Activity Report 2017
This is where it's happening Processum at the heart of development Magnus Hallberg, CEO of Processum
Processum is the creative hub for a world-leading cluster based around the development and commercialisation of biorefinery processes, green products, chemicals and materials. Ten years have now passed since the start of our VINNVÄXT journey with the Biorefinery of the Future, and it is clear that we are moving even closer to the vision jointly formulated by the cluster back in 2008. It is here in our region it happens! One example of a proactive initiative in full swing in 2018 is SCA's development of the world's largest pulp mill for softwood pulp, a mill that will also utilise residual products from forestry and forest industries to produce renewable petrol and diesel. Another example is the ‘Flaggskepp Bioraffinaderi’ (Flagship Biorefinery) feasibility study being carried out by Processum in partnership with companies from the forestry, paper, pulp, chemical, textiles and fashion indu stries, which indicated promising results and strong profitability for a large scale biorefinery in Domsjö. I expect to see many biorefinery concepts developed in the cluster being realised over the coming years. The level of interest in the production of single cell protein for fish feed from side streams from the forestry industry is an example of an area where we have seen strong interest from the fishing industry. The fact that much of the driving force behind the development now comes from end users means that the project has adopted an even stronger focus on commercialising the concept in recent years. I am therefore going to stick my neck out and promise that when we celebrate our 20th anniversary in a few years’ time, we'll be serving up a fantastic salmon sashimi for starters, which will of course have been reared on forest-based single cell protein. Bioendev's torrefaction technology and SEKAB's CelluApp technology platform are two further examples of mature biorefinery concepts developed within the cluster which are ready for industrial scaling-up. However, the State must first provide the right framework conditions for this to happen in Sweden. To illustrate the opportunities we have open to us and identify the framework conditions that must be in place, we organised Sweden's first National Bioeconomy Day here in Örnsköldsvik in partnership with the municipality of Örnsköldsvik, North Sweden Clean Tech, the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, the Swedish Forest Industries Federation and IKEM - Innovation and Chemical Indu 2
stries in Sweden. The event was a great success, and we look forward to seeing it live on and being developed further in the future because this is a forum we need! We therefore wish Karlstad and Paper Province success with the 2018 event. During the year, both the cluster and the region have continued to position themselves as regards to the expansion of research acti vity and development of the already strong testing and demonstration infrastructure for forest biorefinery development. Several pilots were established during the year, and we are pleased to see companies such as MoRe Research carrying out targeted initiatives within biorefinery research, particularly the nanocellulose sector. Processum is also growing and we took on no fewer than 10 employees in 2017. I'm incredibly impressed with the way in which our new employees have settled in and started to contribute to our work. Not only have you exceeded expectations in terms of project delivery, but with your energy, enthusiasm and positive attitude, you have also helped to make Processum an even more pleasant workplace. I am also equally impressed by and grateful to the group managers and others at Processum for the way in which they have welcomed new employees and created the right conditions for them to settle into the organisation so quickly and smoothly. 2017 was also the year in which the consolidation of RISE got under way in earnest. We have already seen the effects of this at Processum through more and more joint ventures with various parts of RISE. We can see incredible potential in bringing together the skills in RISE with the requirements and expertise that exists within the cluster. The autumn members’ meeting therefore focused on match-making between RISE and the cluster, with both member companies and researchers from the regional universities participating. Our merger with BioBusiness Arena at the end of the year will strengthen our expertise in commercialisation and business renewal, and we hope and believe that our presence in Sundsvall will reinforce our links with many of our member companies, including BizMaker and Mid Sweden University. We therefore begin 2018 with great enthusiasm and will continue to develop our role as the creative hub of our world-leading cluster. //
Establishment for the best interests of the region In Grönborg, at the heart of the university region in Sundsvall, Processum has now established itself amongst member companies, universities and other innovative and creative companies.
Welcome presence Industry, authorities and other partners see the establishment as a positive development. Peder Björk, councillor in Sundsvall, believes there is much to gain from Processum now also having a physical presence in the municipality. "Forestry is a key industry in the region," he says. "And here in Northern Sweden we cannot compete with each other if we are to measure ourselves nationally and internationally, we must work together. This development therefore represents an important signal to other areas as to how such cooperation can work. We are also pleased because the fact that RISE has chosen to establish itself here for the first time with us through Processum is something of a seal of quality." Member companies, the Mid Sweden University and
others met in Grönborg. Processum also has its office at the heart of Sundsvall's new creative centre. Innovation, creativity and development are common factors for the companies in Grönborg, which is located in the university region. Vice-Chancellor of Mid Sweden University Anders Fällström also believes that partnerships are the way forward. "The fact that Processum chose to establish operation at Grönborg not only makes the environment even more interesting, it is also an important symbol of how important it is that we work together in Northern Sweden. The three northern universities, industry and local authorities have much to gain by complementing each other and collaborate to strengthen our part of the country. The establishment of Processum is a key part of this.
A common platform Eurocon is one of Processum’s member companies which has offices in a number of locations, including Örnsköldsvik, Härnösand and Sundsvall. The company is involved in many projects with Processum and has developed several pilots and associated systems. Peter Johansson, the company’s CEO, believes there are numerous advantages associated with establishment. "Cooperation strengthens the local area as I see it. Outward communication becomes clearer when we use the same sender and it becomes simpler and more effective for us when we start from a common platform." //
"I have believed for some time that we needed to be closer to the Grönborg environment and the things that are happening there," says Magnus Hallberg, CEO of Processum. "Our mission is to develop the entire region and to develop the regional innovation system along the entire Norrland coast. Having a physical presence in Sundsvall is also something that we feel is important to us." Three employees from Processum are based in Sundsvall. They are located at Åkroken Science Park. Frida Niska and Bengt Aldén from BioBusiness Arena and patent engineer Hanna Saitton are based at the office in Sundsvall.
