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Champions Corner: Dr Krish Sankaran introduces Blockchain as a solution for developing circular energy and materials markets


Dr Krish Sankaran, Finland’s MI Champion

Dr. Krishnaswamy Sankaran is Chief Executive Officer of Radical Innovations Group AB and Finland’s 2020 MI Champion. Based in Vaasa, Finland, Radical Innovations Group AB is a clean energy and circular economy company. In addition to gaining a Doctorate in Engineering Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and two Masters degrees, Krish has worked for the World Economic Forum, European Commission and industry, and is an established entrepreneur.

Tell us more about your company/organisation

Radical Innovations Group is a private Finnish SME specializing in green ecosystems, and clean and circular energy, materials and economy. We have strong emphases on Cleantech Energy Solutions, and Industry 4.0 including Internet of Things – IoT, Distributed Ledger Technologies – DLT (Blockchain) for building green and blue fuel (hydrogen, methanol, and ammonia) production and distribution ecosystems, and circular materials (plastics and wastewater). We also have strong experience in modelling systems involving technologies, policies, and regulations. Weblink:

How do you intend to leverage being an MI Champion?

The Mission Innovation Champions Programme is one of greatest launching pads for innovators like me, who are pushing the boundaries in clean energy transitions. Hence, being recognised as an MI Champion not only further helps in multiplying and accelerating my ongoing efforts, but also provides a global platform to build future dialogues, co-create sustainable (or even better, regenerative) solutions, and develop new global partnerships.  

In today’s world, just having a great idea or technology is not sufficient to create sustainable impact. Long-term changes require trust-based partnerships with key stakeholders from government, regulatory, policy, business, and other relevant sectors. As an MI Champion I am further empowered to engage with these stakeholders and to drive the vision of the Mission Innovation Champions Programme by serving as its dedicated ambassador for global “clean-and-circular” energy transitions.

Do you have any upcoming plans or announcements that you would like to share with the MI community?

We have successfully completed strategic circular economy feasibility work in the Republic of Ireland aiming to reduce carbon footprints, reduce plastic waste, and develop alternative and innovative business models employing industry 4.0 tools (IoT and DLT) that will lead to lean and green supply chain of materials and establish circular ecosystems.

By the end of March we will be signing an important contract to carry out the groundwork for developing a strategic hydrogen economy in Mid Wales, UK. This project is funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. With this strategic project, we will enter into the UK market to develop clean energy solutions for various applications such as heating, transport, and electricity.

We are also in the process of developing the first-of-its-kind Blockchain-powered circular economy solutions for building and implementing circular local energy and materials markets. Blockchain and IoT tools can be used for mapping production, distribution and recycling of materials and for developing smart contracts between actors in the supply chain. In the case of plastics, design and development of blockchain tools can enable segregators, recyclers and manufacturers to reliably share data about quality compliance, availability of recycled plastic feedstock and other variables in the supply chain. These blockchain smart contracts, powered by multi-sensor data-fusion algorithms using artificial intelligence facilitate accurate segregation of plastic waste and will encourage manufacturers to acquire more recycled plastic as a feedstock, thereby reducing use of fossil fuels and supporting a circular economy.

Reference industry report papers and industry letters:

  • From Trash to Cash: How Blockchain and Multi-Sensor-Driven Artificial Intelligence Can Transform Circular Economy of Plastic Waste? Link:
  • Carbon Emission and Plastic Pollution: How Circular Economy, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence Support Energy Transition? Link:
  • Circular Economy of Plastics: Wishful Thinking or A Way Forward? – will be published in the second quarter of 2021 in Springer Nature, Journal of The Institution of Engineers (India)
  • Can Black Become Green?: Circular Economy of Industrial Carbon Emissions – will be published in the second quarter of 2021 in Springer Nature, Journal of The Institution of Engineers (India)