50 forest innovations to accelerate the “green recovery”

Many things were put on hold when the corona pandemic struck the world, but not inventiveness. This became clear in the global innovation competition “What wood you do?”, where a jury has now selected six finalists that will compete for €25,000 to realize their idea about how to use the forest in the green recovery.

Forests play a vital role in combatting climate change. They bind carbon dioxide as they grow and can be used for renewable materials for houses, packaging, clothing, and other climate-smart products. While politicians are debating the need for a green recovery, Paper Province is running a global innovation competition to find the next big ideas to accelerate the shift toward a fossil-free society. Six finalists from fifty submissions spread across ten countries have just been selected.

Maria Hollander

“When the world stopped, the positive effects on the environment were an eye-opener. People have had time to reflect on what type of world they want to live in after the pandemic. We hope that this competition will bring in new ideas for future sustainable solutions, where Sweden’s biggest resource, forests, can take a central role,” says Maria Hollander, CEO at Paper Province.

Wide range

The competition “What wood you do” kicked off in March, with idea submissions from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Canada, UK, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany. Innovation ideas came from researchers and entrepreneurs and ranged from fake snow and cat litter to drone technologies and fiber-based clothing. A Jury composed of industry leaders, and researchers within forest bioeconomy, selected the finalists, analysing the sustainable impact, scalability, and business potential of each entry.

These six teams will now get business and communication coaching to perfect their pitch. And this autumn during a two day Hackathon in Karlstad, Sweden, they will be competing head to head for a chance to win €25,000 and business support from the incubator Sting Bioeconomy during one year. All runners-up will receive €2,500.

About the finalists

Here are the six finalists at the heart of this new green industrial revolution:

Arboair – a forest scanning technology to detect infected or stressed tree with 4K cameras and color shift analysis
Nordluft – A drone-based spreading system for forestry and agriculture, combining high capacity drones, a base system truck and AI-powered controls system
SilviBio – novel biobased seed coating, which provides a source of moisture and sustained nutrition to improve germination in dry conditions
FineCell – technology to produce nanocellulose in the form of a dry powder – easier to integrate and use in packaging and other industries
Wood Tube – patented paper studs that replace steel when constructing interior walls – saves money, decreases greenhouse gas emissions, and improves the working conditions for carpenters
Biosorbe – cellulose-based technology for water and air filters that removes fats, bacteria, and oils

The “What wood you do?” competition is sponsored by Sveaskog, Gunnar Sunblad’s research fund and Stora Enso. Read more about the competition and the finalists at whatwoodyoudo.eu