The merger between Processum and BioBuisness Arena was inaugurated through representatives from industry, universities, institutes, municipalities and the region each presenting their piece of the Processum puzzle. From left: Gunnar Holmberg, governor of Västernorrland, Birgitta Sundblad, Head of Division, RISE Bioekonomi, Peder Björk, councillor, municipality of Sundsvall, Per Nylèn, councillor, municipality of Örnsköldsvik, Eva Nyh Hedenberg, CEO, Åkroken Science Park, Magnus Hallberg, CEO, Processum, Marie Gidlund, business development officer, Umeå municipality, Elvy Söderström, chairman, Region Västernorrland, Anders Fällström, Vice-Chancellor of the Mid Sweden University and Magnus Hörnsten, Processum Interest Association.
Two strong cluster hubs form a super-hub A key part of Processum's establishment in Sundsvall is the merger with BioBusiness Arena. This merger has led to the formation of a regional cluster hub for forestry research and innovation extending across both Västerbotten and Västernorrland in northern Sweden. In recent years, Processum has developed a strong research and development environment in the Örnsköldsvik and Umeå regions. BioBusiness Arena's strengths primarily lie in commercialisation and business renewal. Processum's CEO Magnus Hallberg believes that these two aspects complement each other perfectly and will offer synergy effects thanks to the merger. "There has long been a close and mutually beneficial partnership between Processum and BioBuisness Arena. We are now taking the next step and developing a strong regional forestry cluster hub. In this way, we will be able to benefit the region better. We are giving the region an opportunity to concentrate its strengths around a single regional cluster hub, instead of two hubs within forest biorefinery development. I believe that this is an important driving force in this regard, that one can see that we are pooling
our strengths instead of doing essentially the same thing and working together.” BioBusiness Arena has been an initiative which is aimed at promoting innovation for sustainable products and services and has its registered office in Sundsvall. The network comprises around 30 companies and organisations that are working together to develop a more resource-efficient economy founded upon renewable raw materials drawing on the forest as a resource. Much like the work being done in Processum. Eva Nyh Hedenberg, CEO of Åkroken Science Park, can see great benefits in BioBusiness Arena and Processum now merging. "Merging bright researchers from Processum with driven entrepreneurs from our BizMaker business incubator cannot be anything other than a success. Imagine how much research could come onto the market
“Merging bright researchers from Processum with driven entrepre neurs from our BizMaker business incubator cannot be anything other than a success.”
Focus on IP issues and turn into wonderful companies generating strong growth in our region. The fact that we are concentrating the cluster in our areas of strength at our Science Park here in Grönborg is an added bonus. Processum has also stepped in as a partner in our accelerator programme, the Forest Business Accelerator. This began as a partnership between SCA, IBM and BizMaker for the development of start-ups involving forest business concepts in 2017, and we are thrilled to have Processum as a partner in this venture."
Strengthening each other in the region The merger between Processum and BioBusiness Arena is being marked and celebrated with a formal opening ceremony in Sundsvall. Around 100 representatives from industry, universities, institutes and public stakeholders from across the region were present, illustrating the strength and the excellent framework conditions created by the merger. Maria Lidgren, Region Västernorrland, has high hopes for the future. "I believe that if we look ahead 10 years it will seem entirely natural for us to be working with a broad range of products from forestry. What is being researched and tested on a small scale today will have been scaled up and strengthened our primary industry and increased value added activities. We expect the merger to result in a strong position at national level regarding research and innovation in a close partnership with industry, making it very clear that Västernorrland will also have a leading role to play in the area. It is also vital that we work together and strengthen each other in the region, and this initiative will further contribute to this. //
A key part of an innovative organisation is to monitor and protect the ideas, technology and processes that are created. Since September 2017, Hanna Saitton has been employed as a European Patent Attorney at Processum and is part of the establishment in Sundsvall and Grönborg in the Mid Sweden University area. Hanna has 18 years of experience of working with IP issues, both as a patent consultant with both large and small companies as customers and in industry working for Valmet in Sundsvall for 12 years. This combination is well-suited to working at Processum. "I'm really enjoying it because the work is very varied. I meet many different people in different positions and face many different issues," she says. “The work involves both long-term work similar to working with patents in a company and quick and well-defined cases more like those a patent consultant would encounter. I find this stimulating.” Hanna's background is in Environmental and Water Technology with process control, and she took her M.Sc. in Civil Engineering at Uppsala School of Engineering at Uppsala University in 1999. However, she has also studied law extensively, both at Uppsala University and as part of her work, and since 2007 she has been an authorised European patent attorney. These skills are well-suited to her work as a European Patent Attorney at Processum. "My job involves handling and providing advice concerning all types of IP cases that member companies and others need help with. For example, this could concern contractual issues, patent applications, investigations, strategic work and training. Part of my job also involves monitoring what the company's competitors are doing in the field of IP to ensure that nothing interferes with the company's activities. It would appear that Hanna is in the right place at Processum when she talks about her master's degree in Environmental and Water Technology, her previous employment experience in the pulp and paper industry and her leisure interests in hunting, canoeing and mountain adventures. "Nature and the environment are important to me and I was already well aware of Processum's work before I came here," she says. "It's a creative and forward-looking environment, and there is considerable demand for IP services and the knowledge that I can provide. Besides the specific issues I provide assistance with, it is also our ambition to be proactive and look to future opportunities. This is what we are striving towards." //
International success good for the region From a regional initiative financed by public funding to a global player attracting investors, EU funding and contract assignments to the region. Processum and the Biorefinery of the Future has been on a fantastic journey that is still going on. "Go back a few years and we were scratching our heads and commenting on how much money there was in the system," says Magnus Hallberg, CEO at Processum. "We could see Horizon 2020 and other major EU projects, but had no idea how we could become a part of it. And now, just two or three years later, over half of the assignments we work on are part of Horizon 2020. This is fantastic progress." The journey that Processum has been on began as a regional initiative involving companies and universities with financing from the County Administrative Board and the municipality. The major breakthrough came when Processum became a VINNVĂ„XT winner with the VINNVĂ„XT initiative entitled "The Biorefinery of the Future", with long-term financing from Vinnova, municipalities, the County Administrative Board, regional associations and member companies along the Norrland coast.
