Soapstone in Kainuu and in the Border Region of Ka.. (Soapstone in Kainuu ..)
Soapstone in Kainuu and in the Border Region of Karelia
Date du début: 31 mai 2004,
Date de fin: 30 déc. 2005
The goal of the project was the research and expertise exchange with the Republic of Karelia/ Institute of Geology – Karelian Research Centre RAS in order to assess commercial cooperation opportunities, identify training needs, and develop the shared use of natural stone information in the border region. The project plan was to implement expertise exchange through practical research of the natural stone deposits on both sides of the border. This included the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the known soapstone deposits. The project was assessed as enabling the assessment of the quality of the soapstone deposits in the border region in accordance with the requirements of modern industrial production. The assessment of commercial cooperation opportunities and training needs and the shared use of natural stone information was seen as supporting the creation of the foundation for the natural stone industry in the border region. The project was a follow-up project for the earlier Developing Natural Stone Production in Soapstone Regions in Eastern Finland and Karelias Border Region project in 2001-2003. Achievements: Quality and quantity research was conducted at 8 deposits in Kainuu and three new soapstone deposits were identified in the Kostomuksha region in cooperation with the Kosstone project. Through the cooperation, the newest expertise and practical application information was gained for use on both sides of the border. In addition, the research resulted in an increase in raw material reserves and potential in both regions, therefore, improving the conditions for continuing production in Suomussalmi and Kuhmo. The perception of the new soapstone deposits in Kainuu and Karelia was reinforced as a result of the project, as were the necessity for seeking them systematically and the need for quality research. The project conducted a market research, which included the basic information of the fireplace market, product types, distribution channels, and customer groups in Northwest Russia. Based on the research, a heavy emphasis has been placed on brand marketing (Tulikivi Oyj) and the available product line has been developed to better suit Russian tastes and architecture. The distribution network in the St. Petersburg region has been expanded and active contact has been maintained with sales of Scandinavian-style homes. Through the completed actions, sales in the region have doubled. The further study of commercial cooperation and starting the cooperation was deemed still necessary. A database of the natural stones in Kainuu, including production sites, trial sites and deposits, was created using Access software. The natural stone database increases the awareness of the regions natural stone reserves. In the longterm, it also increases interest for industry to start production and/or stone trade on both sides of the border. The natural stone information from Russian Karelia was gathered as a separate task by the Institute of Geology. More extensive fusion of the soil reserve information in Kainuu and Karelia and improving visibility were seen as necessary actions even after the project. The soapstone projects initiated the research cooperation of soapstone reserves where they can be found on both sides of the border. The responsibility for implementing further actions remained with the regional development officials of Kainuu, municipalities and funders.
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