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KCL, Helsinki University of Technology and VTT combine their forest industry research systems

14.08.2008


Creating a new renewable biomaterial research environment of global significance

KCL, Helsinki University of Technology and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland will start to share their renewable biomaterial processing research systems. This will create a globally significant comprehensive entity comprised of a couple of dozen pilot systems and hundreds of laboratory-scale research devices. The device cooperation will promote the R&D projects of the research parties and other forestry sector parties. The objective is to improve profitability of operations and obtain investment savings as well as improve the competitive ability of the forest industry in the future.

KCL, Helsinki University of Technology and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have made an agreement on creating a shared research environment. The research environment will include laboratory and pilot plant scale devices starting from the treatment of wood and other renewable biomaterials and extending all the way to end product applications and special analysis devices. The research environment will be of global significance, since it will be comprised of approximately thirty pilot systems and more than 400 laboratory systems to support the research of materials in line with sustainable development as well as the development of new end products. The research environment will employ a little over a hundred experts with technical training and more than 400 researchers.

The shared research environment will promote the opportunities of the research cooperation parties and other forest industry cluster parties to flexibly and cost-efficiently use the devices in research projects. The cooperation will also avoid overlapping investments.

The first programme of Forestcluster Ltd, a top-level research and innovation network established by leading forestry sector companies, VTT, the Finnish Forest Research Institute Metla and four universities, will start several projects utilising the research environment. In addition, Forestcluster Ltd will offer major contributions in basic research cooperation projects and also research environments, one example of which is the further development of VTT’s paper manufacture research environment. 

Forestcluster Ltd will be the leader of the research projects of this concentration of strategic forest industry top expertise. With Forestcluster Ltd in the lead, the concentration of strategic top expertise will become the best innovation environment of the sector.

In October 2006, forest cluster defined its most important research focus points, aiming at doubling the value of the sector’s products and services by the year 2030. Once the research strategy objectives are reached, Finland will be able to retain its successful forest industry cluster – the worlds most profitable – also in the future. The cluster operates based on the principles of sustainable development, and the cluster and its client industries manufacture the most desirable products in the world. The task of Forestcluster Ltd is to start research and innovation programmes and allocate research funding to the selected focus areas.

Corporate presentations

KCL is the leading research company for the global paper and pulp industry. KCL is a privately owned company based in Otaniemi, Finland. KCL has the equipment and competence required for the whole process, from raw materials to the final printed end products. Its business concept is to merge and cross-discipline all aspects of KCL’s research and knowledge in an innovative manner. With its pilot- and laboratory-scale infrastructure and scientific competence, KCL serves the global paper and related forest cluster industries, as well as the end-users of paper and board products.

Forestcluster Ltd was established in March 2007 and granted the status of a strategic centre for science, technology and innovation in May 2007 by the Science and Technology Policy Council of Finland. The company is responsible for initiating research programmes associated with the strategic centre as well as for the channelling of private and public funding for these programmes.

Helsinki University of Technology TKK is the second-oldest university in Finland, and the country’s leading university for technology and architecture. Located at Otaniemi, its teaching and research activities cover virtually all aspects of technology and architecture.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is the largest contract research organisation in Northern Europe. VTT provides high-end technology solutions and innovation services. From its wide knowledge base, VTT can combine different technologies, create new innovations and a substantial range of world class technologies and applied research services to improve its clients’ competitiveness and competence. Through its international scientific and technology network, VTT can produce information and upgrade technology knowledge, as well as create business intelligence and added value to its stakeholders.