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Bioeconomy as a solution for South Australia's declining forest industry
Date:6/27/2013

South Australia's forest industry is being significantly challenged as production levels fall due to declining export competitiveness and accordingly means for improving the industry's competitiveness are being sought. The South Australian State Government's Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE) has invited VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland experts to undertake a study that identifies potential routes by which the increased competitiveness can be achieved.

Achieving world class productivity in existing business combined with the development of higher-value add products is key to creating a sustainable future for the forestry industry. The VTT study into increasing industry productivity and developing more sustainable and higher-value add products from the Limestone Coast's forestry resources involves working with local industry to identify achievable short, medium and longer term sustainable market opportunities.

The study is a key initiative of the State Government's Manufacturing Works strategy, and is also one of the key actions identified in the Limestone Coast Economic Diversification report.

The traditional sawn timber production industry must be continuously improve and develop to ensure world class productivity, but in the emerging bioeconomy this is not enough. The new opportunities presented by bioenergy, biochemicals and biomaterials must be captured, in addition to further developing opportunities in more traditional but evolving areas like construction elements, wood residue laminates, wood-plastic composite products, value added packaging materials etc. This could mean, for example, that in addition to the focus on developing the industry through productivity improvements and product extensions, next-generation biorefineries could be established in the region, utilising the side streams or unutilised raw material streams from the forest industry as input into the production
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Contact: John Kettle
john.kettle@vtt.fi
358-405-936-013
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Source:Eurekalert

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