What is Zero4 ecosystem?

What is Zero4 ecosystem?

Partnering with you for an impact

Tackling the industry challenges to make a lasting impact

Societal impacts

Societal impacts

  • Redefining the role of humans in the future factory
  • Setting up lighthouse and model factories in Finland
  • Increasing industrial productivity in Finland
  • Creating hundreds of new jobs in the next five years in Finland
Environmental impacts

Environmental impacts

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in own operations and in value chains
  • Increasing the carbon handprint of Konecranes, ecosystem and companies deploying the solutions
  • Increasing energy efficiency
  • Reducing the use of harmful substances
Economical impacts

Economical impacts

  • Increasing Finnish R&D investments by hundreds of millions of euros
  • Commercializing new solutions and technology
  • Enhancing the international competitiveness of Finnish companies
  • Increasing the export of material flow solutions significantly

Ecosystem funding

Zero4 provides an opportunity for Finnish companies to apply for project funding from Business Finland according to the funding scheme. Non-Finnish companies are also welcome to participate in the ecosystem projects, however in this case the funding provided by Business Finland does not apply. In addition to Business Finland funding, EU funding opportunities are highly recommended and beneficial for the ecosystem.

Business Finland has granted funding up to 50 million euros for the Zero4 ecosystem. To start collaboration discussions, contact us! Funding can be applied for 3 times per year. For more information, please visit the Business Finland website.

Ecosystem management

Konecranes leads and activates the Zero4 ecosystem by organizing events and co-innovative workshops, as well as by sending ecosystem newsletters to its members. One of the key activities of the ecosystem management is to set the direction for the program, assess gaps in the industry research and innovation landscape, and plan new projects together with ecosystem partners.

To support this, the ecosystem management collects, analyzes and reports data annually on the program’s progress to Business Finland. The Ecosystem Steering Group consists of representatives of Konecranes’ Business Areas and Research & Innovation, as well as selected representatives from key partners and Business Finland.



How to join the ecosystem?

We are looking for solvers and implementers to join the ecosystem. Solvers are companies, research institutions or universities that provide technical solutions to improve material flow productivity. Implementers are companies that pilot the resulting solutions in their own plants and ports, to join the ecosystem.

Who can join the ecosystem?

We welcome all Finnish and international companies. Customer companies are also warmly welcome to participate/co-innovate with us.

What is in it for me?

The objective of the program is to develop mutually beneficial new commercial solutions through co-research and co-innovation. Developed solutions will have a major impact on industrial productivity, the competitiveness of Finnish companies and the export of Finnish solutions.

Partnership will allow smaller companies to expand their operations and participate in joint deliveries with Konecranes. Business Finland provides the opportunity for research and innovation activities by providing ecosystem funding. For larger companies, the program provides an opportunity to proceed with developed strategies and take ambitions further.

What kind of benefits does this program have?

The program aims to tackle some of the biggest industrial challenges to make a lasting impact on societies, the environment and the economy.

Societal and economic impacts include the creation of hundreds of new jobs in Finland; the redefinition of the role of humans in the future factory; enhancing the international competitiveness of Finnish companies; and increasing the export of material flow solutions. Environmental impacts include the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Konecranes’ operations and in value chains; increasing the carbon handprint of Konecranes, the ecosystem and companies deploying the solutions; increasing energy efficiency; and reducing the use of harmful substances.

What is the timespan for the program?

Zero4 is a 5-year program. It started during spring 2023 and will continue at least until the end of April 2028. We expect the ecosystem to continue its research activities until 2030.

How is IPR shared within the ecosystem?

In situations where Konecranes is buying subcontractor services, Konecranes owns the IPR of the outcome. In co-research and co-innovation projects where Konecranes collaborates with a partner company, research institution or university, the main principle is that the IPR is owned by the party who created the result. However, the ownership of the IPR may be defined case by case in a project agreement or a separate agreement.

How is information shared within the ecosystem?

Project-related information and knowledge will be shared according to project work practices, e.g. through a shared collaboration space. General information on the program, events and news will be shared via newsletter and the website.

What kind of future solutions or products are developed in the program?

The program will open remarkable opportunities for developing new equipment, systems and service solutions. For example, innovative new solutions can make equipment more intelligent or streamline process steps by removing information barriers between humans and machines. In addition, developed solutions will make work safer as they help to zero down safety incidents.

Possible commercial opportunities can relate to e.g. material flow management systems; the real-time visualization of end-to-end material flow; new products or service systems driving circular economy; or multimodal user interfaces for safer operations.

What is Konecranes’ role in the ecosystem?

Konecranes will act as the facilitator and driver of the entire ecosystem and research activities. In addition, Konecranes will lead selected project streams and sub-projects. Konecranes will follow and report progress of the project to Business Finland.

Konecranes’ core competencies in the ecosystem are the material handling solutions for the industrial industry and ports, and the development and commercialization of new technology. Partners and co-innovation will bring new competencies to the ecosystem and enable new research and innovation in new areas. These could be, for example, virtualization competencies or character recognition competencies.

Where will all this take place?

Project activities will focus on Finland. Konecranes is mainly searching for Finnish companies, start-ups, universities and research institutes to join the ecosystem as partners. International companies can join the ecosystem as partners, but their ecosystem activities will not be funded by Business Finland.

The funding provided by Business Finland focuses on growing the Finnish research and innovation activities and partner ecosystem. As part of the Zero4 project, Konecranes will participate to EU-level research programs and apply EU funding for research activities.

What is the way of working?

The aim is to develop Proof-of-Concepts (PoCs) and organize demos together with project partners. During research and co-innovation, we will collaborate in shared laboratories. Lab-tested PoCs will be piloted at Konecranes’ own facilities and at customers’ sites.
Konecranes’ objective is to transform selected existing production plants to global material flow flagship sites and model factories.

Where to find more information?

For more information on the program, please send an email to partnerships(at)zero4.fi or send your contact information to us via the Contact us webpage. We will be in touch with you soon and provide more details on the program and ecosystem.

We are waiting for you

Got interested? We invite you to join our journey in building and commercializing future material flow solutions. Let’s talk and join forces!