Research Professors Tommi Kauppila (mines and industrial environments) Vesa Nykänen (geoinformatics), Daniele Pedretti (hydrogeology), Raimo Lahtinen (sustainable mineral economy) and Alan Butcher (geomaterials and applied mineralogy) lead the development of scientific expertise in the spearhead areas at the Geological Survey of Finland.

Future success requires top expertise, focusing and partnerships

According to strategy, the GTK has defined areas in applied geosciences in which it particularly aims to improve scientific expertise. This will help us to develop successful innovations, strong partnerships and quality expertise services.

GTK’s focus areas in the development of top scientific expertise are geoinformatics, mine and industrial environments, hydrogeology, sustainable mineral economy, and geomaterials and applied mineralogy. In addition to geoenergy (led by Chief Expert Teppo Arola), disposal site research (led by Chief Expert Heini Reijonen) and geoscientific city modelling, GTK’s aim is to reach a high level of expertise and competitive service skills that will make it stand out.

– The development of expertise requires determined long-term activities. Often, results are only visible after a few years. To ensure development, we have prepared roadmaps for the development of expertise in different areas. The timespan of these roadmaps extends to 2025. They serve to analyse the current situation, define the goals, and specify the areas of expertise and infrastructure that we especially want to turn into GTK’s strengths, says Pekka Nurmi, Director, Science and Innovations.

According to Nurmi, deselection is equally important, i.e. deciding on those areas where GTK should rely on the expertise of its partners. Building strong partnerships in Finland and globally is a key factor in the development of expertise and capacity.

– We cannot succeed alone when facing fierce competition in an internationalising world. Our aim is to build strong competence centres and turn GTK into a key partner in innovation ecosystems. Examples include the EIT RawMaterials innovation community, in which GTK has already gained a firm foothold, and the reinforcement of GTK’s cooperation with universities nationally using bilateral measures.

To promote its cooperation with universities, GTK has already launched jointly funded projects with the Universities of Turku and Helsinki, with the aim of intensifying the Master’s level education of geologists in areas important to GTK. Next year, we will launch a development plan focused on geophysics in close cooperation with universities.

GTK is planning to strengthen cooperation with the Oulu Mining School throughout the mineral economy chain. With Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, GTK is establishing an internationally significant competence centre with cutting-edge laboratories for inorganic material research at the Otaniemi campus in Espoo.