Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network

October 2017 -
March 2021

1. Innovation 1.1 R&I infrastructures


The project establishes a network of underground laboratories across the Baltic Sea region, which works as an open innovation platform facilitating scientific technology transfer and best practices exchange. It improves access of small and medium sized enterprises to the laboratories and exploits potential for incubating innovative businesses in various fields, e.g. mining, tunnel construction, radiation shielding systems testing, and thermal energy production.



Underground laboratories as platforms for innovation and new businesses

The project BSUIN develops the service of Baltic Sea region's underground laboratories offering their infrastructures for business development and innovation. Besides scientific research, underground laboratories can provide unique environments for various businesses, such as developing technology for mining and tunnel construction equipment, radiation shielding systems or for testing geophysical, radiation detection and other measurement instruments. Underground laboratories can also become sites for production, which is a new and growing field, especially in the production of geothermal energy and facilitating the food production.

Wider scope of services and improved accessibility

Currently, the Baltic Sea underground laboratories operate separately and their capacity to offer services to businesses is mostly limited to a regional or national level. Their service and marketing activities have been targeted mainly at scientific use. The BSUIN project widens this service by creating 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), the Underground Museum of Khlopin Institute in St Petersburg (Russia), and Ruskeala marble mine in Karelia (Russia) in order to provide all users, including small and medium sized enterprises, an easy access to unique environments for business development and innovation.

Joint efforts and networking

As a main outcome of the project, the BSUIN consortium creates a sustainable network which enables to disseminate the technical, marketing, operational quality, training and other information about underground laboratories in the Baltic Sea region. The web based tools and the network organisation shall work as an open innovation platform for further quality development, innovation and best practices exchange.

The project has a total of 14 full partners (2 FI, 2 SE, 2 GE, 3 PL, 1 LT, 1 LV, 1 EE, 2 RU) and 15 associated organisations.

Highlights by mid-term:

The six underground laboratories that form the BSUIN network have been analysed regarding their geophysical, radioactive background, structural and organisational characteristics, as these factors influence the services they offer. All the collected information was incorporated in a web-based tool that helps the network’s customers select the most relevant laboratory. The formal establishment of the ‘European Underground Laboratories’ out of the initial BSUIN network provides scope for further development within the project and beyond.

CUPRUM ltd (Poland) and the University of Oulu (Finland) identified the main methods to monitor the stability of the underground space in order to ensure the safety of tourists visiting underground laboratories. One of those methods was patented in Russia and is currently used in the Ruskeala mining park (Russia). The project partners are planning to further develop this method and patent it in the EU, if feasible.

In cooperation with the department of architecture of the University of Oulu and the Centre for Occupational Health (Finland), an intelligent lighting pilot study has been launched in Callio Lab in Pyhäsalmi mining in Finland. Its goal is to improve the working conditions in underground spaces by adjusting the light to the actual weather conditions and the phase of the day.  

Follow-up activities

The BSUIN project continues as the project EUL.

Project Stories


€ 3.35
€ 2.45
Eni + Russia
€ 0.19
€ 0.00


Social Media


Project manager

University of Oulu, Kerttu Saalasti Institute

Eija-Riitta Niinikoski

358 400 919 310

Legal representative

University of Oulu (UO)

Matti Muhos

358 400 407590

Financial manager

University of Oulu, Kerttu Saalasti Institute

Eija Korjonen

358 400 919 332

Communication manager

University of Oulu, Kerttu Saalasti Institute

Eija-Riitta Niinikoski

358 400 919 310