“Innovation activities in the forest industry do not just mean brand-new products, but RDI activities are also carried out to develop existing products and manufacturing processes, for example in terms of their environmental impact,” says Manager of Innovation Policy Marjaana Suorsa from the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.
The Finnish Forest Industries Federation represents the interests of forest industry companies operating in Finland.
According to a recent patent survey conducted by the Finnish Forest Industries, Finland is a global leader in patents related to microfibrillated and nanofibrillated cellulose, wastewater and sludge treatment, and the recovery of lignin from black liquor. Finland is also among the top three countries in the world in patents related to folding carton, moulded pulp, stickers and labels.
Despite this, the share of RDI expenditure of the turnover of forest industry companies is well below the average for the whole private sector.
“The forest industry is part of the processing industry, and RDI expenditure in the processing industry is not typically as high as in, say, the ICT industry.”
An illustrative example is a pulp mill where the number of product innovations that take up time and money remains small, but process innovations are often born when the manufacturing processes of the mill are optimized for greater efficiency.