Last year Nokian Tyres launched the FAST RACE, BIG CHANGE sustainable tyre innovation challenge. The purpose was to find new sustainable ideas and solutions from across the world and the industries to be put into production in future Nokian Tyres premium tyres. The challenge was open for all businesses, students and researchers, and gathered a great deal of interest globally with entries from 18 different countries. The FAST RACE, BIG CHANGE challenge will culminate this week with a nail-biting finals event held in Nokian Tyres’ legendary winter tyre testing center White Hell in Ivalo, Finnish Lapland. The winner chosen among the four finalists will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to collaborate with the Nokian Tyres R&D experts to craft their idea into reality and be part of Nokian Tyres’ sustainability story stretching across the decades.
Four carefully chosen finalists
The Nokian Tyres’ team of tire experts went through every application carefully and chose four finalists to present their innovations at the finals event in Lapland. The finalists are Microwave Solutions GmbH from Switzerland with a solution for processing recycled materials, Universal Matter Inc. from Canada with an innovation for sustainable graphene, Reselo AB from Sweden with an innovation for bio-based rubber, and a simulation modelling expert from Italy with a solution for a more sustainable supply chain.
“We are extremely pleased with the high level of the contestants. They all bring something unique and interesting to the table. We believe that they all could help us on our way to reach our ambitious sustainability goals. It’s all up to their performance at the finals event now,” says Teemu Soini, Head of Innovation & Development from Nokian Tyres.
A unique finals event with an expert panel of judges
The finals event is held at Nokian Tyres’ test center White Hell, situated in Ivalo in Finnish Lapland, some 300 km above the Arctic Circle. There the finalists are offered the unique opportunity to pitch their idea for an expert panel of judges. From the back seat of an electric vehicle driven by a Nokian Tyres test driver and speeding on a frozen test track, they need to convince the jury of their innovation with a pitch live streamed to the panel.
After the speedy pitching session in the car, the finalists face a grand jury consisting of a selected group of industry influencers and innovators both from Nokian Tyres as well as outside the company. The members of the jury are Anke Blume Head of the chair of Elastomer Technology and Engineering from Universite Twente, Sven Thiele Senior R&D Leader, Process & Product Development from Synthos and Christer Steinsson, Manager, Global Customer Service from Volvo Cars. The Nokian Tyres representatives of the jury are Head of Innovation & Development Teemu Soini, VP Sustainability & Quality Teppo Huovila, SVP Communication, Investor Relations and Brand Päivi Antola and Senior Manager, Materials Development Anne Ojala.
Looking for a long-lasting partnership
The winner of the FAST RACE, BIG CHANGE will receive a monetary prize as well as the opportunity to explore a business or development partnership with Nokian Tyres.
“We want to make sure we are doing all we can for future driving to be as sustainable as possible. We are ready to commit to a long-term partnership with the winner and hope that this is how we find the next big solution towards winning the race against climate change,” Soini says.
Nokian Tyres has set ambitious goals in terms of sustainability. Among them are the targets to have 50% of all raw materials used in our tyres recycled or renewable by the end of 2030, and to reduce CO2 emissions from production by 50%. In January 2022 we introduced a new concept tire Nokian Tyres Green Step, a masterpiece of sustainable innovation with its ambitious design consisting of 93% of the materials recycled or renewable. This concept tyre took us closer to our goal and the FAST RACE, BIG CHANGE challenge will help us reach the finish line.