Finnish Forest Research Institute  Metla

Press release 28.04.2006

Metla part of Woodpolis Network

The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) is joining the Woodpolis Network, a networking and co-operation project aiming to develop mechanical timber industry businesses in Kainuu, Finland. Metla’s role in the co-operative network is involvement in the planning and implementation of research and development projects carried out with the aid of dedicated project funding, with the emphasis on developing the companies’ business activities, expertise in wood raw material and production economy related to timber usage. The research and development activity has a strong international perspective, particularly with Russian Karelia and other nearby areas.

The intention of Woodpolis, based in Kuhmo, is to build up a mechanical timber centre for Kainuu and Kuhmo that is enterprise-centred and operates as a network. The first phase of Woodpolis was launched in April 2006, when the preliminary project was completed. The operational focus for the near future at Woodpolis will be development of new innovations and system products for the needs of timber construction, and it aims to support the success of active companies through its operation by developing know-how, to mediate services, and to carry out research and development projects. During the preliminary phase, building a network of timber sector companies, universities, research institutes and polytechnics got under way. Woodpolis will be physically located at premises in the Kantola industrial district in Kuhmo, where the training factory currently creates an environment for training with ultra-modern industrial machinery. As a network, Woodpolis will also operate internationally through its contacts across all Kainuu and its customer and development contacts.

A co-operation agreement of the Woodpolis network was signed in Kuhmo on 20 April 2006. In addition to the Metla Joensuu unit, the agreement was signed by the City of Kuhmo, the University of Joensuu, the University of Oulu and Kajaani Polytechnic. The intention of the co-operative network is to generate ideas, plan and implement customer-led and entrepreneur-centred development projects, aiming at gathering scientific and vocational know-how around the projects and programmes from research and educational organisations, and practical know-how from operational timber sector companies. The purpose of the network is also to develop training options and to increase opportunities for skills demonstrations and preparation of apprentice pieces.

On Metla’s part, business-centred networking and project co-operation is mainly targeted at the areas of timber science, business finance, international forestry and forest technology, all of which are prominent in the research and expertise profile of the Joensuu unit.

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