Silva Bišofa
Environmental Engineer
Year 2

Eco-industrial park

The future holds in cooperation and communication. And for sustainable business
modules eco-industrial parks can be the key. What are they? An eco-industrial park is a
community of businesses located on a common property in which businesses seek to achieve
enhanced environmental, economic and social performance through collaboration in managing
environmental and resource issues. This is known as industrial symbiosis, which is a means by
which companies can gain a competitive advantage through the physical exchange of materials,
energy, water and by-products, thereby fostering inclusive and sustainable development.1
There are many great examples of eco-industrial parks in the world, and during this task I will
help to create a better cooperation between EcoSairila, businesses and educational
organizations, in order for EcoSairila platform to also become one of the best in eco-industrial

The symbiosis of partnership

The partnership between educational organization and businesses, including platforms
like EcoSairila where they create industrial centre and development platform for circular
economy, are important and beneficial for both parties. The academic organization may benefit
from expanding impact of the research base, as well as expanded educational opportunities for
students. However, businesses gain the access to new innovations and research, as well as
skilled workers eager to enhance the business.2 These practices not only can be beneficial to
both parties, but also can lead to knowledge exchange and sharing and creation of long-term
partnerships and opportunities.

1 Eco-industrial parks. United Nations Industrial Development Organization
2 Latham, J. Why is it important that universities and businesses collaborate? University alliance. March
17, 2015. Available:

EcoSairila platform

EcoSairila is the base platform and space for modern wastewater plant, biogas plant
and modern testbeds. These important areas are critical to realising circular economy to full
potential, it starts today and continues for our future. Educational organisations and companies
are the other two factors that need to interwind to create a cohesive community on its own. The
idea is quite simple, when EcoSairila platform brings students and businesses together, they
have to find common ground, similar interests or perspective knowledge for the pursuit of
circular economy. Onwards, with the help from the platform 2 things may happen: 1.
Businesses create connections with student/students and hire them to enhance their goal to
move forward circular economy. 2. Students themselves with the support from platform create
their own business.

Figure 1. EcoSairila development plan. Available:

Future of collaboration

To enhance the overall connections and future productivity towards green and blue
economy from the 3 parties, there has to be a better developed system on how students can
access the information about businesses in local areas. But to improve such platform businesses
themselves have to become open minded to the idea of change for the better future and opening
doors for students to fulfil the ideas. What goes to EcoSairila, there goal is admirable, and they
follow the trend of tomorrow and so far, they are already collaborating with laboratories from
LUT-university Department of Green Chemistry, XAMK Mikpolis-laboratory and XAMK
laboratory of environmental technology.3 The next step is to better communication and appeal
for businesses to be interested to move to their industrial space and start the work there.

3 EcoSairila. Miksei Mikkeli. Available:

Benefits of collaboration

When understanding that the base for any successful cooperation is communication
the next step is to establish guidelines on what is the goal, the benefits and the influence of
such cooperation. First of all, eco-industrial parks are the future of growing your business,
especially, if you are studying or working in environmental engineer sector. Simply, because
in one place you create, treat, recover and reassemble your products. Educational organisations
by now already understand the better the connection they will create with the local businesses
the better the community will grow. It is as simple as that, if you help each other by giving
ideas, research and materials, such as laboratory research, the better you can improve the
technologies used and sell them to others. In the process of when an educational organisation
considers its collaboration with EcoSairila it allows its professors, students and other interested
personal to develop their own research, ideas and work, get grants and successfully start their
own businesses. With the connections students are also able to establish connections with
businesses located in eco-industrial area or soon to move there. There are possibilities to do
field trips, research, internships and other work to enhance the knowledge on circular economy
from first-hand experience. And lastly, wen community works together, it can build each other
up for success.

  • Environmental benefits – Eco-industrial parks operate according to the concept of
    industrial symbiosis, which allows the parks to generate environmental benefits on a
    large scale. These parks have been shown to reduce CO2 emissions, water wastage,
    water consumption, the generation of hazardous waste and much more. They also
    encourage green spaces around and within the park, and the recycling of waste
    materials. [1.]
  • Economic benefits – Eco-industrial parks encourage both direct and indirect
    employment opportunities. The sharing of resources leads to significant savings for the
    parks’ partners, allowing them competitive advantages in the wider economy. Partners
    may also receive benefits for participating in such parks, such as higher foreigninvestment and access to investment capital. Moreover, there are several indirect
    economic benefits, such as the upgrading of skills through collaboration, technology
    transfer and a better brand image. [1.]
  • Social benefits – While eco-industrial parks are primarily created for economic and
    environmental reasons, there are also social benefits. These benefits – by-products of
    the social infrastructure created – can be very important in emerging economies. They
    include the creation of facilities such as schools, clinics, pharmacies and residential
    units. Such parks can also provide services such as vocational training and awareness
    outreach. [1.]
  • You can get access to amazing facilities and equipment. Any business looking for new
    equipment to support research and development, product testing or quality control
    would do well to start with their local university. Many universities now have high-end
    equipment that businesses can use, for a modest fee or sometimes even free of
    charge. [2.]
  • If you are looking to innovate – perhaps to develop a new product or process – you
    may well need a new perspective to give you fresh ideas. Universities have a wealth of
    knowledge and talent, from world class academic researchers to students. Many
    academics need to work with industry partners to support their research, so working
    together can often be a win-win for both parties. These partnerships often deliver truly
    ground-breaking results.
  • Research partnerships are formed when a university and business agree to collaborate
    on a particular research project. These can be in the form of contracts or grants to
    conduct research. [2.]
  • Training partnerships form when a business has a specific need for employees and an
    ample number of positions available for trained individuals. Universities can enter into
    these types of partnerships with the promise that graduates will have employment at the
    end of their academic career. [2.]


With these resources and benefits from all 3 parties it is easy to start the process and
receive the necessary support to continue. All that is necessary is to start and leave the fear of
failure behind. There will be people supporting and guiding you to success all through the
process. Most importantly, if something fails or does not work out it will be a great learning
opportunity for the future.


1. Brevig, A. Eco-industrial Parks: Environmental Utopia or Blueprint for Sustainable
Growth? Procurement cube. Available:
2. Corporate, A. Running a business? Five reasons why you need to get to you’re your
local university. University of Plymouth. Available: need-to-get-to-know-your-local-university/