A world-leading industry requires constant development of processes and products. Given the right conditions, the forest industry can make strong contributions towards meeting climate challenges and promoting more sustainable consumption. However, competitiveness and profitability are required in order to continue developing existing, and new, fossil-free products from forest raw materials for the global market.
As industrial forest processes are already efficient today, they form a good basis for continued development towards even better raw material utilisation, less environmental impact, and reduced water and energy use.
What research is needed?
Although the industrial processes of today are already efficient, a continuation of reducing losses in the production is needed. Research into efficient production processes also opens up for wider use of the raw material, by increasing the value added to new materials and biofuels, for example. To increase the value of the wood raw material, further research and development is needed in a number of areas within the production process. These include the development of efficient separation processes, upgrades in subsequent steps, and to develop process control. With the help of research and development, the forest raw material can take even greater prominence in the broad product portfolio of the future biorefinery as in packaging, textiles and new materials and chemicals.
In the Swedish Forest Industry's research agenda 4.0, you can read more about the forest industry's shared research and development needs.
Important research initiatives
Swedish Forest Industries have been a driving force in the creation of the Industrial Graduate School Resource-smart Processes, now initiated within the strategic innovation program, BioInnovation. This initiative aims to strengthen competitiveness for Swedish industry through new research results, supplying skills through education, and broadening personal networks within the industry and academia.
The industrial Graduate School will be coordinated from Chalmers in collaboration with the Treesearch research platform. A number of doctoral students will begin their research into resource-smart processes in the autumn of 2021.
Swedish Forest Industries are also actively working on the question of supplying skills to colleges and universities, in order to increase interest in education and research.