PulPaper, PacTec and Wood&Bioenergy on 29–31 May represent the cornerstones of an international event for the forest industry, including an exhibition and extensive programme. In the event, approximately 500 companies ranging from forest industry giants to small start-up businesses will meet. Throughout the fair, there will also be various programmes in three different seminars and on three stages for information briefings. In total, about 100 experts will take the stage at the event.
The event for forest industry is created round PulPaper, and it has gained also international attention. Almost 130 international companies from over 20 countries are participating in the event. The seminar presenters with the longest journey will come from North America and Japan. The trade fair also expects visitors from various continents. In addition, many representatives from international media will come to the trade fair.
A total of 25 start-up businesses will be present at the trade fair, and all of them have developed solutions to the problems of circular economy and demands posed by digital leaps, to mention but a few. The start-up businesses offer innovations, for example, for recycling bio-ash and using wood as a raw material for various products. In addition, the businesses have developed tools to better utilise industrial internet and knowledge, to support strategic decision-making by means of artificial intelligence, and to exploit augmented reality, i.e. AR, in packaging industry in order to increase customer loyalty.
PulPaper’s exhibition area, Future Square, will offer free information briefings with themes in accordance with the trade fair days. On Tuesday, companies give short presentations about their new products and services. On Wednesday the floor will be given to forest companies, and on Thursday, the programme will be directed to students in the industry.
The forest companies will bring their directors, who will then talk about innovations, responsibility and brand new possibilities for the packaging industry. Timo Heikka, the Director of Biorefinery Unit at Stora Enso, will tell more about Stora Enso’s recent investments. Issues relating to responsibility and circular economy will be covered by Kaija Pehu-Lehtonen, the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Metsä Fibre, as well as Saila Kettunen, the Director of Barrier Board at Kotkamills. Berry Wiersum, the Director of Sappi Europe explains, how innovations are now an integral part of the company’s operations. The programme also includes ideas concerning the future of the packaging industry in terms of new materials and digitalisation.
On Thursday, the semifinalists of the innovation contest aimed for the university students in the field of forest industry will take the Future Square stage with prepared pitches of their work. The innovation contest is named “Wood U Make It Happen”, and the goal is to select the best ideas with new approaches to the challenges in forest industry, as well as to the most common megatrends, such as population growth and environmental challenges.
Based on the pitches, the jury selects the finalists. The jury includes top experts in the field of bioeconomics, and the chairperson of the jury will be Maija Itkonen, founder of Gold&Green Foods. The first prize is EUR 10,000, second prize EUR 5,000, and the third prize EUR 3,000. The winners will be announced at the end of the year during the centennial celebrations of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.
- The semifinalists in the contest represent a broad representation of various universities throughout Finland and also of many different approaches ranging from services to forest cultivation, as well as materials made from totally varied parts of the wood. This highlights the variety in innovation, and also the inspiring new prospects for using the wood in different ways, says jury chairperson Maija Itkonen.
PulPaper, PacTec and Wood & Bioenergy are events with a wide-ranging focus on the forest industry. They will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki on 29–31 May 2018. PulPaper is an international forest industry event that includes an exhibition, seminars and other programmes, an evening programme and visits to Finnish mills.
In addition, the PulPaper Conference (30–31 May), Business Forum (29 May) and 3D Printing of Biomaterials (29 May) events will be organised in connection with the event (an admission fee is charged). An evening party for industry professionals will be held on 30 May. Free information briefings will be held in the exhibition area daily. Visits to Metsä Group’s Äänekoski bioproduct mill and Kotkamills’ board mill will be organised on 31 May and 1 June.