The wood products cluster established its research organisation Finnish Wood Research Ltd (FWR) in March 2009 to spur the joint research efforts of the cluster. Six new partners are now joining FWR.
Manufacturers Finndomo, Huonekalutehdas Korhonen and Versowood are each pioneering leaders of their respective fields and have decided to broaden the shareholder base of the research organisation together with wood processing machinery and equipment suppliers Jartek, Penope and Raute. A dozen of the wood products cluster’s leading companies are now engaged in the joint research activities of the sector.
“The largest Nordic manufacturer of prefabricated wooden houses Finndomo, furniture manufacturer Huonekalutehdas Korhonen and Versowood, an innovative developer of wood products, are excellent complements to the shareholder base of FWR. Technology leaders Jartek, Penope and Raute will bring their strong competence in machinery, equipment and systems to the organisation,” says FWR Managing Director Kimmo Järvinen.
The organisation is launching its first research programmes, which will focus on industrial timber construction systems and modules as well as the development of wood products and production technologies. These research programmes will establish the prerequisites for the development of new products, services and business models.
"The companies participating in the activities of FWR will, to a large extent, determine the manner in which wood construction is developed in Finland. This is why real estate developers, who form an important link in the value chain, should view participation in the determining of development directions as a matter of great significance,” says Järvinen.
Many opportunities in industrial modular wood construction
“The point of departure for the industrial modular timber construction research programme is formed by research data compiled on existing Finnish and international timber construction projects. Finnish development work can be speeded up and its accuracy improved significantly by learning from development and testing that has already been carried out in Sweden, the UK and Central Europe. For example, well over a thousand wooden multi-storey houses are built annually in Sweden,” Järvinen points out.
“We will also be studying the housing-related desires of Finnish consumers in an effort to identify the types of homes Finns would prefer to live their lives in as well as the architectural and functional solutions they most appreciate. This research will form the basis for our development of fresh building solutions that take the wellbeing and comfort of residents into better consideration."
"Furthermore, the research programme will include the development of calculation tools that will assist housing professionals in planning as well as in the computation of carbon footprints, energy-efficiency and investment payback periods. The aim is to ease the planning and realisation of wood construction projects and facilitate their implementation on an industrial scale.”
The industrial wood construction research programme will be realised in cooperation with organisations like the University of Oulu, Tampere University of Technology, Aalto University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation on the Built Environment as well as companies such as Symbioosi, Tekla, Senate Properties, Virtual Systems and Ramboll Finland.
Research on wood products and production technologies – creating new operating models for the industrial manufacture of wood products and components as well as the for development of fresh business activities
“The objective of the FWR research programme on wood products and production technologies is to cooperate with industry companies and survey customer demands in relation to the use of wood products as well as to examine opportunities for developing the practices of both the users and the manufacturers of wood products," says Järvinen.
"The results of this will include, for example, a new type of customer-oriented strength classification for sawn timber that will enable especially strong and durable products to be marketed to customers who value such top qualities in particular. Development of technical service activities and IT tools will facilitate the efficient communication of product specification requirements and product property measurement data between wood products suppliers and customers.”
Finnish Wood Research Ltd strengthens joint research in the wood products cluster
Finnish Wood Research Ltd was established in March 2009 with the aim of spurring joint research activities in the wood products cluster. The organisation is tasked with initiating research and innovation programmes in the wood products industry, channelling research funding into jointly selected focal areas as well as with coordinating international research cooperation.
The founding members of FWR are Ekovilla Ltd, Metsäliitto Cooperative, Ruukki Group, Stora Enso Timber Ltd, Tikkurila Ltd and UPM-Kymmene Plc. The community is actively on the lookout for new shareholders, both from within the business as well as from among actors that are close to the wood products industry.
Further information: Kimmo Järvinen, Managing Director, Finnish Wood Research, tel. +358 40 720 6311