Research strategy outlines the focal points of the forest cluster related research in Finland

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The strategy has the aim of doubling the value of forest cluster products and services by 2030 when compared to their value in 2006. Customer and user viewpoints, new materials and services as well as the bioeconomy are highlighted in the research strategy.

“Finland has outstanding resources at its disposal to become forerunner in sustainable development and bioeconomy, driven by the forest cluster. In the future bioeconomy, wood will be used for an even wider array of applications, from paper, packaging and buildings to biofuels and a broad spectrum of biomaterials and bioproducts," says Senior Vice President Antro Säilä, who is in charge of the Business Environment and Innovation at the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

“Customer and user perspectives are playing an increasingly central role in research and innovation. The value-added of products and services is created in interaction with customers and consumers. This requires an active ability to anticipate customer and consumer needs, expectations and behaviour,” says Säilä.

“Integrating new materials and services with products creates significant new areas of business. Solutions can also be sought through combining different materials. Daily routines and customer practices can reveal opportunities for service providers,” Säilä continues.

The constantly renewing and growing forest cluster needs completely new products and services alongside the existing ones. Existing products, services and their new generations establish an outstanding foundation for the development of completely new types of products and services.

The focal points of the forest cluster’s research strategy are:

• customer and user as the drivers of development,

• possibilities offered by new materials, services and business models, and 

• the forest cluster as a builder of a sustainable bioeconomy.

The research strategy is a revision of the forest cluster research strategy published in October 2006 and offers new perspectives. The goal to double the value of products and services is the same as in 2006. A rapid change in the operating environment, however,  requires that focal points be examined and the strategy reformed now.

The strategy is being implemented through the research programmes of Forestcluster Ltd, the cluster’s Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation, as well as of the wood products industry’s joint research organisation Finnish Wood Research Ltd. Universities and other institutions of higher learning will also play a significant role in this work. In addition, the strategy is being implemented as part of the forest-based sector’s European technology platform.

For more information:

Antro Säilä, Senior Vice President, Business Environment and Innovation, Finnish Forest Industries,
tel. +358 9 132 6633, +358 40 589 1891