Sweden celebrates Finland’s 100 years of independence with a substantial investment into forest bioeconomy research

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In honour of Finland’s 100th anniversary, Sweden is giving Finland a substantial sum, SEK 24 million, for forest bioeconomy research.

The “Tandem Forest Values” projects aim to produce high-quality research and expertise. A total of 12 research positions will be funded; four for sustainable forest management research and eight for research into new forest industry products and processes. Existing research groups at universities and institutes can apply for the funding. The projects will be realised as bilateral research collaborations and one requirement is that the research be carried out in both Finland and Sweden. The first call is planned for Finland’s Independence Day in December 2017.

Sweden’s research funding gift will be half financed by the private sector while the public sector will provide the other half. In addition to the Swedish government, the following are taking part in the donation: the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, the Kempe Foundations, the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, as well as the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. The funding period spans two years.

For Finland and the forest industry, it is ideal that Sweden honours Finland with a gift that strengthens the forest bioeconomy, helps further develop renewable wood resources, and, importantly, results in new expertise. The two countries share a unique natural resource – boreal coniferous forests. Furthermore, Finland and Sweden both have strong bioeconomy expertise. The long-term research collaboration that is now initiated provides a starting point for many opportunities towards a more sustainable bioeconomy.