Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, has started up operations in its new excellence center at the unique bioeconomy site in Äänekoski, Finland, to accelerate material and packaging innovation and provide a collaboration platform for customers and technology partners.
The center covers a total of 1,500 sqm, includes R&D facilities, a packaging design studio, a customer feedback center and an art laboratory providing more than 100 different measurement methods and analytics. It also features a virtual store and a computer-aided engineering (CAE) tool to allow sophisticated simulation and analysis of packaging performance.
‘As the amount of packaging continues to grow, new, sustainable solutions are needed to replace fossil-based materials and ensure circularity. The excellence center concept enables packaging technologies that look at the entire value chain, and not just at its separate parts. With the material knowledge, competence and tools now available, we can optimize performance throughout the packaging lifecycle,’ says Mika Joukio, CEO of Metsä Board.
The Metsä Board’s new center brings together Metsä’s expertise in fiber-based technologies with various experts and partners, such as material suppliers, technology providers, start-up companies, universities and research companies. Virtual collaboration workshops have also been developed to enable joint development and co-creation.
‘Renewable and recyclable fresh fiber paperboard can be utilized for packaging in many ways. Fiber-based packaging has a lot to offer, and together with our partners and the new excellence center, we are able to explore the possibilities even more comprehensively. I am excited about the opportunities this will bring for today and the future,’ added Joukio.