperation is as effective as possible.