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Kajaani University of Applied Sciences RDI services support the operational requirements and increase expertise and wellbeing in companies and organisations in the area and their determination to continue and undertake new ventures. RDI services are delivered through projects implemented in cooperation with companies, municipalities, research institutes and other organisations, locally and internationally. Today, many of our projects are rooted in circular economy and carbon neutrality, amongst other venues, for example AI, IoT, and technology development.

The projects are implemented with external funding of which EU financing forms a significant proportion. In addition, projects are carried out using national funding (ministries, Tekes, trust funds). Kajaani University of Applied Sciences is also actively involved in expertise hub programmes and in developing business operational environments.

Kajaani University of Applied Sciences is a reliable and specialist project partner with expertise and experience in joint project applications, management, reporting and financial control. Therefore, in joint cooperation projects we are pleased to take on the role of main partner in implementation and to ensure they are carried out to the benefit of all parties.
The Circular Economy Projects at KAMK UAS

As mentioned, KAMK UAS leads and takes part in multiple circular economy and carbon neutrality projects locally and internationally. We are extremely interested in both venues, and consider them one of the most important areas to work on today. Our highly trained and experienced RDI team tackles problems rooted in our environment's wellbeing on a daily basis.

Below you can familiarize yourself with our current projects.

Water in Circularity & Sustainability

KAMK UAS leads and takes part in multiple projects circulating around managing the runoff waters. Due to the climate change, we are facing heavier precipitation all around the world, and to tackle this problem we must start thinking of solutions from ground up, quite literally too. Heavier precipication affects everything from the soil to how we should build our environment - even when it's not raining.

Below are listed all KAMK UAS' runoff water centric projects:


The project PeatStop brings possibilities for renewing runoff water management solutions in Karelia CBC programme area. During the project, the environmental loads caused by runoff water are monitored and physical filtering installations will be implemented respectively in the city of Kajaani. More specifically, PeatStop aims at the development of transboundary solutions to improve the condition of urban water bodies through the introduction of effective monitoring and the use of new environmentally safe runoff water filtering solutions. Project participants have strong background expertise for water purification solutions.

Watec Oy asentamassa FILTRO-hulevesisuodattimia Kajaanin keskuskentän hulevesikaivoihin

Image: Watec's JP Saarelainen (left) installing FILTRO stormwater filters to the stormwater drains around Kajaani's keskuskenttä in September 2022. Photo: Ella Lukkari, KAMK.

PeatStop is funded by Karelia CBC, and nowadays it's a joint project between KAMK UAS, and City of Kajaani. Previous to March 2022, PeatStop was a cross-border project between Russian Karelia and Kainuu region, but the Russian war in Ukraine ended all organizational cooperation.

Read more on PeatStop at the Karelia CBC website


The REMMI project of the University of Oulu's Kajaani Measurement Technology Unit (MITY) and Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK UAS) is developing a new, faster method and field-ready equipment for measuring microplastics in water. With the equipment, it is possible to monitor the microplastic content of the waters in real time.

In the project, Kajaani MITY develops measurement technology based on optics and performs field testing. Kajaani University of Applied Sciences' part in the project is to find out the most common microplastic sources and transport routes in the water systems of the Kainuu area, and to test new filter materials for removing microplastics. The project's field tests are carried out at water treatment plants.

In connection with the project, the commercialization of the equipment is also being prepared, as there is a demand for the new technology in companies and industry.

REMMI is a joint project between KAMK UAS and University of Oulu, and it is funded by Northern Ostrobothnia ELY Center, ERDF, Valmet Automation, Kaiku Environment and Kainuu Waste Management Joint Authority Ekokymppi.

AWE - Arctic Water Excellence

Water expertise has been identified as one of the common strengths of Eastern and Northern Finland. The AWE - Arctic Water Excellence project aims to contribute to strengthening the coordinated regional specialization implemented in the water sector and profiled cooperation in the IP area. The project implements the choices of the common smart specialization strategy of Eastern and Northern Finland (clean technologies and low-carbon solutions, ICT and digitization, innovative technologies and production processes), where it has been identified to have versatile competence in the IP area. The choices of the joint strategy create the basis for a new cross-regional cooperation, which the AWE project concretice.

