The primary goal of the FuBio Joint Research 2 programme, which was launched in 2011, was to create internationally competitive growth platforms in Finland that would aid in the renewal of the forestry sector and establish a foundation for new business. Another aim was to give a boost to the bioeconomy, which is positively brimming with growth potential.
The programme's research and development-oriented Work Packages, which were primarily carried out in laboratories, focused on, for example, hot water extraction and separation, biomass fractionation, advanced biomaterial composites, improvement of conventional fibre-based products, health-related applications and products of hydroxyacids. Modelling and piloting were also included in the programme.
Management Group member Mika Hyrylä of UPM (Manager, External Networks, R&D) feels that the programme laid an excellent foundation for renewing the sector and developing new wood-based products alongside paper. Close cooperation between industry and research also plays a significant role.
A wealth of resources for the future
According to VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland researcher and programme CEO Annaleena Kokko, FuBio JR2 provided experts with a wealth of resources, which can be used to create new business, introduce open R&D collaboration methods and establish long-term international cooperation.
"The FuBio JR2 programme has been an investment in the future, and we have increased the amount of competence and know-how in biorefineries. The result is an impressive volume of publications, conference papers, invention disclosures, patent applications, Master's theses and doctoral dissertations. The programme has also enhanced the amount of cooperation among researchers, research institutes and universities, also at the global level. This should definitely be continued," she says.
FuBio JR2 programme is part of the FIBIC Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation of the Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster. The partners involved in the EUR 50 million programme were Aalto University, Andritz, Finnish Forest Research Institute Metla, Kemira, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Metsäliitto Osuuskunta, Metsä Fibre, Metsä Board, Novoplastik, Stora Enso, Tampere University of Technology, University of Helsinki, University of Jyväskylä, University of Tampere, University of Turku, University of Oulu, UPM-Kymmene, Valmet, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Åbo Akademi university.
Tekes provided funding to FuBio JR2 as part of the BioRefine programme. According to expert Erja Ämmälahti, the programme significantly enhanced the competence of businesses and universities in the area.
"The bioeconomy is reshaping everything we do. Now, we're very excited to see how companies will respond to the programme results and use them in their own operations."
CEO FuBio JR2
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
tel. +358 (0)20 722 7444
annaleena.kokko (at) vtt.fi