Protein cluster to speed up national co-operation: Ecosystem model as a practical implementation

Research output: Book/ReportReport


In autumn 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Finnish Cereal Committee (VYR) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland launched a project aimed at activating the national network of actors and creating a cooperation model, a national protein cluster, that would enable the development of more efficient primary production, manufacture, distribution and use of plant protein products. The project utilised the Food and Beyond ecosystem, and the work started by assembling a cooperation group consisting of experts from various branches of the food sector in a versatile manner. At the beginning of the project, the main challenges of the plant protein value chain were outlined by means of an ex ante survey in which the experts gave their views. The experts also participated in two workshops that worked on an interactive platform, making use of Finland’s opportunities and challenges in the plant protein value chain, and in particular how and with what kind of a cooperation model it would be possible to solve the challenges and bottlenecks identified. The potential challenges of the selected cooperation model, the protein cluster, were also discussed with experts, and it was outlined how to make the cooperation work and achieve the objectives. The cluster is an initial form of action, as it also enables participation in international EU cluster activities.

In summary, both the preliminary survey and the workshops indicate that creating new networks, partnerships and ideas, increasing the profitability of the value chain and increasing the awareness and appeal of plant protein products were considered the greatest opportunities in the protein cluster. In addition, increasing international exports was identified as a shared intent. Possible changes in the operating environment and resources, differences of views and lack of trust between actors, and the possible difficult use of the operating model and platform were perceived as potential challenges.

The most important output of the workshops was the construction of a shared vision, which was used by VTT to outline a roadmap for future cooperation. The next step is to create a clear operating model, one of the objectives of which is to increase trust between actors within the protein cluster. The establishment of the cluster will take place in spring 2021, and the objective of the activities is to develop concrete solutions based on the vision and roadmap. The purpose of the protein cluster is to increase Finland’s potential to become a significant exporting country of plant protein products. The project and the resultant protein cluster are also an important part of achieving Finland’s climate and carbon neutrality targets, in which food sector measures, including increasing the self-sufficiency in plant protein, plays an essential role.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-8831-2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study


  • food
  • plant protein
  • farm to fork
  • Food & Beyond


Dive into the research topics of 'Protein cluster to speed up national co-operation: Ecosystem model as a practical implementation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this