Establishing a centre of excellence for the forest cluster is one of the most important steps towards achieving the objectives of the research strategy that was published on 5 October 2006.
"Our intention is to establish Forest Cluster Ltd this autumn and to start the cluster's research and development programmes at the beginning of next year. The national strategy that has been published today provides a good basis for preparing research programmes and putting them into practice," said President and CEO Anne Brunila of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation at a seminar unveiling the research strategy in Helsinki.
In addition to a centre of excellence, regional centres of expertise in different fields can spur Finnish expertise in the forest cluster. Centres of expertise can create new business operations, promote companies' internationalization and increase business knowledge. For instance, the housing expertise cluster is important particularly for the wood product industry.
"The forest cluster's research strategy will also be implemented through the European Forest-Based Sector Technology Platform and by participating actively in international and Nordic cooperation. At the beginning of 2007 the first searches in the EU's Seventh Framework Programme will be opened and the Finnish forest cluster will actively participate", Ms Brunila said.
According to Ms Brunila the forest cluster faces three great challenges: renewing the cluster, improving companies' and forestry's competitiveness, and sustainable development. "The research strategy's objectives are challenging. With the help of the objectives that have been set we want to ensure that Finland has a successful forest cluster that creates new business operations and promotes sustainable development."