Frequently asked questions

What is ExpandFibre? Who is involved in it?

ExpandFibre is an ambitious R&D collaboration by two significant Finnish companies, Fortum and Metsä Group. From Metsä Group, the participating business units are Metsä Spring Oy, Metsä Fibre Oy and Metsä Board Oyj. From Fortum, the biorefinery programme Bio2X and Fortum Recycling and Waste are the active partners in ExpandFibre. In addition, a multitude of small and large companies, research organisations and other partners are welcome to join the ExpandFibre innovation ecosystem throughout the lifetime of the programme.

How is ExpandFibre funded?

The R&D collaboration by Fortum and Metsä has a total budget of 50 M€ out of which 20 M€ is funded by Business Finland. Fortum’s share is 32 M€ (12.8 M€ funding) and Metsä Group’s 18 M€ (7.2 M€). The rest of the funding comes from the companies themselves. The funding will be used for Metsä’s and Fortum’s own R&D projects within the seven ExpandFibre theme areas. Organisations and projects in the ExpandFibre innovation ecosystem can seek public funding from national (e.g. Business Finland – visit here for more information on partnership model funding) and European sources (see EU’s Funding & Tenders portal here for European funding possibilities).

What are the concrete activities of ExpandFibre?

Within ExpandFibre, Fortum and Metsä Group will launch both their own and joint projects related to the seven R&D themes, and also seek for complementing ecosystem projects in Finland and abroad. Finnish ecosystem partners can apply for funding from Business Finland for their projects. Other concrete activities of ExpandFibre include various thematic events incl. webinars, seminars and workshops for the Ecosystem members as well as open events for the public. ExpandFibre also communicates actively on its homepage as well as on its LinkedIn profile. The ExpandFibre Ecosystem members have an exclusive access to the Ecosystem platform for enhanced networking and information sharing among the Ecosystem members.

How long does ExpandFibre run?

ExpandFibre was launched in May 2020 and is expected to run until August 2024.

Is ExpandFibre only for Finnish partners?

No, international partners are also very welcome. No serious innovation ecosystem is built on partners from only one country.

What kind of consumer products are developed in ExpandFibre?

ExpandFibre is expected to produce technology and material innovations related to a multitude of market sectors. Examples of possible end products include clothing, non-woven products such as medical textiles, and packaging for food and other goods. Notably, ExpandFibre is still about research and development. The actual commercialization efforts take place after ExpandFibre has lifted the technology or concept to a needed maturity level.

Where does the wood pulp come from?

Metsä Group’s pulp production is based on pulp wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Regardless of whether the wood comes from certified forests, we always know its origin and verify that the wood origin is legal and that the supply chain is acceptable and sustainable. Most of the wood Metsä Group uses comes from family-owned forests of the 103,000 Finnish forest owners who are owner-members of Metsäliitto Cooperative. We use our northern wood sustainably: in Finland, forests grow 40% faster than they are used.

Where does the straw come from?

Straw is an agricultural byproduct from the cultivation of cereal crops like wheat. Farmers typically collect and store the straw in bales, which can easily be transported to biorefinery facilities.

How does this benefit Finnish society?

R&D carried out in ExpandFibre will contribute to the target of Fortum, Metsä Group and the ecosystem partners to commercialize new bioproducts. Optimally, this leads to investments, creation of new jobs and increased exports from Finland.

How can I join the ecosystem?

Kindly fill in the contact form, providing a brief description of your field of expertise and interest. We will be in touch with you soon and provide more details on how to join the ecosystem.

How is IPR shared within the Ecosystem? By joining the Ecosystem, do I commit to also sharing my IPR with the Ecosystem partners?

ExpandFibre is an open innovation Ecosystem, and by joining you do not commit to sharing any confidential information or intellectual property with the other Ecosystem partners. Creation of new knowledge takes place primarily in the specific Ecosystem projects, and all intellectual property related agreements are prepared together with the project’s participants prior to project kick-off.