Canadian Forestry Technology Mission to EUREKA Innovation Days

Request for expression of interest

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) are pleased to invite Canadian SMEs to submit an expression of interest to join a Forestry Technology mission to Helsinki, Finland, which will take place from May 21-25, 2018. This mission will include EUREKA Innovation Days partnering events, a special Canada-Finland forestry sector partnering event and site visits with Finnish companies.

Mission objective

To establish collaborative industrial research and development opportunities in the Forestry Technology sector between Canadian and European companies, leading to future economic benefits. Collaborative projects will be able to access the EUREKA network process, a proven international public funding platform of which both Canada and Finland are members.

EUREKA

EUREKA is an international network for market-driven industrial R&D that includes over 40 economies from the EU, Europe, Israel, South Korea, South Africa, Chile, and Canada. Through Canada’s associate membership in EUREKA, Canadian innovators have an advantage in accessing technology, expertise, and markets in Europe and beyond. NRC is the national contact point for EUREKA. Projects are financed through national public and private funding mechanisms, including NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) for Canadian SMEs.

Canadian delegate profile

To participate in the Canadian Forestry Technology Partnering Mission, interested Canadian companies should be:

  • a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) developing technologies related to the forestry sector with potential for international commercialization;
    • examples of forestry related technologies could include bioproducts/biofuels, information and communication technologies, advanced manufacturing, and clean technologies
  • already have commercialized products in domestic or other markets;
  • committed to aggressive growth and global market expansion;
  • have financial and technical capacity and interest to co-develop technologies with Finnish or other European partners;
  • have sufficient working capital to undertake a up to 2-year R&D collaboration and commercialize the results; and
  • have an existing relationship with foreign partner or capacity to develop and maintain it.

Mission description

EUREKA Innovation Days is an annual networking event that showcases the Eureka network and provides opportunities for companies to initiate collaborative projects with companies from Europe and beyond. This year’s event will take place in Helsinki and will be hosted by Finland, the current Chair of Eureka. The theme of this year’s event is Smart Industry, including sub-themes of smart mobility, smart health, smart energy and smart industry. The event will include insights on business and technology developments within smart industries, keynote and business case presentations, support for B2B matchmaking and meetings, an exhibition with examples of past R&D projects, views on the future outlook of European R&D programs, and information sessions about Eureka funding instruments. More than 1,000 participants from Europe and beyond are expected to attend the Innovation Days events.

In addition to full participation in the Eureka Innovation Days events, Canadian participants will participate in a special one day workshop, organized by Global Affairs Canada and Business Finland, focused on the forestry bioeconomy, with opportunities for Canadian and Finnish companies to initiate collaborations for future projects related to forestry technologies. The event will include industry and technical presentations, B2B meetings and site visits. A networking reception for the Canadian companies will also be organized during the week by Global Affairs Canada.

Preliminary (draft) mission agenda

  • Day 1 – Monday, May 21: Eureka Academy (learn about Eureka); Canadian networking reception
  • Day 2 – Tuesday, May 22: Eureka Innovation Days - keynote presentations on European collaboration programs and disruptive innovation; South Korea Collaboration Forum; B2B meetings
  • Day 3 – Wednesday, May 23: Eureka Innovation Days - Plenary presentation on smart industry; Modules focused on smart mobility, energy, health, industry; Eureka Innovation Award winners; B2B meetings
  • Day 4 – Thursday, May 24: Eureka Innovation Days – Industry led collaboration session; Eureka cluster sessions; Eureka project pitch session; B2B meetings
  • Day 5 – Friday, May 25: Canada-Finland forestry bioeconomy workshop – Presentations on the forestry bioeconomy and related technologies; presentations by Canadian companies; site visits; B2B meetings

Forestry Bioeconomy in Finland

Approximately 60% of the Finnish bioeconomy is forest based. The Finnish forest sector is the foundation for Finland’s bioeconomy; forests cover 80% of Finland’s land area. In Finland, the annual growth of forests is close to 110 million cubic metres of wood, out of which 60–65% is utilised annually.

The Finnish forest sector also accounts for a fifth of Finland’s export income (EUR 11.5 billion), and produces around 70 per cent of the country’s renewable energy.

The Government of Finland ratified a Finnish bioeconomy strategy in 2014. The goal of the Bioeconomy Strategy is to create 100,000 new jobs and increase the output of bioeconomy up to EUR 100 billion by 2025. The output of bioeconomy has been steadily increasing for the past ten years and totaled over EUR 65 billion in 2016, which is approximately 16% of Finland’s economy.

Major projects within Finnish forest based bioeconomy include:

  • Kaidi Finland, Biorefinery in Kemi. Kaidi has plans to build a second generation biomass plant in Kemi. The plant will produce 225,000 metric tons of biofuel per year, of which 75% will be renewable diesel and 25% renewable gasoline. The total investment for the plant is estimated around EUR 900 million.
  • Metsä Group Bioproduct mill in Äänekoski. The bioproduct mill was inaugurated on 18 October 2017, and it will produce pulp and a wide selection of other bioproducts. The mill is the largest investment in the history of the Finnish forest industry, with a cost of EUR 1.2 billion.
  • UPM BioVerno in Lappeenranta. BioVerno produces renewable fuels (diesel and naphtha). Both the BioVerno diesel and BioVerno naphtha have up to 80% lower greenhouse gas emissions than fossil diesel and gasoline.
  • Neste launched their MY Renewable diesel in 2017. It is made entirely from waste and residues. The renewable diesel has up to 90% lower greenhouse gas emissions through its whole lifecycle when compared to fossil diesel.

Beyond the mega-projects, significant research and product development and manufacturing is evident in bio-based plastics, thermoplastic cellulose, biogas-to-products, maximizing biofefinery value streams, lignocellulose solutions, closed-loop textile recycling, 3-D bioprinting, etc.

Other important players in the Finnish bioeconomy include:

How to apply for participation

If you are interested in participating in the Canadian Forestry Technology Mission to EUREKA Innovation Days in Helsinki, Finland, we kindly request that you contact IRAP.International.PARI@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca by email as soon as possible to request an application form.

The deadline to submit the completed application form to NRC IRAP is April 6, 2018.

As specific site visits are confirmed, the agenda will be updated and all parties who have registered interest will be informed directly.

Financial support for participants

SMEs that have applied and are selected for participation will be invited to apply for up to $3,000 reimbursement of travel and accommodations costs associated with the mission. Selected participants will be sent instructions and information about this support. Non-SME applicants will be required to self-finance their participation.

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