Internal R&D is focused on functional products plus energy and resource-efficient processes. This has led to a steady decline in specific use of raw materials and energy, while the characteristics of the products have been enhanced.
Holmen Development is responsible for overseeing and coordinating R&D across the Holmen Group. The business areas are responsible for development within their own core operations. Holmen Development builds Holmen’s knowledge base, identifying and initiating future business opportunities based on sustainability-driven research, innovation and product development, and supporting the business areas in their strategic development initiatives.
External R&D is run jointly with other actors, often at an industry-wide level or in the value chain and in collaboration with universities, institutes of technology and research institutions. The emphasis is on product development and enhancing process efficiency, plus forest growth and improving the efficiency of forestry.
Collaboration is currently under way with Swedish partners including RISE Bioeconomy, MoRe Research, SweTree Technologies, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, Luleå University of Technology, Umeå University, Mid Sweden University, Karlstad University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Skogforsk. In Norway, Holmen works with the Paper and Fibre Research Institute. Initiated a few years ago, a collaboration is ongoing with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.
One example of an interesting cooperation project is the construction of a pilot plant for crystalline nanocellulose in Örnsköldsvik. This will be the first plant of its kind in Europe. The material’s many exciting properties enable it to be used as a barrier material, as a construction material and for biocomposites and printed electronics. The plant’s operation is based on the technology of Israeli start-up company Melodea, with Holmen taking part as a catalyst to get the plant up and running and in its capacity as part-owner of Melodea.