Finnish Forest Research Institute  Metla

Press release 11.10.2006

The forest cluster’s research strategy released

Metla to place special efforts into more effective utilization of wood biomass

The first research strategy for the Finnish forest cluster was released on October 5, 2006 in Helsinki . The value of the products and services supplied by the forest cluster should be doubled by 2030, and at that point half of the value should be gained from new products. The aim is to increase the use of domestic wood by 25 per cent. Furthermore, the investment in research and development should be doubled.

In 2005 the estimated total value of the forest cluster was 40 billion euros. The cluster’s exports totalled approximately 15 billion euros, i.e. almost 30 per cent of Finland ’s total exports. In addition to the forest industry, in these calculations the cluster is considered to include forestry, engineering and maintenance for the pulp, paper and sawmill industries, the chemical industry serving the forest industries, manufacture of wooden furniture and wood or fibre packaging, as well as graphic publishing and printing. The cluster’s estimated investment in R&D during last year totalled 350 million euros. The consumption of domestic wood was almost 60 million cubic metres.

The key focus areas of the forest cluster’s research are:

The research strategy was prepared under the guidance of a steering group representing financiers and stakeholders. The steering group was chaired by Anne Brunila, Chairman of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation. The project group responsible for the research strategy consisted of nine individuals, one of whom was Metla’s Research Director Leena Paavilainen.

– Metla will be actively involved with implementing the research strategy together with the industry, forest owners and other research organizations, says Paavilainen.

According to Paavilainen, Metla’s expertise will be directed towards the following spheres of specialization:

The complete research strategy of the Finnish forest cluster is published at:
www.forestindustries.fi

KCL, Metla and VTT to open an electronic work space for preparing the strategy

The implementation of the research strategy for the Finnish forest cluster means that research projects will need to be started as soon as possible in order to provide a quick start for the reformation of the forest cluster.To shorten the time of transfer from the strategy to practical research, KCL, Metla and VTT are providing a website as an electronic work space for the preparation work at Finnish Forest Cluster Research Portal. The website serves as a forum for proposing, commenting on, and composing various initiatives. The idea is to facilitate and speed the formation of the forest cluster’s project entities and researcher consortia in a spirit of open-minded innovation.

The three research institutes responsible for the website set up have no authoritative power regarding initiation of research programmes. The website users decide independently which type of entities they will form within the national and EU-level research programmes.

Additional information:


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