Team effort to create breakthrough technologies

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The European pulp and paper industry’s desire to help meet tightening climate and energy-efficiency demands creates an urgent need for such new openings. 

CEPI’s ambitious aim is to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of pulp and paper production by no less than 80% from the 1990 level by the year 2050. It is not possible to achieve this goal without new technologies. CEPI estimates that known technologies can only achieve a 50-60% reduction by 2050. Another aim is to generate substantial new added value for the products and production processes of the sector.

CEPI’s model places two teams in competition with each other to discover creative and viable ideas and innovations that could, for example, help reduce the energy consumption of paper manufacturing. The teams consist of corporate experts, researchers, goods suppliers as well as other paper and pulp industry actors. In addition, they will include representatives of other sectors, as activities will be based on open innovation and the sharing of research findings, with the hope that this will lead to better utilisation of research knowledge across different sectors of industry.

“The forest industry is going through a major structural transition and this calls for fresh approaches to the development of operations. Open innovation has produced good results in the ICT sector and now we will see how well it works for the forest industry,” says Director Antro Säilä, who heads the Business Environment and Innovation unit of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.  

Anyone can suggest ideas to the teams. An online channel has been opened for this purpose at www.unfoldthefuture.eu.

“Paper engineers have traditionally been good at squeezing more performance out of machines and improving productivity through this avenue. In addition to this, we need a new type of approach that looks beyond internal limitations and does not hesitate to take on competent people regardless of whether or not they have a background in the traditional paper industry,” Säilä says with emphasis.

The two competing teams will convene in Helsinki this week to work on ideas and hear about the opportunities of the Finnish bioeconomy.

The best breakthrough technology will be published in Brussels as part of the European Paper Week event in November 2013.

Further information:
Director Antro Säilä, Business Environment and Innovation, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 40 5891891