Published: November 18, 2021

The winning team of the Tapojärvi Innovation Challenge 2021 consisted of Jaakko Kaksonen, Mirja Tuuri, Juho Röytiö and Henna Pernu, who was absent from the event.

Mirja Tuuri, a member of the winning team of the Tapojärvi Innovation Challenge 2021, says that the extractive sector was a very distant concept to her before the competition.

– This is also partly due to me being from an area where there is no extractive industry, so I’ve never really thought of the extractive sector. After the competition I can honestly say that I have a newfound interest in the mining industry, Tuuri thinks.

– The competition was very interesting and it was nice to work on a school project that is based on a practical problem that could actually be solved. The final arranged by Tapojärvi was a truly marvelous experience and it showed what working life could look like at its best.

Jaakko Kaksonen also says that he was not familiar with the mining industry, except for investing in the shares of companies within the industry. He has acknowledged the business potential of the mining industry, especially with the rising use of battery chemicals.

Participating in the competition and getting to know the business Tapojärvi engages in has increased his interest towards the industry.

– I noticed that it is not just mining. I am especially interested in circular economy and sustainable development within this industry. It would be very interesting to develop mining technology and especially to be involved in turning “waste” into profitable business.

The talent of the future is interested in circular economy

Juho Röytiö is somewhat familiar with the mining industry and the mineral cluster due to various summer jobs.

He worked for two summers at the Outokumpu steel factory in the production of ferrochrome where he got to know these topics.

– Through summer jobs I’ve developed an interest in the industry, especially from the perspective of circular economy, says Röytiö.

According to Röytiö and other students, the Innovation Challenge is a very positive addition to the Product development course. He says that cooperating with Tapojärvi (and UPM) in the form of a competition brought him valuable real life experience with product development as part of an academic course. At the same time, it increased the knowledge of the industry among the students.

– This competition was a really interesting opportunity to see and look at the mining industry and circular economy from a perspective that I would have otherwise never come across, Röytiö says.

Röytiö thinks that arranging the competition is strong evidence of the fact that Tapojärvi is interested in the talent of the future and new ideas, even from students that have no previous experience or know-how in the mining industry or circular economy.

– It shows that the company is a forerunner and oriented towards the future, Röytiö says.

He believes that cooperation and competition will also be useful in the future – through experience, if nothing else.

– Hopefully this won’t be it and it’s just the beginning of cooperative efforts with Tapojärvi.