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

of bioenergy, biochemicals and biomaterials. The goal is to identify new business opportunities suitable for local companies as well as raising the technological level of the region's industry to meet the requirements of a competitive modern fibre-based industry.

VTT's project well-received

In addition to this study the State Government has launched "the South East Forestry Partnerships Program" which is a $27 million State Government assistance package designed to encourage a viable and strong timber sawmilling industry in the region.

The first phase of the project executed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, examined the current business structure in the Mount Gambier region. The findings from this first phase identify that the present situation is difficult, but that the situation could be improved by implementing existing solutions and approaches already in use elsewhere. John Kettle, International Operations Manager at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, notes that improvements are about two parallel action streams. The first is about improving the productivity in existing operations whilst simultaneously increasing the value adding by firms in their existing or adjacent value chains. The second is about adding higher value adding activities drawing on new technologies that will allow for the entry into the bioenergy, biochemicals and biomaterials value chains.

"As cheap competition increases, the traditional cost-based model is no longer viable in a high operating cost country for companies whose business depends on export and export-based value chains. The forest industry must move to a value-based concept in order to guarantee competitiveness. The purpose of this study is to help smaller companies develop their business towards effective and efficient production with higher added value."

According to Kettle, local companies have had a positive attitude towards VTT Technical Research Centre
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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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