Success and growth by sustainable use of natural resources

The year 2015 was characterised by changes and renewal: the change of director general, the strategy process that engaged our personnel and interest groups extensively, and the preparation of our new operating model and organisation structure. Despite the ongoing changes, we can consider the year a success in terms of reaching the targets of our operations and financial result. We aim to achieve a good overall result in 2016 with our new operating model, strong customer-oriented attitude and by developing our personnel’s competence.

GTK’s total funding in the reporting year was €39 million. GTK’s funding distributed to the state budget and funding from commercial and jointly funded research projects.

In our strategy process we discovered a need to react to the lower state budget by renewing our operating model and, in relation to that, by holding cooperation negotiations that affect the entire personnel. The process resulted in lay-offs and the reduction of ca. 80 permanent employees.

Results through networking

During the reporting year, GTK still remained a preferred partner and GTK participated in a total of 98 (92) jointly funded projects. GTK participated in 36 (37) projects funded by the EU. The subjects of the jointly funded projects vary, and the emphasis is on different themes related to the sustainable use of natural resources and sustainable mining operations.

The main focus of domestic networks and project cooperation is on strengthening the operating preconditions of companies and introducing raw material potential as part of the preparation of regional business policy. Europe’s metal and utility mineral reserve evaluation and modelling, as well as seeking ecologically effective solutions in mineral production and recovery methods are also significant projects.

The largest individual EU projects include the EURARE and FAME projects, which both involve extensive international consortia. In Finland, strong focus areas of jointly funded operations included the development of ore exploration concepts and technologies, sustainable mining and themes related to groundwater and water management.

The strategy process also clarified the significance of university partnerships even more. Development and strengthening of competence clusters was included in the government platform. GTK aims to strengthen its partnerships and role as a network driver in its core areas of expertise.

From a strategic point of view, networks requiring trailblazing are the most important. GTK joined as a core partner in an ambitious EIT Raw Materials consortium that was founded in early 2015. It consists of over 100 actors in the industrial sector, universities and research institutes. At a European level, the promotion of indicative programmes of the EU Raw Materials Initiative and strong participation in Horizon 2020 programmes still remain key areas for network cooperation.

EuroGeoSurveys (EGS) interlinks GTK as part of a partnership network in the European geo sector research and information infrastructure. In the year being reported, a significant decision for drawing up the ERANET application was made. The goal is to build a network, partly funded by the EU, around the EGS core. The network’s purpose is to commence project activities related to mineral, energy and water-related issues, as well as geodata systems.

Information services received praise

Increasing productivity comprehensively is an integral part of developing GTK’s operations. Process development, digitalisation and concentrating in core operations are the most important factors in improving productivity and efficiency. With the new strategy, digitalisation became more important than before and acts as the common theme of the renewal of GTK’s operations.

GTK is making its data content available by creating data products from them and by developing its distribution services. Digitalisation of GTK’s material services progressed and new interface services were published.

The appreciation of GTK’s information services was reflected in a comprehensive evaluation published by Canadian Fraser Institute in early 2015: our ore database has been repeatedly evaluated as having the best quality – 2014 was not an exception. GTK is expected to produce even more advanced digital services and to renew its data production process (more specific target areas, automated data collection).

GTK became even more active in distributing geological data and expertise to support political and public debate. GTK’s expert statements on different issues related to permits and land use, which are often extensive and multi-faceted, represent GTK’s activities that have significant impact on society.

Peer-reviewed publications by type