National and international From there, the organisation found its way via Structural Funds and the Interreg project and became increasingly sharper and began competing for national funds, such as those offered by the Swedish Energy Agency and Vinnova. Today, Processum's activities attract funding from many international projects, primarily EU projects. "It's important to understand that each project we enter into builds on skills and research infrastructure that are useful in both
the cluster and the region," says Magnus. "Our involvement in EU projects has led to us linking together vital skills in different parts of the value chain and attract investment and research finance to the region. This has been our stated strategy and we have exceeded our own expectations. If we hadnâ€™t worked in such a purposeful manner to create networks and bring together skills and funding internationally, we would not be where we are today."
A virtuous circle of investment All the projects that Processum is involved in must benefit the member companies, and there are many examples where our involvement in major EU projects has been of benefit to them. This has also improved our awareness of more applications for products. "I don't think everyone understands the importance of the journey we've been on," says Magnus. "But the fact is that, along with targeted initiatives along the way, the regional initiative that enabled us to get under way led us to build up an infrastructure which today attracts substantial research funding, new establishments and investments in pilot equipment for both the region and the cluster. If we look at the financing of Processum, it is apparent that this now mostly comes from the EU. But the benefit we create here is entirely in line with our mission to create growth in the region." //
Record number of new employees Ten new recruits were appointed in 2017, an increase of almost 50 percent. Processum is growing fast. A few years ago, it became Processum's ambition to grow by around 10 percent per year. This figure has been adjusted dramatically over the past year. Nineteen people were employed by Processum at the start of 2017. This figure had risen to 29 people by the end of the year. There are several factors behind this dramatic expansion. Above all, Processum has been very successful over the past year in submitting applications and has applied for and won both large and small projects nationally and internationally. Demand for contract research has also increased, which requires more people within the organisation. Overall, this requires resources, both on the research side and with regard to project management, innovation support and everything relating to research activity.
Many of Processum's activities involve operating biorefinery projects and actively and gradually identifying new project opportunities and project partners. This requires skilled personnel in several areas. "What is so fantastic is that the people appointed at the start of the year are so extremely active," says Magnus Hallberg, CEO at Processum. "They've settled into the organisation really well. We've grown by around 50 percent in terms of personnel, we have lots to do, and we have new group managers that are very committed to the project. We've also recently completed a reorganisation, which has been very successful. It is my impression that the groups are extremely functional and there is a good atmosphere. The group managers have done an excellent job, as have all new and old employees at Processum." //
WELCOME TO PROCESSUM
EUROPEAN PATENT ATTORNEY
Organisation for expansion Processum has almost doubled its workforce over the past year. This places greater demands on the organisation in order to maintain efficiency and clarity. A reorganisation was therefore carried out in 2017. The biggest difference is that non-research staff have been grouped together under a separate group 'Innovation System'. "We had to organise ourselves in order to perform the tasks we need to do in the most effective way possible," says Magnus Hallberg, CEO of Processum. "We were already split into two
research teams for biotechnology and chemistry, which worked incredibly well. These teams worked very well and the group managers have done a fantastic job. I'm very impressed by them. We now feel it is time to move on to the next stage. This is particularly true now that we have the Sundsvall element, which resulted in us having so many people alongside the research teams and is the reason why we have established a third group called ‘Innovation System’ led by Jonas Joelsson." //
All eyes are on us The successes of Processum are built on collaboration. There are now also strong regional platforms that actively work to provide information on the cluster's unique skills in the international market.
North Sweden Cleantech (NSC), which is one of the organisations behind the Cleaner Growth and Cleantech Kvarken projects, is one such collective force for bioeconomy in the north. The innovation and export platform has its stronghold in Västerbotten and Örnsköldsvik and also has partners in Vaasa. Via these partners, the region can reach international markets and offer better services than would otherwise be the case with services offered by a single organisation. Another important platform is High Coast Invest (HCI), which is a local partner of Business Sweden. The platform helps foreign companies identify business opportunities in the High Coast, and bioeconomy is one of the four main focus areas. During the year, High Coast Invest has among other things produced a magazine and a film, which includes information about Processum. "It's a fantastic opportunity to have a player in the region that is carrying out world-leading research. Processum is a hub for bioeconomy issues and the organisation is taking others with it on its journey forward. Thanks to the partnership between Processum and the region's leading players in industry, we are at the forefront of the entire chain from research and product development to production. This is unique," says Helena Elfvendal, Head of Communications at High Coast Invest. Both NSC and HCI attend international fairs, enter into contracts with international hubs, produce material on the region's companies and strengths, attract venture capital, deal with establishment issues and visit and promote the region in national arenas such as the political event The Almedalen week. "Together, we are helping to fulfil the vision of Sweden being a bioeconomy by the year 2050. The dream is that Norrland will be the world's Silicon Valley for bioeconomy," says Jennie Söderström at Processum. //
Young reporters win prize for article on single cell protein Olivia Forssén and Felicia Persson won Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation’s competition for young reporters with their article entitled "Skogen kan hjälpa till att mätta världsbefolkningen" (Forests can help to feed the world's population). They won the category for articles by reporters aged 15 or over. The well-written article looks at the opportunities arising from single cell protein as fish feed and is based on a visit to Processum. "It's brilliant that our development work to produce single cell protein from industrial side streams for use in fish feed has attracted attention in this way," said Björn Alriksson, Group Manager for Biotechnology at Processum. "I'm impressed by the way that Olivia and Felicia understood and could recount a fairly involved and technical subject in a manner that is easy to understand." Olivia Forssén and Felicia Persson from Sollefteå Upper Secondary School contacted Processum to gather material for an article on single cell protein as fish feed. During the visit, Björn Alriksson showed and explained to the pair how single cell protein is produced. Using this visit as a basis, Olivia and Felicia wrote