The goal of the AWE project is to contribute to the development of new technologies and their piloting and implementation, especially in water-intensive industry and the water works in cooperation with research institutes, SMEs and industry.

The project focuses on solving generic, water-related challenges identified from the business world by means of co-development, applying new and/or alternative technologies in practice. The targets of the project's development are e.g. the utilization of digitalization for the development of environmental monitoring and water balance management of large industrial areas, such as mining areas, and the development of advanced recovery processes and separation technologies as part of water purification, e.g. in order to utilize the metals and nutrients contained in wastewater as raw materials. These development measures also contribute to the development of the circular economy in the form of applications based on water expertise.

AWE is funded by Pohjois-Savon liitto, and is definitely a joint effort; the stakeholders consist of Savonia UAS, Geological Survey of Finland GTK, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk), LUT University (Lappeenranta–Lahti University of Technology LUT), Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK UAS), University of Oulu, and VTT.

CEMIS - UURA - New and digital solutions for solving the challenges of Kainuu region bioeconomy, circular economy and measurement technology

The UURA project is part of the CEMIS development program 2022–2024. It focuses on solving the challenges identified in the regional business life. By means of joint development, it applies new and/or alternative technologies in practice.

In Kainuu, the project's development targets are e.g. forest bioeconomy, circular economy and industry. The key focus areas of the project are the green transition and digitalization, and thus the project responds to the global, national, and regional need for measures to curb climate change. Kainuu's export sector relies on the forest industry, mining industry, and measurement technology know-how. Kainuu's smart specialization strategy takes these priorities into account. The main needs and continuous challenges of the regional business life are maintaining and improving cost efficiency, developing energy efficiency, reducing the amount of harmful process chemicals, and improving the quality and added value of end products. In this activity, knowledge of the processes and timely adjustment are essential. Therefore, the more up-to-date and accurate process information and measurement data is available, the better the optimization of energy-intensive processes will succeed. The subject and tools of development are principles, methods, processes, equipment, and digitalization.

During the project, suitable ecosystems are assembled around new technologies, solutions, or methods identified as the most promising for their future development and commercialization. A strong part of the project entity is also promoting the internationalization of Kainuu's business life and research institute sector.

The UURA Project is a joint project between KAMK UAS, University of Oulu, and VTT. It's funded by the Regional Council of Kainuu with ERDF funds.

HUDA - Data-based management for runoff water and waste flows in Kainuu

The HUDA project develops technology solutions and method know-how for the sustainable management of waste logistics and runoff water flow. Both development sites contribute to the sustainable development of Kainuu's most important industries and the transition to a circular economy in accordance with Kainuu's smart specialization strategy. They also contribute to the sustainable development of built urban and municipal infrastructure.

The project develops a new type of data-based waste flow management as follows:

According to research, 90% of waste containers are emptied at a non-optimal time. This means that unnecessary fuel consumption and CO2 emissions caused by logistics are significant. The project identifies and evaluates the possibilities of improving the efficiency of waste management and the transportation of waste materials, as well as the possibility of reforming the operating methods of the industry. The project implements pilot installations for remote monitoring of waste infrastructure and to support intelligent logistics planning. The indirect goal of the project is to digitize the main waste infrastructure of the entire Kainuu area.

The project develops the management of runoff water flow and the minimization of related risks as follows:

Heavy rains and floods increase the risks of both damage to built infrastructure and environmental loads in water bodies. On the other hand, possible dry spells becoming more common increase erosion susceptibility, leading to more significant damage in subsequent rain and flood events after the dry period.

In terms of qualitative load, for example, microplastics and the chemical components they carry are load factors that cannot be controlled in the current situation. Runoff water is the most significant transport route for microplastics. It is assumed that the management of microplastics will be included in EU-level environmental regulations in near future. For example, tire wear from vehicle traffic is a significant source of microplastics. It is therefore essential to understand the migration of microplastics on a systemic level and find solutions for their management.

