Finland research centres sign CERES agreement to further bioeconomy goals

P&PC Staff
August 31, 2018
By P&PC Staff
August 31, 2018 - Finland's Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have signed a collaboration agreement to develop materials from renewable resources as they work toward sustainability and the bioeconomy.
 
The Academy of Finland – the country's government funding body for scientific research – has granted EUR 9.5 million in funding for the first four years of the project, called CERES. An extension in funding for the next four-year period will be based on an interim evaluation. The total funding of the project is EUR 24 million.

CERES will function as a virtual knowledge centre. It will develop new methods for biomass processing as well as material solutions based on these, and provide the industry long-term, globally cutting-edge R&D work.

Plant-based biomaterial is the future replacement for plastics. The purpose of the CERES "innovation ecosystem" is to develop new materials, in particular those based on lignocellulose and forest biomass, for industrial-scale production of packaging, textiles and separation systems, as well as semiconductors, composites and solutions for energy storage.

According to VTT's scenario calculations, if used to manufacture high added-value products, Finnish forest and field biomass could double in value by 2050. It is possible to do all this and, at the same time, reach the climate targets set for the country. This scenario work is the first analysis of Finland's potential in the bioeconomy and its transition to a low-carbon economy, which takes into account all industrial and emission sectors.

The objective of Finland's national bioeconomy strategy is to create 100,000 new jobs in the country and increase the bioeconomy output by EUR 40 billion by 2025. The research and development work to be performed under CERES will support the delivery of this objective and help companies to make new openings in the international market.

In the CERES agreement, both Aalto University and VTT emphasize their willingness to create a joint ecosystem in the field of biomaterial research, as well as create ground rules for successful cooperation. The agreement also aims to support the commercial exploitation of project results.

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