the article "Forests can help to feed the world's population" and submitted it to the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation competition for “Young Reporters over 15 years of age”. Olivia and Felicia's article won first prize out of all the articles that were submitted. In its justification, the jury wrote: "An inspi ring and hopeful article that highlights innovations and solutions. The article has an attention-grabbing headline and images that complement the text well. The authors highlight a very interesting topic and draw readers in by describing their own experiences." The article went on to be submitted to the corresponding international competition and was highly commended. //
Inspiration for the future Within the framework of the Biorefinery of the Future, part of Processum's work is to promote and support the future supply of skills. This applies not only to the region in general, but also to the local forestry and chemicals industry in particular. Thanks to this initiative, many people are now aware of the forestry industry and biorefineries and the interesting work and research opportunities that are on offer, both now and in the future. Visitors during the year included students from Umeå University and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) who visited member companies to learn about their work, such as pilots and the Biorefinery Demo Plant. "The shear range of companies in industry and research in a single area attracts many visitors. It's pleasing to see how we have become increasingly interesting to students, and we have an opportunity to provide them with inspiration for further study and work in chemistry and biorefineries. This is where the future lies," says Jennie Söderström, innovation manager at Processum. //
KTH – A RETURNING GUEST For the eighth year in a row, students from KTH's Biofiber Chemistry course had a two-day visit to Processum, Domsjö Fabriker, MoRe Research, SEKAB, AkzoNobel and Holmen Skog. This year was a record visit with 27 students. Processum's part of the programme consisted partly of a tour of pilots and partly of a presentation of the organisation. Jennie Söderström from Processum, who was responsible for arranging the study visit, said: "It's great that KTH makes a study visit to Örnsköldsvik each year as part of the Biofiber Chemistry course. The companies in Örnsköldsvik collectively have so much to relate, which is why students have over two days to see everything from forest plantations to research, innovation, development and production. Students studying Biofiber Chemistry are an important future skills resource for the development of biorefineries and are therefore of interest to Processum's member companies. KTH also believes that the annual study visit to Örnsköldsvik is rewarding because processes and development are illustrated in practice." "There is a record number of students on this year's course, and I have found that the level of interest in bio-based processes and products, particularly textile cellulose, among the students has been very high. Chemistry has definitely experienced an upturn and is now considered essential for many products based on renewable raw materials," said Monica Ek, professor and course administrator at KTH. Around half of the students on the course come from the Chemical Engineering program me, with the other half coming from various master's programmes, particularly international programmes." "We have students from a long list of countries, which we interpret as a sign that the area is also of international interest," concludes Monica Ek.
CAMP FOR EQUALITY IN THE FORESTRY SECTOR The forestry technology cluster in Vindeln is arranging the "Forestry camp for girls" together with a number of partners. This is a popular initiative that is often oversubscribed. The purposes of the initiative are to create greater equality in the forestry sector and to help raise levels of interest in forestry and forest technology amongst girls in middle school. One of these camps took place for the first time in Örnsköldsvik over a three-day period in June. At Processum, 17 interested participants were given the opportunity to see that everything that can be done with oil can also be done with wood. Individual experiments formed a particular part of this. "We spent a very enjoyable morning with the girls who were very enthusiastic," says Carolina Jogner, R&D engineer at Processum. "They came up with their own thoughts, asked lots of questions and had many spontaneous comments. They seemed pleased with the day, so I hope that we'll see some of them amongst the next generation of chemists."
The Lilla Polhemspriset prize for dissertations at Processum Domsjö industrial area has been in the sights of Albin Nilsson ever since he was a child. Both his parents worked there and his interest in chemistry was triggered at an early age. In 2017, Albin Nilsson became the first student from Luleå University of Technology (LTU) to receive the Lilla Polhemspriset prize for his dissertation which he worked on together with the Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering and Processum. The wet granulation of carbonised bio-ash was the subject of Albin Nilsson's dissertation. He investigated whether wet granulation is an appropriate method for increasing the granulate size of bio-ash and whether a binding mechanism is required in order to bind this ash toget her adequately for return to the forest. "I wanted to do a degree project relating to renewable energy, which is an area I find very interesting, so I contacted Processum to see what they could offer," said Albin. They had two proposals that I latched on to for this dissertation, which is part of a larger project relating to the purification of biogas." Albin has been interested in chemistry since he was young and had visited his mother's workplace at AkzoNobel during an open house event. "I saw my mum mixing together two clear liquids which turned purple," says Albin. "That made a big impression on me. I can still remember it now."
At upper secondary school, Albin decided to study a technology curriculum which focussed on natural science, an upper secondary chemistry course which included a course on the Biorefinery in Örnsköldsvik. From there, Albin went on to study Industrial Environmental and Process Engineering at Luleå University of Technology, where he also completed his dissertation.
Research from the ground The original plan was for Albin to investigate the economics relating to the granulation process on a large scale. But his dissertation work changed direction when it became apparent that it had not yet been verified that bio-ash could be granulated. Large quantities of ash are generated by the forestry industry's biomass boilers and municipal biofuel power plants. This ash contains valuable minerals and can therefore be used a fertiliser within forestry. The ash can be used to upgrade biogas into CNG by absorbing
Albin Nilsson, recipient of the Lilla Polhem prize fo
Dissertation brings mutual benefits Every year, Processum receives students from universities and colleges who want to do their dissertation within the field of biorefinery development. These students are an important resource and contribute their knowledge and creativity, and expand Processum's vital network of skills at the same time. The network is one of Processum's strengths and characteristics. Further more, the dramatic expansion of Processum during the past year has increased the need to recruit researchers and other specialists. This is where dissertations play an important role.
hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide from the biogas, resulting in a carbonised ash that lacks most of the self-hardening properties of fresh ash. This must be granulated into a practical size so that it can be returned to the forest. Albin was essentially given a free hand to investigate how this might be done. "I realised pretty early on that there was a knowledge gap which needed to be filled. I was able to develop a specific method for evaluating wet granulation as a method at laboratory-scale, and to develop effective analysis equipment to measure the compression strength of the granulate. I was able to use the laboratory equipment at LTU where I was studying. I received guidance both at a distance from Processum and from my own institution. But I had to figure out a lot for myself. This was both inspiring and a bit stressful. Many people believed that my method wouldn't work, myself included," laughed Albin.
