The forest-based sector of Finland published its national research strategy, which steers the industry’s R&D investments, in 2006. The forest-based sector’s operating environment has, however, evolved rapidly since then, and the research strategy will be updated to make it more responsive to the fresh challenges of our times. The revision will be completed in spring 2010.
“The updating of the research strategy will take advantage of the scenarios presented by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA in spring 2009; the change factors affecting the forest cluster will complement these scenarios. EVA’s global scenarios present four different and alternative depictions of future operating environments and analyses of the impacts these might have on Finland,” says Christine Hagström-Näsi, CEO of Forestcluster Ltd.
“Our research strategy examines how the forest-based sector would develop under different scenarios and identifies the research and development needs that arise out of these situations. The updated research strategy instructs the industry on how to focus its joint research projects in accordance with the changed operating environment,” Christine Hagström-Näsi continues.
In addition to industry experts, all parties who are interested in the development of the forest-based sector are invited to contribute to the cluster’s research strategy. The hope is that public debate will ensure that all possible aspects are considered in the drafting of the research strategy. The strategy will also be open for a round of comments on the Internet.
Development work steered by the industry’s common research strategy
The research strategy affects the joint research efforts of forest industry companies, Forestcluster Ltd, the wood products industry’s joint research company Finnish Wood Research Oy and the wood procurement research and development organisation Metsäteho Oy. It also influences the research activities of such organisations as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the Finnish Forest Research Institute and the Centre of Expertise Programme.
In addition to cost competitiveness, the success of Finland’s forest-based sector is determined by our ability to regenerate. Determined R&D efforts result in the introduction of new products and services that have been developed to meet customer needs in a sophisticated way, providing the sector with the tools needed for success in global competition. Renewal calls for long-term efforts and investments because it will take an estimated ten years for the research strategy now being drafted to result in fresh end-use products.
Christine Hagström-Näsi, CEO, Forestcluster Ltd, tel. +358 (0)50 3222401
Markku Lehtonen, coordinator, research and development, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6628