ExpandFibre team celebrated its 3rd public annual seminar of ExpandFibre Programmes and Ecosystem in November  

ExpandFibre team celebrated its 3rd public annual seminar of ExpandFibre Programmes and Ecosystem in November  

Event News 14.12.2023

ExpandFibre’s annual event calendar has two separate annual seminars – one organized exclusively for the Ecosystem members, and the other a public event open for anyone interested in the themes of ExpandFibre. On 23rd November 2023, this public annual seminar was celebrated in Keilaniemi, Espoo as a hybrid event. This was the third public annual seminar event of ExpandFibre since the start of ExpandFibre in May 2020. The 2023 edition attracted approx. 120 participants in total, part of which in person in Keilaniemi and part virtually via streaming.

Photo: Markku Leskelä, SVP Development at Metsä Board, giving his presentation on the activities of Metsä Board linked to ExpandFibre in the public annual seminar of ExpandFibre.

As is the tradition, the ExpandFibre Programme Managers Katariina Kemppainen (SVP, Group R&D at Metsä Spring) and Gerardo Gómez Millán (Technology Expert at Fortum Bio2X) opened the public annual seminar, welcoming all participants to the event. The Programme Managers presented a detailed overview on the status of ExpandFibre Ecosystem at the end of 2023 highlighting the nearly 100 Ecosystem member organizations and close to 30 projects. The Programme Managers also encouraged the event participants to provide feedback and ideas on how to continue the work of ExpandFibre after the Business Finland funded Veturi programme comes to its end in August 2024.

The first proper session of the event comprised of presentations from Janne Einola, Chief Revenue Officer at Fortum Bio2X and Markku Leskelä, SVP Development at Metsä Board. In his presentation, Janne Einola highlighted the sustainable MMCF fibres for textile industry by Fortum Bio2X – focusing especially on why innovation is needed in tomorrow’s textiles. Markku Leskelä offered a detailed look at Metsä Board’s numerous activities linked with ExpandFibre, as well as offering a brief look at the current business environment in the EU for sustainable fibre-based packaging materials.

A highly interesting and engaging keynote presentation for the event was presented by Tero Ojanperä, Chairman & Co-Founder at Silo.AI. He focused on the very topical theme of AI and its impacts on the development paths and business opportunities of bioproducts. In his keynote presentation, Tero Ojanperä also offered glimpses into the current state of large language models (LLM) driving AI and presented very practical tips on how to get acquainted with AI as the driver for the next innovation wave. The event participants were offered a true crash course on how to start experimenting with the vast potential of AI for biomaterial development.

The event’s final session had a special focus on the Ecosystem projects. Jarkko Räty, Research Manager at University of Oulu, Vinay Kumar, Research Team Leader & Project Manager at VTT, and Dorothee Barth, Senior Scientist at VTT all offered quick overviews of their projects that had recently joined the Ecosystem – GRAM, F3 and CERAFIM, respectively. Three presentations closed the event, which focused on soon ending longer running projects HydBondCell, Future of Nonwovens (FoN) and Handprint. These final presentations were expertly given by Tomas Björkqvist, Senior Research Fellow at Tampere University, Taina Kamppuri, Senior Scientist & Research Team Leader at VTT, Katri Behm, Senior Scientist at VTT, respectively.

Interested to join the ExpandFibre Ecosystem? Visit https://www.expandfibre.com/join to find all the details on how to contact the Programme Managers and join the Ecosystem.