Research and development

Innovation is based on knowledge, cooperation and a new way of thinking

Metsä Group conducts long-term research, development and innovation (R & D & I) activities in all business areas. The goal is to create new products and services, utilize new technologies and ensure the competitiveness of Metsä Group's business operations. In 2020, Metsä Group's financial investment in research and development totaled EUR 24.8 million, or 0.5% of the company's net sales.

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Customers are at the heart of our R&D – their feedback is widely utilised in the continuous improvement of operations.

Metsä Group's research and development activities focus on two priority areas: creating added value with bio-based products and promoting a resource-efficient circular economy. From a product perspective, the emphasis is on developing new fibre products and improving the properties of existing products to meet future customer needs, service and system development, and the utilization of bio-based raw materials instead of fossil fuels. As a player in the circular economy, we focus on improving the sustainability of forest use and safeguarding diversity, fossil-free production, environmental efficiency and the utilization of by-products and waste.

R&D cooperation and networking

Metsä Group actively cooperates with universities, research institutes, technical solution providers and growth companies. For example, the partnership agreements concluded with the University of Oulu and the University of Helsinki aim at long-term research cooperation, which is carried out in a coordinated manner as separate project entities. Metsä Group is also active in EU research and development networks. Innovation and development programs play a key role in the new product development process.

Innovation company Metsä Spring

In 2018, Metsä Group established an independent innovation company, Metsä Spring Ltd. Metsä Spring's task is two-fold. On the one hand, it is supporting Metsä Group in the search for new business concepts, for Metsä Group, but also for the wider ecosystem. On the other hand, Metsä Spring is also supporting the research, development & innovation activities of the five current businesses of Metsä Group. Importantly, all endeavours that Metsä Spring participates in must have the potential to strengthen the Metsä Group business ecosystem in the long run.

In April 2022, Metsä Spring’s portfolio comprises six projects: two demo projects, three minority investment in startup companies, as well as a significant collaboration with Fortum (ExpandFibre, see below). The on-going demo projects focuses on converting pulps into (i) Kuura™ textile fibre and (ii) 3-dimensional fibre packaging solutions. The former is a collaboration with Japanese ITOCHU Corporation, whereas the latter is a collaboration with Valmet. Kindly check out the up-to-date portfolio here: https://metsaspring.com/projects/.

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Textiles made from Kuura fibre

Expand Fibre

In June 2020, Metsä Group and Fortum announced the ExpandFibre collaboration and ecosystem, which aims to accelerate the development of sustainable bioproducts. Business Finland is funding the cooperation and ecosystem with a total of EUR 70 million as one of winners of the challenge competition for Finnish leading companies. The purpose of the cooperation is to develop technologies and business concepts that can be used to make textile fibres and other new bioproducts from straw and wood pulp.

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Examples of innovations and product development in Metsä Group

  • Wood supply and forest services

    Wood supply and forest services

  • Wood products

    Wood products

  • Pulp and sawn timber

    Pulp and sawn timber

  • Paperboard products

    Paperboard products

  • Tissue papers

    Tissue papers

R&D plays a significant role in achievingMetsä Group's sustainable development goals for 2030.

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