Important part of the development
or his dissertation concerning wet granulation of carbonised bio-ash.
"When we are contacted by students who want to do their dissertation with us, we do our best to make it happen," says Gunnar Westin, business developer at Processum. If we have the necessary super visory resources available, we find that there are many benefits of offering meaningful dissertations, both for students and for us. The students’ dissertations can vary in terms of their nature and duration and take on different directions. Around 10 students have completed their dissertation with Processum during the past year. The most common procedure is for Processum to select an issue and broadly outline what questions must be answered during the dissertation. "A major benefit for us is that we gain access to a person who is focusing on a particular issue for several months and contributing their thoughts and ideas regarding the questions we need answers to. We provide the premises and equipment for the work. I believe in giving students a lot of freedom, so as to not interfere with their
However, the method proved to be a success. "In my dissertation, I demonstrated that wet granulation with the addition of only a minimal amount of bentonite was a suitable method for increasing the product size," says Albin. According to Gunnar Westin, business developer at Processum, the dissertation was very well-executed and closes an important gap in the development work by utilising ash generated in the forest industry and biomass-fired heating plants. LTU thought that the dissertation was so good that it nominated it for the Lilla Polhemspriset prize, which is awarded every year by the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers. Albin Nilsson is the first student from LTU to receive the prestigious award. "Working on this dissertation was more fun than I first thought," says Albin "and it became more and more interesting the more I got into the subject. It has been a tremendous honour to be awarded this wonderful prize against tough competition from other dissertations." //
creativity and to see what they can come up with. We believe it's good for students to get out into the real world. They are therefore largely left to project-manage their own work. We are always avai lable to provide support and can offer tips and advice as and when necessary. But we largely leave the way in which students choose to complete the project up to themselves. We also make it clear that failure is not a bad thing, but is part of the process. Obviously, a dissertation is also a good way of finding new contacts and creating new relationships, both for Processum and the students." We meet people on their journey into our sector through degree projects," says Gunnar. "We must act as a hub in relation to biorefinery development, and part of this involves creating opportunities for interfaces and communicating with new and exciting people. Students also get an opportunity to expand their networks through us. It is very likely that they will work in our sector in future, perhaps even with us or with some of our member companies." //
International prize for work on feed protein from forestry Björn Alriksson, Processum, flanked by gala conferencier Anne de Baetzelier (left) and Jukka Kantola, Partner and CEO, NC Partnering, sponsor of "The Innovation in Cellulosic Applications Award".
Work that has been taking place over many years to develop technology to produce single cell protein from forest raw materials was awarded the RISI PPI Award 2017 under the category of "The Innovation in Cellulosic Applications Award". The PPI Award is organised by RISI, the leading information company for the global forest industry. The prestigious competition had ten categories in 2017 and selected finalists from around the world. A new category was introduced this year in the form of the Innovation in Cellulosic App lications Award. The aim of this new category is to draw attention to the extensive work being carried out to develop new consumer-related uses for cellulose and to highlight the diverse opportunities offered by the forest.
Tough competition Processum's successful long-term work relating to single cell protein from forest raw materials was chosen as one of five finalists. "Just being nominated for the award felt like a major achievement," says Björn Alriksson, Group Manager for Biotechnology at Processum. "To then take home the prize is fantastic. It is an honour which we share with all our partners on many projects that have in various ways taken the concept of producing single cell protein for use in fish feed from the laboratory and shown that it can work on a demonstration scale and be turned into good fish feed." The prize was awarded at the major PPI Awards gala held at the Royal Museums of Art
and History in Brussels on 29 November. Björn was there to receive the statue as proof of Pro cessum's win in the Innovation category. "It was very exciting. We didn't know that we'd win when we set off. And even better was the fact that we were together with the other nominees in the category, so we had a very enjoyable evening."
Honour shared with partners The whole process of producing single cell protein from forestry industry side streams encompasses numerous projects that have been and continue to be carried out in partnership with universities, research institutes and companies in Sweden, Iceland, Norway and elsewhere. Processum is currently involved in three projects aimed at bringing the technology even closer to large-scale realisation. "We began working to develop single cell protein from side streams from Domsjö Fabriker as long ago as 2011," informs Björn Alriksson. "This started on a small scale in the laboratory and gradually led to more extensive tests at our pilot plants. The process has also been tested on a large scale at the Biorefinery Demo Plant, which is situated here in Örnsköldsvik. The protein has also been successfully tested as feed for live fish. They clearly thought it was an innovative and exciting way of using forest raw materials." //
"Just being nominated for the award felt like a major achievement. To then also take home the prize is fantastic."
