Research and innovation partnership with the European Commission begins

Press releases |

Today, Europe’s biomass processing sector and the European Commission kicked-off the Bio-based Industries Public Private Partnership – PPP research and innovation initiative. The partnership aims to promote and develop the European bioeconomy sector – both research and industrial innovations.

A budget of almost four billion euro has been earmarked to support projects that start through the Partnership over the next seven years. Most of the funding will come from industry; the European Commission is providing about one billion euro.

In the negotiations, the biomass processing sector was represented by the Bio-based Industries Consortium (biconsortium.eu) established in December 2012. The Consortium’s founding members include the Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster (FIBIC) (the bioeconomy’s part of SHOK – Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation), Kemira, Metsä Group, Stora Enso and UPM. Members also include, for example, Metgen Oy, the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), the University of Oulu, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Åbo Akademi University.

When the partnership was initiated, the Bio-based Industries PPP’s first work programme was also unveiled. Project proposals must be submitted by 15 October and the projects that are selected to receive funding are to start in early 2015.

New business and jobs from the bioeconomy

Finland is on its way towards a low-carbon and resource-efficient society and a sustainable economy. The sustainable bioeconomy plays a central role in making this happen. The forest industry is one of the most significant bioeconomy players, as its entire operations are based on products manufactured from renewable and recyclable natural resources.

Finland’s national bioeconomy strategy was unveiled in May. Its objective is to create new business and improve employment by developing products and services based on renewable natural resources. The bioeconomy strategy was defined under the direction of the Ministry of Labour and the Economy with various ministries and stakeholders that represent the bioeconomy also taking part in its drafting.

Finnish bioeconomy players now have an opportunity to develop their operations and to play their part in realising the national bioeconomy strategy with the help of European co-operation.

For further information please contact:

Niklas von Weymarn, Vice President of Research, Metsä Fibre Oy, tel. +358 40 5476977, niklas.vonweymarn@metsagroup.com

Pekka Hurskainen, VP, Strategy Development, Technology, UPM, tel. +358 400 645969, pekka.hurskainen@upm.com