Due to the increasing global demand for natural resources demand for geological expertise is also increasing. There is a global lack of expertise in matters related to, for example, geological mapping, information management of geodata, assessment of raw materials, and groundwater. This can also be seen increasingly in matters related to the environment. As a result of this, GTK has increased its activeness and strengthened its international role as a research institute, a creator of a common data foundation at the EU level and a realiser of development policies.
GTK strives to follow its strategy and become a European expert in the field of natural resources. GTK already has a key role in Finland’s and the EU’s mineral policies. GTK is a member of the organisation of European Geological Surveys (EuroGeosurveys), working groups of the European Commission and networks promoting sustainable use. In development cooperation projects GTK emphasises the importance of sustainable development based on raw materials.
GTK’s goal is to increase its expertise and create strategic partnerships to be able to operate profitably now and in the future, and to change with the changing needs of society. International projects improve the personnel’s ability to work abroad, with international stakeholders, and they improve the staff’s expertise. GTK also strengthens its internationalisation with researcher exchange and international recruitments.
GTK participates actively in international research projects work as an expert and project leader. EU projects are carried out in a cooperation network with research institutes, companies and universities. Thanks to GTK’s expertise in matters related to minerals and environment and GTK’s personnel and equipment resources, GTK is often invited to participate in EU projects. In addition to the substance competencies, our know-how cover project management and contractual and legal matters.
Regional cooperation with Russia and the Nordic countries is natural, as we are located in the same Fennoscandian Shield area, where geological formations continue regardless of national borders. The mining and processing industries exploiting mineral resources are international and global, and they see Fennoscandia as a whole. In the field of environmental research, cooperation it the Baltic Sea and its coastal areas is important in order to achieve national and international objective.
In Finland, preparation for cooperation at the external borders has been coordinated by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. In 2007–2013, Finland participated in the following three ENPI CBC programmes in the neighbouring regions: the Southwestern Finland – Russia programme, the Karelia programme and the Kolarctic programme. GTK has projects related to sustainable use of natural resources, adapting to environmental changes, utilising the seafloor and geo tourism within each programme.
An EU commission has set four common goals for the programmes. These include promoting economic and social development, meeting common challenges, efficient and safe borders, and direct contact between citizens.