A step closer to a
BIOREFINERY An important milestone was passed in 2017. Processum has been project owner for the feasibility study being carried out in partnership with Pöyry, which led to the "Flaggskepp Bioraffinaderi" (Flagship Biorefinery) project being given the thumbs up. The feasibility study indicated that a largescale biorefinery would be both profitable and make a major contribution to the bioeconomy. This concerns what could be the biggest initiative in Swedish industrial history. Building a large-scale biorefinery in Domsjö where the entire production is based on forest raw materials rather than oilbased products. If the refinery becomes a reality, it is thought that it could generate around 5,000 new jobs. The feasibility study has attracted a considerable amount of attention both in Sweden and abroad. The County Administrative Board of Västernorrland and 12 companies financed the feasibility study, which was carried out in 2017 by the Finnish consultancy firm Pöyry. The results were reported in September with an overwhelmingly positive message: the prospects are good and the venture could be profitable. "This was good news, but we must remember that there is still a long way to go and there are important issues that must be resolved. However, this is very timely," says Lars Winter, chairman of Processum Interest Association and CEO of Domsjö Fabriker. There are essentially two key issues. Access to raw materials is one. "The amount of forest growth exceeds the amount that is extracted. However, whether we are prepared to extract more than at present is a matter for the Swedish government," says Lars Winter. Another important issue is financing. It is estimated that the refinery will cost SEK 15-20 billion. "I believe we must create a consortium of companies that are willing to invest. A bioeconomy is based on close cooperation with partners throughout the entire chain, not just raw material suppliers, but also the companies that bring the products to market," says Lars Winter. Lars believes in a large-scale biorefinery, as this could keep costs down. He draws a comparison with IKEA.
"The philosophy is that everyone should be able to shop there, not just the well-off. Production must therefore be scaled up. Annual production at the new factory has been estimated at SEK 1.7 million tonnes as a total of all products, including cellulose, protein and biogas, etc. The next stage is to appoint a project organisation that will work on the two key issues. The planning process is expected to take around two years. "In-depth and more detailed studies must now be carried out, and we must start these as soon as possible so that we don't lose momentum," says Jonas Joelsson, Group Manager at Processum, who was also project manager for the feasibility study. Looking back on 2017, he sees an interesting and exciting year. "Processum has been working to develop biorefinery products for many years. It is an important step that we now investigate whether this can be realised on a large scale in a new biorefinery. Although the journey towards a biorefinery will be a long and uncertain one, Lars Winter is not prepared to change his vision. "We must start to work towards a sustainable society. We know we consume too much and we must do something about this situation. Forests can provide us with food, houses and clothing. We could make more of this resource. If the next project gives an equally positive result, a decision regarding implementation could be taken by 2021 and a completed full-scale biorefinery could start operating by 2023. //
Processum – a Star Company Every year, the municipality of Örnsköldsvik awards a diploma to companies and associations that have attracted attention and won awards regionally, nationally or internationally, and thereby contributed to growth in the municipality. Processum was awarded a prize at the PPI Awards 2017. "Processum has now won awards not only nationally but also internationally," said Glenn Nordlund, Chairman of the Executive Committee, when he handed over the diploma. It would therefore appear appropriate that Processum should receive a diploma as one of Örnsköldsvik's Star Companies for 2017, given that it has
been recognised internationally with a PPI Award, the Oscars of the forest industry, and for all of the work that is being carried out. The work, being done over many years, to develop a method to produce protein from forest industry side streams has been carried out in collaboration with a number of partners both in Sweden and elsewhere. The fact that Processum has not only received a PPI Award but has now also been designated a Star Company in Örnsköldsvik is therefore an honour that must be shared with all partners and member companies that have been involved in both this and other development projects. //
More and more pilots being added A wide range of suitable pilot equipment is a key part of Processum's formula for success. It is not only Processum's own researchers but also other member companies and external clients that are using the facilities to develop new products and refine existing processes in the biorefinery field. More pilots were added during 2017, and some existing pilots were adapted to meet new needs and requirements. The pilot hall built in 2016 is light and very neat. The area on the far left, which used to be a welding pit, contains equipment which is primarily used for research in the field of biotechnology. The large 50- and 600-litre bioreactors dominate the equipment together with feedtanks and storage tanks, each of which contains 500 litres and a CIP system. Tomas Gustafsson, senior chemistry researcher showed us around. "The new reactors were commissioned in 2016 and act as two steps in the scaling-up of biotechnology research," he informs. They therefore reduce the gap in size between the smaller reactor and the Biorefinery Demo Plant, which is also on the site.
A large filter press was added in 2017. This can be connected together with the 600-litre BioClas reactor in the pilot hall .
More resilient reactors During 2017, some of the reactors that are used for chemical synthesis were modified to make them more corrosion-resistant, as corrosion is a common problem with processes involving high temperatures and acidic conditions. "We identified a demand for corrosionresistant reactors," said Tomas. There was a gap in the market. We have therefore both invested in new reactors and converted existing reactors to
More and more external customer assignments Cutting-edge expertise and equipment for research and development in the future biorefinery field brought together in one place is leading more and more Swedish and international companies to hire Processum for commissioned research. Research and development in the biorefinery field are key to meeting the global climate challenge. The company has identified a need to find new products and processes that use renewable resources in a better way. From the outset, Processum has gradually built up a wide range of skills in the fields of biotechnology and chemistry, and also has a comprehensive infrastructure regarding laboratory equipment, analysis tools and pilot plants.
Another key aspect of the sought-after infrastructure is the strength of the member companies and organisations included in the Processum cluster and RISE Group. "The combined resources in the expertise network enables us to identify solutions to most of the problems faced by our customers and partners," says Gunnar Westin, business developer at Processum. Processum carries out biorefinery projects on behalf of customers covering the entire process from laboratory trials via
Traceability for Allvar make them more corrosion-resistant, even under harsh conditions such as high pressure and/or high temperatures. This involves a smaller reactor of 300ml and a larger reactor of up to 50 litres. Half a staircase up from the welding pit is a desk and equipment for downstream processing, such as a grinder, centrifuges, a filter press and an evaporator. During 2017, the equipment was augmented with a nitrogen analyser in order to perform tasks such as determining the protein content in single cell protein. Processum has also invested in two multi-bioreactor systems for laboratory-scale fermentation.
The forests of Ångermanland have played a pivotal role in the story of Allvar Underwear. In June 2017, the company and its products took over Stockholm Central Station for a week for the world première of the first ever ladies' underwear made from raw materials from Swedish forests which can be traced all the way back to their source.
