Lantmännen Greenhouse – a Circular Future

  • business
  • ecosystems
  • innovation
  • mentoring

“Lantmännen is an agricultural cooperative and Northern Europe’s leader in agriculture, machinery, bioenergy and food products. Lantmännen is owned by 18 000 farmers and with grain at the heart of our operations, we refine arable land resources to make farming thrive.”

The Greenhouse

The size and scope of Lantmännen is significant. To maintain a positive influence on a scale this size means the cooperative must be progressive. To remain as a current and future leader, a forward thinking approach is mandatory. Progressive operations include actively engaging in activities to generate new ideas and perspectives on operations. 

Activities to remain current have been an ongoing activity for Lantmännen. Since 2014 the Lantmännen group has hosted an open innovation program called “The Greenhouse” directed at gathering and building on ideas and innovations from and for the Lantmännen ecosystem. The Greenhouse is designed to be a collaborative effort to draw on the ecosystem expertise and knowledge to assist in developing the future innovations.

Circular Futures

The 2023-2024 focus of the Lantmännen Greenhouse initiative is “Circular Futures” – and Vertical was fortunate to be invited along to support the forward momentum. 

Vertical expertise is working with, stimulating, and developing entrepreneurs and start-ups. It is about generating concepts in the right environments and extracting the right ideas out of the different experts that are sitting at the table. Vertical experts were excited to be given the opportunity to help coordinate a portion of the Circular Futures Greenhouse sessions. The goal was to engage in a very open dialogue about both corporate and start-up motivations, limitations and expectations for potential collaboration. This enables finding a mutually beneficial approach for all the participating parties.

Start-ups have been a part of the Greenhouse open innovation program, almost from the beginning. For years, Lantmännen has sought external collaborations through research funding and association with start-ups. The Circular Futures Greenhouse session was also about testing a new approach for developing business case scenarios and validating the joint business collaboration opportunity. 

“Vertical was chosen for their extensive experience in facilitating Hackathons and Accelerators – the track record is really strong.” – Nina Tuomikangas (Lantmännen)

Together, the Lantmännen working group and Vertical experts outlined and implemented 3-day Hackathon and Accelerator workshops. One of the goals was to put the contrasting business approaches, of start-up agility and corporate stability, as the same table. And, from a Vertical perspective, to facilitate the working groups to understand and utilize their strengths in a different manner. 

“This process builds on transparency and trust, with representatives from both Lantmännen (i.e. the corporation) and the startup, engaging in a very open dialogue about both sides’ motivations, limitations, and expectations for potential collaboration. This enables finding a mutually beneficial approach between two equal parties, instead of one party presenting demands for the other.” – Aino (Senior consultant @ Vertical)

The Project

Four circularity challenges across the Lantmännen grain value chain, with Vertical expertise supporting the Hackathon and Accelerator sections of the “Circular Futures” Greenhouse program.

The goals: 

For the teams to develop a business case and validate the business opportunity during three workshop days, to be able to pitch for Lantmännen leaders. For the overall program set-up, to test a 3-day workshop process in Accelerator and Hackathon.  

The outcomes:

“The teams have pitched their proposals to Lantmännen leaders in the Greenhouse Dragons Den. In general, the Lantmännen leaders who were invited as Dragons, were impressed by the quality and depth of the proposals. The teams received the feedback and decisions from the Dragons in the Dragons Den and the selected projects are now moving to the next stages.” 

– Nina Tuomikangas (Lantmännen)

The clear impact from the Circular Futures Greenhouse project has yet to be seen, but the innovative thinking and future outlook is exciting and hopeful. Initiatives and working groups, such as these hackathons and accelerators, can help to ensure a bright future for the organizations that choose to pursue innovative progress.

Photo credit: Mårten Svensson / Lantmännen

More details?

Please get in touch with Lars Melakoski if you should have any questions or if you need more details.

Lars Melakoski

Strategy | Collaboration
+358 50 323 8819