Forestcluster Ltd. and Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, have launched a 5-year, €50 million (US$63 million) research program (Future Biorefinery, or short FuBio) to develop competence in the processing of wood biomass.
The research programme aims at generating innovations that can either be implemented as a part of existing industry operations, or which open up entirely new wood-based value chains. Bioplastics, new composite materials and various bio-chemicals are examples of potential new end-products.—Christine Hagström-Näsi, CEO, Forestcluster Ltd.
The research programme of Forestcluster Ltd. is part of a broader Finnish effort to develop new biorefining competencies and technologies, under the umbrella of the Tekes BioRefine program launched in 2007. This entity taps into a network of national research institutes, universities and enterprises.
By 2012, Tekes will be financing some €200 million (US$252 million) of biorefining activities. Forestcluster Ltd. coordinates the operations of the Finnish forest cluster’s strategic centre for science, technology and innovation. It is backed by all key companies and players in the Finnish forest cluster.