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Areas of scientific expertise and competence development

Sustainable mineral economics

Studies related to sustainable mineral economics respond to the future demand for minerals and metals in the circular economy, investigate socioeconomic and environmental impacts, and take into account the change in the mix of needed minerals and metals. Ore models and the mineral system approach combined with new mineral exploration concepts and technology are key research areas. Research on mineral use impacts and accounts is utilized in foresight studies. The challenge is to enhance competence in a solution-oriented direction in co-operation with stakeholders.


The geoinformatics competence area covers expertise in the entire value chain of geodata within GTK. Scientific research on geoinformatics at GTK focus on issues related to data acquisition, geodata information systems, spatial data analysis, spatial data mining, geodata modelling and data delivery services. These are themes that cross-cut all the other competence areas and aim to create added value for geodata via digitalization.

Geomaterials and applied mineralogy

Studies related to the competence area of material research contribute to challenges related to geomaterials, including mineral-based products, waste utilization, recycling and substitution. The focus is on geometallurgy and process metallurgy research, enrichment features of minerals, mineral-based materials and product development, as well as method development in mineral analysis, isotope geology and applied mineralogy. The main aim is to create new innovations, as well as customer-oriented solutions and products for the business sector.

Mine and industrial environments

Studies related to mine and industrial environments and resource efficiency aim at solving challenges related to environmental protection and the social license in sustainable resource use. The aims are to create new innovations and customer-oriented applications for mine and industrial environments (sites), mine and process waters, and recycling of wastes and by-products. The development of bespoke monitoring, management and environmental impact assessment methods is also an essential part of the activities.


GTK aims to develop know-how and R&I project activities related to hydrogeology. The focus areas of research and surveys include groundwater/surface water interactions, groundwater geochemistry, and hydrogeological monitoring and modelling of different natural, infrastructural and industrial environments. In Finland, groundwater resource management is particularly related to the geological conditions of shallow aquifers typical of glaciated terrains in crystalline rock platforms. The goal of the research and surveys is to create new innovations and customer-oriented applications for cities and municipalities.


GTK promotes know-how and project activities related to low temperature geothermal energy (Low-T geoenergy) sources and their viable application in heating and cooling solutions. The main survey targets and services include geoscientific research to understand the potential of geoenergy, as well as factors controlling the long-term behaviour of shallow geothermal resources. GTK is developing measurement, monitoring and modelling techniques, as well as commercially viable geoenergy systems for a variety of private and public customers and stakeholders. The results create new know-how, innovations and customer-oriented applications.

Geoscientific city modelling

GTK promotes know-how and project activities related to the application of geoscientific expertise, data and geomodels in sustainable urban development and in building information modelling (BIM). The main goal of the research and surveys is to model geological, geophysical, geotechnical, rock mechanical and hydrogeological data to be integrated in BIM, and to promote sustainable land use planning, infrastructural design in tunnelling and subsurface construction. GTK co-operates with a variety of private and public stakeholders, including land-use planners, geo-engineers, builders, construction companies, cities and major land owners. The results produce new know-how, innovations and sustainable customer-oriented applications.

Geosciences for underground construction

Studies related to the underground construction competence area contribute to addressing challenges arising from societal needs, where applied geology can provide new solutions. Scientific research related to this competence area aims to collect new information and to improve bedrock utilization in infrastructure construction. The long-term safety issues related to geological nuclear waste disposal are among the key topics of the competence area.