The project produces estimates of risk targets based on different data sources, risk management methods, and better forecasting and planning material to minimize risks.

The basis of the project is the know-how of intelligent measurement solutions and data management, which is applied to the new target area in a new way. The project aims to reduce the ecological footprint of industrial processes (intelligent waste logistics), minimize energy consumption (smart waste logistics), improve the quality and traceability of measurement data (runoff water management), and reduce water and air emissions (runoff water management).

The HUDA project is a joint project of KAMK UAS and University of Oulu, and it's funded by Kainuun Liitto with ERDF funds.

The Clean Gold Mining Water - Development of mechanized gold mining water use

The project focused on reducing emissions from gold mining.

The goal of the project was to reduce the gold mining water's emissions by 75 % from the current level. In mechanized gold mining, water emissions have already been reduced by about 90 % from the starting level of the 1990s. It has been possible to reduce the emissions of the spade excavator somewhat with advice, but there are no monitoring figures for this. The main point of the project was to develop and test methods that can reduce the amount of water cloudiness in exceptional situations, such as at the start of a construction site, during times of flooding, and during riverbed shifting.

The project was funded by the Regional Council of Lapland with ERDF funds.


Iso-Ruuhijärvi is a high-service outdoor recreational fishing area. With the funding of the KIRKU project, measures are taken to improve the ecological condition of the lake. The lake is eutrophic and acidified, e.g. due to the nutrient loads caused by the drained marshes. During the 2022 and 2023 summer seasons, vegetation will be cleaned, and exploratory fishery and management fishing will be carried out. The nutrient load caused by streams and ditches flowing into the lake is monitored and renovation works are carried out to reduce runoff.

In the project, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences carries out field experiments related to the transport of nutrients and solid matter. Along with this, the people moving in the area are offered the opportunity for interactive environmental monitoring. During the project, those who are interested in the matter will be able to test use a mobile application that can be used to assess the state of the water body. The purpose is to develop tools for collecting background information that gives direction in relation to various phenomena affecting water bodies and the environment. In the future, environmental information like this can help to gain a better understanding of possible problems and help target future measures.

KIRKU is a joint project between KAMK UAS and the City of Kajaani, and it is funded by the Ministry of Environment through Kainuu ELY Center, the City of Kajaani and KAMK UAS.

Built Environment & Carbon Neutrality

KAMK UAS acts actively in projects related to the built environment. We have developed energy solutions for the built environment in Kainuu, a good example being Sammonkaari building complex in Kajaani. Recently, our team has worked tirelessly on low-carbon district heat production, and at the moment is working to establish circular economy principles in recycling demolition materials. We are also releasing online courses for SMEs to learn about climate change and how their choices in business affect the environment and climate.

RAVE - Solutions for the Low-Carbon Construction

The project focuses to make a shift towards the low-carbon and resource efficient society. It is done by increasing the renewable and innovative energy production and the use of energy storages in the construction. Project is implemented by Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK UAS) and it will increase the knowledge level of local players in low-carbon construction and new energy innovations. Project will also map the possibilities for the renewable energy solutions that could be implemented during the construction phase.

Sammonkaari building in Kajaani

Image: The first building of the Sammonkaari block in Kajaani, built in cooperation with RAVE project. Photo: Jenni Kuronen, KAMK.

In addition to the planning of the energy solutions, the project focuses on the communication & dissemination activities. The knowledge level of the local players is increased related renewable energy production possibilities, energy storage solutions and low-carbon building. RAVE-project will organize seminars, produce expert articles, organize benchmark visits, integrate knowledge to the KAMK UAS studies and make the information available in the internet.

The project is funded by the Northern-Ostrobothnia ELY-Centre, with ERDF funds.

Solutions for the Low-Carbon Heat Production

Solutions for the Low-Carbon Heat Production project managed by Kajaani University of Applied Sciences focused on reducing emissions from district heat production and accelerated the introduction of new carbon-neutral solutions.

