The Year of Geology 2016

A challenging financial year 2016

GTK reached the specified key goals in 2016, although the financial starting point at the beginning of the year was challenging. Strict measures helped to keep the finances in balance. Revenue remained at the level of 2015 while operating costs decreased. The most important sector utilising our services was the business sector.

Year 2016 began with the start of a project structure that serves the new strategy and goals, and adopting a management model that is in line with the new organisation structure. GTK is a national operator with 16 units with customer accountability and accountability for business results. We were able to get a good start on the strategic change, although it will take time to see some results.

With the new strategy, digital solutions became important and acts as the common theme of the renewal of GTK’s operations. In practice, process development, trying new working methods, and concentrating in core operations are the most important factors in improving productivity and efficiency.

Effectiveness aimed at the leading fields of growth was strengthened by actively increasing cooperation with companies, and by concentrating research operations on the four strategic themes, operations that support investments, and on the usability of geodata. Detailed descriptions (agendas) were drawn up for the strategic themes.

We worked on direct contacts with companies on all levels of the organisation. Cooperation with customers was increased in both continuous service production and the development of services. GTK also paid special attention to the productisation of services, specifying the future competence needs, and improving the chances of the management and the employees to affect things.

The main focus of the operations was still on the mineral economics sector

The main focus of operations was still on the resource and raw material supply sector. Its effectiveness is mainly evaluated on the basis of the activity of exploration and mining operations. Due to the weak economic situation in the sector, the activity of exploration companies and investors was still low, although there were signs of improvement. In order to ensure the effectiveness in the coming, it is essential to strengthen the material research competence cluster.

GTK took the helm of the mining industry’s growth programme in August 2016. The programme has started according to expectations, and strengthens GTK’s business policy footprint. Business operations related to raw materials were also promoted by producing raw material reports and with active communication in accordance with the objectives.

Cooperation with universities developed

The objectives set for increasing cooperation were met. The key goal is to strengthen international cooperation in the geo sector with new operating models. Concrete initiatives include the laboratory infrastructure of GTK, Aalto University and VTT, the deepening of the cooperation between the University of Oulu and GTK, and the preparation of a more extensive synergy model for actors.

GTK’s scientific publication activities increased significantly, and the level of publications has also improved when measured with the impact factor. In the future, we expect research to shift to the themes that are essential to the strategy.

GTK remained a popular partner

GTK remained a preferred partner, and there were a total of 104 jointly funded projects (98 projects in 2015). Operations jointly funded with the EU increased due to the project funding of the new programming period. There were 39 projects jointly funded with the EU.

The subjects of the jointly funded projects varied, and the emphasis was on different themes related to the sustainable use of natural resources and sustainable mining operations. Focus areas in 2016 included improving the resource efficiency of cut stone production, management of mining waste from their creation to utilisation and safe storage, and the development of environmentally neutral mineral exploration methods.

Financial insecurity

GTK produces research information that society and the business sector need through state funding, joint funding or as assignments. The relative share of external funding has increased in recent years.

When evaluating the coming years, the structural shortage of financing that has developed over a long period of time, and the continuously decreasing share of basic funding in relation to overhead costs cause concern. Despite the reduction of personnel and the facility programme, there are great challenges ahead in terms of funding investments, recruitments and financing new projects. Maintaining and strengthening the preconditions for the operation of the survey requires a significant increase in external funding or alternatively reducing overhead costs. Increasing commercial operations significantly requires hard work because our personnel is aging and the number of employees has decreased, and because we cannot make large investments in equipment.

Improving the overall productivity is the key objective of developing GTK’s operations.

Key figures

  2016 2015 2014 2013
Gross expenditure, EUR million 45,6 48,7 49,8 52,5
Gross revenue, EUR million 13,3 12,6 12,5 11,9
Sales revenue from commercial activities, EUR million 7,4 8,7 8,2 7,3
Personnel, man-years 459 533 564 592

Peer-reviewed publications by type (pie)