High pressure, high temperatures From the large hall, it is possible to look through a window into the neighbouring HTL hall, which has been designed to enable reactions to be safely carried out at high pressures of up to 350 bar and at temperatures of up to 450°C. The HTL hall already contained a semicontinuous system, which can be used for the direct liquefaction of biomass. The hall has been supplemented with a continuous system in order to scale up the process. This enables larger trials to be carried out over a longer period of time, instead of investi gating smaller batches in limited processes. "The process hall is undergoing an intensive period of expansion, as is the pilot facility," says Tomas. "The pilot hall we built in 2016 will soon be too small. We have created a pilot facility, which enables investigations to be carried out in many areas and on different scales. These have been adapted to some extent based on the assign ments we have carried out. However, we now have a more targeted strategy regarding how we want our pilot facility to look and what we need to invest in. This work is ongoing." //
pilot plants up to demonstration scale in our industry-like environment, always in a close dialogue with our clients. Assignments vary and range from testing out ideas on a small scale to investigating the potential to scale up previous results. This also includes major international research projects, where an idea is scaled all the way up to process conditions similar to those in the industry. Much of the research and development work done at Processum within the framework of a customer assignment is carried out in partnership with member companies and universities, which form part of the cluster. However, more and more external companies are also seeing the opportunities offered by an assignment with Processum. "We've noticed that many companies see the benefits of utilising the resources at Processum," says Gunnar. "It's a quick and effective way of driving an individual company's development forward without making major investments in personnel or equipment. We do the practical work and the customer gets to keep the results. Our customer assignments are always treated strictly confidentially.” //
Allvar Underwear worked with Processum and Domsjö Fabriker in a research and development project aimed at developing and launching a textile product based on Swedish forests. The aim was to assess the level of demand for such a product, define customer requirements and identify how the origin of the Swedish forest raw materials affects the customer benefits of the product in the form of brand and product experience. The results of this work were presented at Stockholm Central Station. In the spring 2017, the exhibition won Jernhusen Media’s event competition for the most creative and engaging experience at the 200-square metre event site at Stockholm Central. For almost a week in June, Allvar Underwear had the opportunity to launch the world's first ladies' underwear made from Swedish forest raw materials, which attracted a considerable amount of interest. Allvar Underwear is made from viscose, which can be traced all the way through the value chain from the FSC-certified forests of Ångermanland via Domsjö Fabriker to the finished product. The story of the journey from forest to product plays an important role in the marketing of the fashion items. //
More and more international joint ventures Processum is increasingly operating in a global market. Major EU projects now play a large and important part in activities. Processum works in cooperation with institutes, companies and universities around Europe to find sustainable alternatives and to create the right framework conditions to facilitate a switch to a bioeconomy. "The combination of being a regionally anchored research hub and part of a national research institute enhances the attractiveness and potential to participate in major international biorefinery projects," says research manager Karin Johnson at Processum. This makes a positive contribution to the region because all the projects we enter into also bring value to companies in the region. The following projects are some of the international projects in which Processum participated during 2017:
KETBIO – FROM CON-
Paperchain is carrying out five studies concerning side streams from the pulp and paper industry as well as applications in the construction sector, chemical industry, transport sector and mining industry. Processum is involved in two of these projects. In the first of the two studies in which Processum is involved, the pulp and paper industry interfaces with the chemical industry through a partnership between AkzoNobel, Domsjö Fabriker, SEKAB and Processum. The Örnsköldsvik-based participants will build a continuous process for producing ethyl chloride from renewable ethanol. The ultimate aim of the project is the pilot-scale production of Bermocoll, using cellulose from wood produced within the project and ethyl chloride from the pilot process. In the second study, the pulp and paper industry interfaces with the mining industry by using a residual stream to cover decommissioned mines.
A pilot plant is currently being constructed in Örnsköldsvik for the production of crystalline nanocellulose (CNC). The TinyBTalented project aims to create a test bed for the development of new applications of the material on a large scale. The plant is the first of its kind in Europe and represents an important step in the development of CNC from cellulose-based materials. The goal of TinyBTalented is to identify applications where the material can be used. The project partners will initially work in four application areas: CNC in sheet materials, in wound dressings, to provide strength in multilayer materials and functionalised in order to achieve good properties as a gas and liquid barrier. The project, which is being led by Processum, is being carried out over a period of four years and will be concluded in November 2020.
Processum is an active partner in KetBio, a Horizon 2020 project which is aimed at accelerating the pathway from interesting EU-financed biotechnology projects to actual application within industry. Ways of doing this include creating a cluster relating to "Key Enabling Biotechnologies" and implementing an aid programme for the process. Processum's role includes reviewing a large number of completed and ongoing projects in the field of biotechnology and selecting those that appear to be of particular interest and show promise. Processum will also set up an international expert group for industrial bioeconomy and organise a number of online lectures for various biotechnology themes. KetBio is expected to have a duration of two and a half years. The initial plans for the project were prepared at the start-up meeting held in Brussels in October. A representative from the European Commission also participated.
– LINKS OF ADDED VALUE
Karin Johnson, R&D Manager, Processum.
– A CNC PROJECT
CEPT TO UTILISATION
Single cell protein continues to grow Eight companies and organisations from five countries are participating in SYLFEED, a major new EU project which aims to scale up the production of single cell protein produced from forest raw materials. There is considerable interest in single cell protein produced from forest raw materials. There are many reasons for this. Perhaps the main reason is the potential sometime in the future to create a completely new source of protein as food for humans and animals using this technology. Together with its partners, Processum has already proven this technology in a number of previous research projects. Protein produced from industrial side streams has been successfully tested as feed for tilapia fish, and research is under way regarding the use of the protein in a number of applications, initially involving other species of fish. However, very large volumes are required in order for single cell protein to be profitable. Funding from the EU's Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) will enable the construction of a completely new facility at Norske Skog Golbey's pulp and paper mill in eastern France. This involves a major scaling-up of production. The new demonstration facility will have a process capacity of 5,000 tonnes of forest biomass per year.