The goal of the project was to promote the transition of the energy sector towards a low-carbon world, to increase the region's know-how related to the subject area, and also to create a basis for new business opportunities. The project created roadmaps for CO2-neutral district heat production in both Kajaani and Suomussalmi. In addition, the project carried out a technology survey of a possible small-scale biorefinery in Suomussalmi. The possibilities of artificial intelligence to reduce district heat emissions were also explored.

The project was a joint effort between KAMK UAS, Loiste, and the Municipality of Suomussalmi. The project was funded by the Regional Council of Kainuu with ERDF funds.

PUMA - Demolition Waste to Reusable Material

The project goal is to remarkably increase the reuse and recycling of demolition waste. Pilot sites are buildings and different excavation sites located in the City of Kajaani and the Municipality of Sotkamo, and are also owned by them. If the project is a success, it will result in a remarkably smaller carbon footprint of demolition work.

The final product of the project will be a process model applicable to different demolition cases. Also, the project will produce a guide – the materials of it based on research done during the project, already available information, legislation, and reports. This guide will be available to government and municipality officials and different stakeholders. The base material will be available for Kajaani University of Applied Sciences education teams and students.

The project is managed by KAMK University of Applied Sciences with City of Kajaani and the Municipality of Sotkamo. Project works closely with construction companies so we can make sure the products of this project are available for the right focus groups. In the project, we will be working closely with local waste management and recycling companies. PUMA is funded by the Regional Council of Kainuu, with ERDF funds.

The Solutions for Climate Change

KAMK UAS has produced two online study courses: Climate Actions in Technology, and Climate Actions in Business. Increasing the knowledge base and know-how related to climate change is essential in order to find, and especially to implement various climate change mitigation solutions. The field of technology plays an important role, but other business development is also important from the perspective of climate change mitigation. A business perspective and the national economy are present in all industries, so competence is needed, for example, to understand the principles of emissions trading, sustainable public procurement or responsible business operations. Actions to curb climate change are also often important for companies in terms of marketing.

The Solutions for Climate Change is funded by Northern Ostrobothnia ELY Center with ESF funds.


The project focuses on better management, logistics and recycling of solid waste. The aim is the utilization of harmful waste fractions and the management of environmental safety. In Kainuu, the project explores the possibility of innovating the treatment of the leachate of Kajaani's Majasaari waste center with a new membrane technology, and in addition to this, we have also familiarized ourselves with the possibilities of piloting textile recycling with Rockseri, better known as R-Collection. The new innovative means of environmental education and the consolidation of the local stakeholder network are an important part of the project, and with regard to these, we have also implemented a Clean Games event in Kajaani for local schoolchildren in the spring of 2022.

Prior to March 2022, Russian Karelia was also a part of the SUSWAM project area, but due to Russia's invasion and war in Ukraine, all the organizational cooperation with Russia has been halted.

SUSWAM is a joint project between KAMK UAS, Municipal Waste Authority of Kainuu (Ekokymppi), and Recycling Center Entrinki. It is funded by Karelia CBC programme.

Read more on project SUSWAM on the project website, here.

Waste Water, Biogas & Nutrients

When talking about circular economy, water and nutrient circulation are an essential part in closing the loop. Our focus in development is in creating new solutions for nutrient uptake from different water matrices, promoting new local ecosystems and providing new concepts to combine environmental protection and taking use of available resources.



The Project REMAC aims to develop ecologically and economically sound sludge management concepts in smaller regional towns.

The project REMAC responds to the specific element for improving the people’s physical living environment by providing new methods for ecologically and economically sustainable concepts for wastewater utility sludge treatments for regional towns in relatively dispersed settlements. In many cases, current sludge treatment practices are not carried out on ecologically or economically solid basis.

