Paper Province and CRIBE strengthen cooperation in the bioeconomy between Sweden and Ontario, Canada
With similar conditions and resources in the form renewable forest raw material and a common desire to work together, Paper Province has identified opportunities for collaboration with Canadian bioeconomy stakeholders.
For two days in early June, Paper Province welcomed a delegation of some twenty people from Canada to together explore possibilities for collaboration in the bioeconomy.
“The many meetings between stakeholders from the public sector, the private sector and academia showed that there are not only great similarities between our bioeconomy communities but also great potential for real collaboration”, says Paul Nemes, of Paper Province.
The visit is part of an ongoing collaboration between Paper Province and CRIBE (Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy), a bioeconomy innovation platform. Around CRIBE there is a strong ecosystem that includes key players such as companies, universities, public innovation support organisations, institutes and others.
“The CRIBE ecosystem reflects quite well what has been built up around Paper Province, with many stakeholders who together have great potential to advance the bioeconomy” says Paul Nemes.
The main purpose of the visit has been to create new and strengthen already existing relationships between Sweden and Ontario, Canada to find common ways forward. Chris
Walton, CEO of CRIBE, believes that cooperation is needed to tackle societal challenges such as the green transition and climate change.
“Both CRIBE and Paper Province have extensive networks of industry stakeholders, R&D professionals and end-users. There is a tremendous opportunity to connect those networks to accelerate product and technology development; minimizing time to market for several low-carbon forest-based solutions. Leveraging our networks, CRIBE and Paper Province can advance global collaboration, bringing benefit to our regions and to our society as a whole”, he says.
Representatives from academia
Representatives from three Canadian universities and colleges were present and visited Karlstad University and its Pro2BE test environment, among others.
“We were very motivated to create a common narrative together with Karlstad University that could form the basis for future cooperation”, says Emma Master, professor at the University of Toronto.
Researchers at Karlstad University also held a researcher’s vernissage, presenting artworks based on research, which was appreciated by visitors and inspired them to consider a similar project in Canada.
Several common denominators
A joint workshop was held to explore the preconditions for cooperation and if there are elements that still need to fall into place in order to realise collaborative projects. In conclusion, there are, some things that separate the two countries, but much more that unites them.
“Not only do we share the physical landscape, the forest, but we also share similar technical expertise, research and development, and commercialization opportunities in our forest bioeconomies. Having realized a shared vision and complementary strengths in 2019, this visit to Paper Province allowed us to deepen our connections and to identify tangible next steps and action items to realize this collective vision”, said Chris Walton, CEO of CRIBE.