University of Oulu and Metsä Group have entered into a partnership agreement in which research and educational cooperation will be deepened in order to develop sustainable forest industry. The aim is to increase interaction and work life contacts between students and the company. The co-operation includes, for example, visiting lectures, company visits, thesis work and internships.
The themes of the joint research projects are the utilization of inorganic production sidestreams from the forest industry, for example as bioproducts, and the development of autonomous solutions and automated logistics in the wood, pulp, paperboard and sawmill industries. Experiments and solutions for the introduction of the technology utilize the university's extensive research expertise in 5G / 6G, IoT and cyber security, robotics, fibre and particle technology, and process technology.
“Metsä Group offers long-term and modern jobs for experts in various fields. We want to ensure the best experts for the future for our various tasks, solve technological and sustainability related challenges, and utilize new and more efficient technologies. Through research collaboration, we create new know-how and effectiveness by applying research results in practice,” says Kaija Pehu-Lehtonen, Metsä Group's pulp and sawn timber business, Metsä Fibre's SVP Business Development.
“We are pleased to strengthen our long-term partnership with Metsä Group. Through cooperation, we aim for effectiveness and new openings for research, opportunities to apply and try out the latest technology in practice, and working life opportunities for our students,” says Jouko Niinimäki, Rector of the University of Oulu.
Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards and tissue and greaseproof papers.
In 2019, Metsä Group’s sales totalled EUR 5.5 billion, and it employs approximately 9,300 people. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and is owned by approximately 100,000 Finnish forest owners.