In Finland, open-pit composting of the sludges is about to end due to existing environmental permit practices. Finland is nationally supporting biogas production, which is implemented nationally as big-volume anaerobic digestion units. Whilst the increase in biogas production supports environmental sustainability, the dependency on centralized high-volume units forms problems in areas with dispersed population. The amount of fossil fuel needed in transportation of the sludge is high due to transportation of even hundreds of kilometers for both the sludge and the digestate from the biogas production process. Wet digestion is also very water-intensive process increasing the need to transport digestate with high water content after digestion process. So, to answer these problems, the project planned and implemented a small-scale biogas plant to the WWTP of Puolanka. 

Puolangan biokaasulaitos, drone-kuva

Image: Puolanga biogas plant. Photo: Project KARA, Samu Rytkönen, Fade Creative

The biogas plant operated by Honkainfra Oy and supplied by Doranova Oy has started operations in the fall of 2022. The purpose of the biogas plant is to process sewage sludge from Puolanga and nearby municipalities, and use it to generate electricity for the sewage plant's electricity and heating needs. The next step is to use the gas in the municipality's district heating production.

Prior to March 2022, Russian Karelia was also a part of the project area, but due to Russia's invasion and war in Ukraine, all the organizational cooperation with Russia has been halted.

REMAC is a joint effort between KAMK UAS, the Municipality of Puolanka, and Mikko Ahokas Consulting (MACON).

Read more on REMAC at the project website, here.

Kaasua Kuhmoon

Kaasua Kuhmoon (biogas to Kuhmo) preliminary study project investigated the possibilities of establishing a biogas production facility in the Kuhmo area, Kainuu. The project was implemented in cooperation of KAMK UAS and the City of Kuhmo.

In the project, we mapped the raw material base suitable for the production of biogas in the Kuhmo area, and the suitable production methods and technologies. The development of a local biogas ecosystem was supported with workshop activities.

KAMK UAS acted as the coordinator of the project, and it was executed in cooperation between KAMK, and the City of Kuhmo.

Perkeet Käyttöön

In Kainuu-Koillismaa region, approximately one million kilos of slaughter-sized rainbow trout are produced annually in approximately fifty plants. Most of the plants are located in Kainuu. The amount is a third of the production of food fish grown in the entire inland waters of Finland. This activity generates significant side streams, and in the current situation there is a strong need to look at alternative methods for the use and processing of fish side streams, as the traditional delivery of fur animals as feed is a declining use.

The goal of the project is to create an overview of alternative ways to utilize and process side streams, either as is or lightly further processed. The goal is to create basic information for industry operators about different ways of use and their technical and economic prerequisites, as well as the statutory boundary conditions to be taken into account. In the project, three separate work packages are implemented - one for mapping the properties of raw material fractions, the second for the evaluation of the intended use, and the third for working with stakeholders, the result of which is a road map, which presents alternatives and goals for the development of the processing of fish side streams in Kainuu.

The project is funded by Kalaleader programme.


The project provides an up-to-date picture of the conditions for the investments required by Kainuu's forest bioeconomy, its research infrastructure, measurement technology and climate footprint, as well as guidelines for the strategic allocation of pending investments as required by the situational picture.

There is a relatively unanimous view that biogas production and distribution should be brought to the province as quickly as possible. The need is to find out the availability of the raw materials needed to produce biogas, the operators for biogas production, and the demand for biogas that enables profitable production.

KAMBIO is a joint project between KAMK UAS and The University of Oulu, and it's funded by The Regional Council of Kainuu.

Solution for Farming

The project develops new solutions for curbing agricultural greenhouse emissions and nutrient cycling. The consortium includes Finland, Poland, Romania and Spain. Finland's part focuses on the production and utilization experiments of recycled nutrients isolated from water cycles (e.g. runoff and leachate).The project is funded by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, and ERA-NET. It is an international joint project between the countries mentioned above.

Contact us!
Jari Kähkönen
Director of School of Business, Tourism, Sports, Engineering and Information Systems
Tel. +358 44 7101 303
Outi Laatikainen
Senior R&D Expert
Tel. +358 44 7101 662