Value Mine crossborder event was organized 16th June 2022 as a hybrid side event of Euromine Expo in Skellefteå, Sweden. The event attracted participants from industry, SMEs, and other actors to hear and discuss the mining industry´s digital future. This post focuses on the speech of the inspirational keynote speaker Jyri Arponen from Sitra.
Jyri Arponen – Project Director, Sitra
Jyri is a passionate sustainable business professional with strong experience in business development, market communication and financing. Recent years he has been working in Sitra running programs to turn the inefficiencies of industry in linear value chains into business value and to improve performance of the companies with circular business models.
Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, is an independent public foundation which operates directly under the supervision of the Finnish Parliament. Sitra functions both as a think tank and as an investment company investing in Finland and globally.
Currently Jyri is a director in The Competitiveness through Data project that addresses the challenges of sharing and using data in innovation ecosystems.
In his inspirational speech, Jyri talked about how data might be your most valuable asset if you can use it to get the competitive edge.
Sustainability and social license
Jyri and his team are working with Finnish innovation ecosystem and they are following closely what’s taking place in the mining industry and mining companies as well as in other industries also.
Jyri pinpointed two big issues mining industry is facing: sustainability and social license to operate, Companies have to be able to show and verify that they are not overconsuming the natural resources or threatening biodiversity and that they are as sustainable as possible.
Digitalisation and data are key enablers of the green transition. Digitalisation produces data which is more and more important material for economic growth and new circular economy solutions. Most Circular Economy solutions are enabled or driven by data and digital platforms.
Jyri emphasized that sustainability is not just that company improves it’s processes, but also how they verify it and how does it look to the customer, personnel, potential new employees and investors. The goal is to be able to trace the whole value chain (as sustainable as possible) and for that premium price can be charged.
Currently an another interesting topic to think about is how to digitalize the environmental assessment process and combine all the stakefolders in the same trust-based platform.
One crucial challenge the companies are facing is the need of new employees to be able to grow. Where can they find the suitable people to the company? Finding and attracting the right people is more and more important. The key to attracting new people is to focus on the company brand enhancement which is also important when it comes to social license to operate. How does sustainability show in the company’s brand to the potential new emploeyee?
Data as competitive edge
Jyri talked about how actually nowadays companies get the competitive edge out of their digital systems as data. How they analyze, use and share the data in a trusted way with their clients and partners makes the difference to other companies.
-It’s about how you create new services and combine that to what ever is what is the origin of the company, and how you make the shift, says Jyri.
He thinks this is a challenge for many companies.
-Tech is nothing without the brains. How you handle the outcome what technology is giving you, that’s important. It’s usually in form of data.
Data is a huge intangible asset with huge potential, but organizations can easily miss out the potential of their data. To utilize the value of their data, companies must first know their data is being collected, managed, used and monetized. In order to do that you have to have data strategy.
Jyri raised up some questions companies have about data:
Do we have rules to use data? What is our data strategy? How can we efficiently share data between partners and companies? How to collect, analyse and leverage data? Who has the ownership of the data? How to ensure data security and quality?
To answer these questions , data strategy and management is needed. Data is everywhere – you have to have systems and strategy to utilize it.
Fair data economy
Jyri is concerned about a big struggle of data in the world.
– We have these giants in US and China, but Europe is trying to challenge that with legislation. We try to keep the open platform for new players that are fair and open and operate in very trusted way.
Sitra is taking part in building human-driven, fair data economy based on European values as an alternative to a state-driven or data monopoly-driven data economy.
They promote changes in economic structures, such as regulation and rules, and try to increase individuals’ opportunities to influence the use of data.
These are the three principles of fair data economy:
- Data sovereignity - Ability to control who uses and reuses their personal and business data, where and under what conditions.
- Interoperability – Ability of different systems to connect and communicate in a standardised manner.
- Trust – Trust between the public, government and private sector is prerequisite for extracting, sharing, refining and re-using data.
Jyri noted that creating fair data economy is a huge but important challenge for Europe. We have to rise and show that we can create a new market that is open and trusted, sharing, utilizing the data in a way that is shaping our industries and economies in the future.
Challenges in sharing and using data in ecosystems
-Companies have to have the motivation to share the data. Sharing data is not self-evident, says Jyri.
He continues: -First the company has to have the need to share the data and then they start to figure out how to share to data. Usually the need is coming from usual things, like the need to generate new revenue, increase sales, expand product portfolio, save costs, be more resource wise, use less energy, save in labour cost, reduce risks etc.
There is still a lot work to be done because companies have currently many challenges concerning data sharing. Companies do not know what business opportunities and benefits they could get by data sharing and sharing data in a partner network or value chain is difficult. They may not even have the visibility to their existing data. There are also no common rules for sharing data and legislation concerning data sharing is unclear.
Jyri’s and his team’s work continues. We thank Jyri for his presentation and insights and hopefully we get to enjoy his talks again in the future!
Jyri’s reading recommendation:
Main contact and inquiries:
Liisa Koivisto, DigiProcess project, Kemin Digipolis Oy, +358 40 1980 567, email@example.com