Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network
BSUIN
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
1 Innovation
objective
1.1 Research & innovation infrastructures

BSUIN

The Interreg project BSUIN tackled underutilisation of the underground laboratories serving as a business development and innovation platform for representatives of business, academia and regional development agencies across the Baltic Sea region.
The challenge

Several underground laboratories (ULs) in the Baltic Sea region remained under-utilised for many years, without taking advantage of the innovation and business potential. Unique scientific environment of these facilities was not fully exploited. Furthermore, the laboratories were operating separately, lacking specific standards for characterizing the ULs technically or in terms of quality of operations. The existing laboratories offered services primarily on a national level and targeted mostly scientific users, as they were initiated by nearby universities to support pure scientific research. Consequently, the provision of services to commercial users was not part of their initial concept. Opening up for businesses and transnational collaboration would therefore facilitate scientific technology transfer and exchange of best practices.

Budgets

BSUIN
in numbers
  • 3.35
    Million
    Total
  • 2.45
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.19
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.00
    Million
    Norway

Achievements

The Unique transnational scientific environment created

The BSUIN project established a network of the Baltic Sea region’s underground laboratories, including the Callio Lab in Pyhäsalmi mine (Finland), Äspö Hard Rock laboratory (Sweden), FLB-Research and Education Mine "Reiche Zeche" (Germany), KGHM CUPRUM R&D Centre in Wrocław (Poland), Underground Low Background Laboratory of the Khlopin Radium Institute in St. Petersburg (Russia) and Ruskeala marble mine in Karelia (Russia). The laboratories provide independent researchers, research institutes, regional development agencies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises with an easy access to unique environments for business development and innovation. The laboratories allow to exploit potential for incubating innovative businesses in various fields, e.g. mining, tunnel construction, radiation shielding systems testing, and thermal energy production.

In the context of individual underground laboratories, the activities at Callio Lab (Finland) are extending into mining and tunnelling training, while the KGHM Cuprum is planning to upgrade its conceptual laboratory design. Next, the recent establishment of the GFZ Seismic 3D laboratory at the Freiberg´s Reiche Zeche mine is a proof of the right direction that BSUIN project has taken.

BSUIN project improved visibility, operation, user experiences, and safety of six cooperating underground laboratories. The project completed the characterization of the underground laboratories, developing their service concepts, improving underground environments, and engaging in outreach activities.

Open access platform established

The partnership succeeded in the development of an open-access platform that serves as a place for the laboratories to market their services and facilities as well as share relevant information. The open innovation platform hosts the information, reports guidelines, underground laboratory business models, and service designs of the BSUIN project. It also contains site characterisation information which makes it easier for the users to identify and accommodate the most appropriate facilities in view of their needs.

A new association established

The successful collaboration of the partnership resulted in the establishment of the European Underground Laboratories association (EUL). In November 2020 seven BSUIN partner organizations and two associated organizations founded the new association. It is open to individual companies, research centers and universities on regional, national and international levels.
The EUL association coordinates the open-access platform, collaborates with the BSUIN project partners, and actively seeks for new members.

Spin-off projects initiated

The BSUIN project laid grounds for the new extension phase project EUL “Empowering Underground Laboratories Network Usage” which continues joint efforts in testing, evaluating, and improving the innovation platform. In addition, BSUIN generated a spin-off project which focuses on well-being with intelligent lighting in an underground mine. This is a joint effort between architecture (UO), medicine (UO), and industrial partners from the mining and illumination industries. The next spin-off to mention is the project NEMESIS which was initiated as a Proof of Concept study on a hypothesis: Does cosmic radiation produce particle cascades in radiation shielding materials?

The Interreg project BSUIN used EUR 3 million from the European Union to increase visibility and functionality of the earlier under-exploited underground laboratories as places for transnational exchange on scientific developments as well as business ideas and incubation.

Outputs

Transnational BSUIN network installation

The European Underground Laboratories Association (EUL) is established under German law (Freiberg/Dresden) and its founding members are seven regular partners and two associated organisations of the BSUIN project. EUL association is a registered non-profit organization that promotes science, research, technical development, innovation, education and events. The concept of BSUIN network accommodates the interests of BSUIN organisations and other stakeholders such as facility providers, managers and utilisers. The better use and development of the underground laboratories is a common denominator for the people behind this network.

Open innovation platform

The open innovation platform supports the operation of the European Underground Laboratories Association (EUL). The platform hosts the information, reports guidelines, underground laboratory business models and service designs of the BSUIN project. The underground laboratories (UL) site characterisation information helps the potential users of the laboratories to find optimal facilities for their purposes. It helps the UL operators and managers in further developing their characterisation data to reach the common standard level. The innovation and service design information of the ULs helps the users in finding the best innovation support for their activities.

Project Stories

Partners

University of Oulu (UO)

  • Town
    Nivala
  • Region
    Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
750,000.00
63.928953124.9612586

Oulu University of Applied Sciences (OUAS)

  • Town
    Oulu
  • Region
    Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
199,505.05
65.011873425.4716809

University of Silesia (USK)

  • Town
    Katowice
  • Region
    Katowicki
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
211,788.29
50.259898719.0215852

Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co.(SKB)

  • Town
    Solna
  • Region
    Stockholms län
  • Country
    Sweden
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
500,000.05
59.36136718.0013693

KGHM Cuprum Research & development Centre Ltd. (CUPRUM)

  • Town
    Wrocław
  • Region
    Wrocławski
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
198,500.00
51.126310616.97819633051261

TU Bergakademie Freiberg Technical University (TUBAF)

  • Town
    Freiberg
  • Region
    Mittelsachsen
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
389,722.25
50.916941513.3428889

German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ)

  • Town
    Potsdam
  • Region
    Potsdam, Kreisfreie Stadt
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
184,618.10
52.400930913.0591397

Vilnius University (VU)

  • Town
    Vilnius
  • Region
    Vilniaus apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
184,605.00
54.687045825.2829111

National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ)

  • Town
    Otwock
  • Region
    Warszawski wschodni
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
200,000.00
52.116166121.29345896133107

Baltic Scientific Instruments (BSI)

  • Town
    Riga
  • Region
    Rīga
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
200,000.00
56.949397724.1051846

Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (KarRC RAS)

  • Town
    Petrozavodsk
  • Region
    Republic of Karelia
  • Country
    Russian Federation
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
166,870.40
61.78390134.44464792471686

Joint stock company "Khlopin Radium Institute" (KHLOPIN)

  • Town
    Sankt-Peterburg
  • Region
    City of St. Petersburg
  • Country
    Russian Federation
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
60,000.00
59.91785735000000630.380619357025516

Tallinn University of Technology (TTU)

  • Town
    Tallinn
  • Region
    Põhja-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
100,000.00
59.437215524.7453688