The Finland Project

Anglia Ruskin University’s Institute for International Management Practice (IIMP) is carrying out a research project for the Finnish Government to examine potential new business opportunities for the country’s wood pulp industry.

The IIMP has been awarded €900,000 (approximately £650,000) of funding to investigate innovative ways of using cellulose to help off-set the global decline in demand for paper.

Professor Teemu Kautonen and Dr Greg O’Shea from the IIMP are working on the project alongside researchers from Aalto School of Business and the University of Vaasa Business School.

The forest industry is one of the largest sectors of Finland’s economy. It accounts for approximately 20% of the country’s export revenue and in 2013 forest industry production was worth €20.7 billion.

Cellulose is a biodegradable natural product and is already used in the food industry, in textiles and in medicine. The IIMP researchers will explore the commercial opportunities derived from Finnish scientific research into new uses for cellulose, which is produced from wood pulp.

The researchers will help science and design partners collaborate, as well as advance entrepreneurship and the creation of new start-ups by advising and supporting fresh business concepts and models.

Dr O’Shea said:

“In addition to producing a number of research papers, this project will see us also advise on and support the development of the new Finnish cellulose business ecosystem.

“We will help start-ups, already existing SMEs and scientific spinoffs with support around funding, business models and any intellectual property rights challenges they may face.

“We will also create a small company business manual for entrepreneurs interested in working within the Finnish cellulose business ecosystem.

“Due to its abundance and biodegradability, new methods of using cellulose have become a major topic of research in Finland. The combination of recyclability and new end-use opportunities makes cellulose a real super material of the future.”