Single cell protein has previously been produced from industrial side streams. Wood is used as the raw material in the new SYLFEED project instead. In other words, forest raw materials that are not being used in sawmills and pulp mills. This also increases access to raw materials compared with only using side streams. "There are many exciting aspects to this project," says Björn Alriksson, who is responsible for the project concerning single cell protein for Processum. The project represents a major step towards commercialisation of the concept of producing single cell protein from forest raw materials.
The consortium is led by the French company Arbiom. Financing: EUR 11.7 million, around SEK 108 million from Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) Participants: Processum, Arbiom, Laxa, Matis, Norske Skog Golbey, Østfoldforskning, Prayon, Skretting.
Time for rainbow salmon Salmon is the most frequently served fish at the dinner table in Sweden. Farmed fish also require fish feed with a high protein content in order to generate a good return. Feeding trials will be conducted under the SalmonAid project, where rainbow salmon will be fed with single cell protein produced from forest raw materials. If the trial is successful, this will be a major step towards commercialisation of the product. SalmonAid is a project being carried out by RISE Bioscience, Processum, SLU and Domsjö Fabriker. With the aid of microorga nisms, the project aims both to produce oil raw materials for salmon feed and to optimise the process for producing feed protein with a higher protein content. The protein will also be tested on rainbow salmon to confirm that they thrive and that their growth is equal to or better than it is with conventional fish-based fish feeds. The same protein concept has previously successfully been tested on tilapia, a tropical species of fish. There is growing interest within the fish farming industry in the production of fish feed with reduced environmental impact compared with today's products. Reducing the dependence on fishmeal and fish oil-based fish feed is important, particularly with regards to achieving a balanced ecosystem in the oceans. Microbes from the forestry industry are preferable to both animal-based
protein, which has an environmental impact, and soya protein, which is imported from other countries and competes with human food production. Processum has invested in two multi-bioreactor systems, where acidic sulphite waste liqour from Domsjö Fabriker will be used as a raw material to produce protein and oil for fish feed with the aid of microorganisms. "The cultivation trial will take place under various conditions to optimise the process for producing a high-value protein," says Björn Alriksson, Group Manager for Biotechnology at Processum. "Once we have identified the conditions that result in a high-quality product, we will gradually produce larger quantities using our bioreactors. The aim by the end of the project period is to enable a high-quality single cell protein to be produced that works well in fish feed, which in turn produces good results in feeding fish."
A meeting full of opportunities Processum's traditional members’ meeting was held in Örnsköldsvik in December. Members and other stakeholders learned about the opportunities open to member companies through RISE, Bio4Energy and FSCN. Because Processum is a part-owned subsidiary of RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, member companies have many opportunities to draw on the expertise that is available in the state research institute. Furthermore, the universities within Bio4Energy, i.e. Umeå University, SLU and Luleå University of Technology, can also offer companies development and cooperation opportunities, as can the Mid Sweden University's FSCN research centre (Fibre Science and Communication Network). During the meeting, the various stakeholders presented their activities and the partnership opportunities that are available. One of the guests was Mats Andersson, senior business developer at RISE YPF in the division of Bioscience and Materials based in Södertälje. "The organisers must be praised for the way in which they created a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere," he commented. Those of us who attended the meeting are working on very different things in the field of bioeconomy, and we can all benefit from identifying areas where we can work together and thereby take on bigger and more challenging projects.
Joint forces Partnerships have been created in many areas within the group since Processum became part of RISE. Processum's close ties with both industry and the public sector, combined with the infrastructure that is available in the form of research equipment, are all factors that make the organisation an attractive resource. Furthermore, Processum's member
companies have a natural link and access to resources within RISE. RISE-YPF’s background lies within the scaling-up of the pharmaceuticals industry, which has resulted in an organisation with a high level of awareness regarding quality, strong expertise and an understanding of industrial requirements. "From a technical perspective, we have various equipment and a wide variety of skills that complement each other, but it's essentially all about bioeconomy," says Mats. There is much to gain by cooperating and bringing our skills closer together. For Sweden to be at the forefront in the longterm regarding a switch to a green economy and a fossil-free future, I see it as absolutely vital that we help each other. Bioeconomy is an area that is expected to create many new jobs, and we now have a fantastic opportunity because of the combination of access to raw materials in our forests and a highly qualified workforce.
High ambitions Participants were able to inspect Processum's pilot equipment and learn more about the resources that are available. Participants could also take part in a workshop concerning SCA's expansion in Östrand and what the reality of the Flagship Biorefinery would be like for both the region and various companies. In conclusion, Tone Bekkestad, former well-known TV4 meteorologist and current lecturer and moderator, gave her views on climate change and how we can all contribute to a better climate. //
Unique handbook for till and green liquor sludge sealing layers Using green liquor sludge mixed with till as a capping layer for materials such as mine waste is a method that has been developed through successful research projects and field trials with Processum's participation. Guidelines are now being made available for the first time regarding how the method can be made available to contractors. FACTS In addition to Processum, several other companies have also been active and, in certain cases, driving forces behind the development of the successful concept. Boliden, Ragn-Sells, SCA, MTC, Domsjö Fabriker, LTU, Ecoloop, Swerock and Ramböll have all contributed to the result.
From left: Josef Mácsik, Ecoloop, Magnus Filipsson, Boliden, Pär Odén, Ragn-Sells, Gunnar Westin, Processum and Christian Maurice, Ramböll. Magnus Bergknut, MTC is missing from the photograph.
Luleå University of Technology has been investigating the chemical and physical properties of green liquor sludge since 2009. A series of projects has subsequently been carried out with the aim of identifying a method to use a mixture of till found in the vicinity of the mines and green liquor waste from the pulp industry to form a sealing layer for capping mine waste.
Clear instructions The evaluation of mixing techniques, laying and packing of the capping layer has been investigated on a pilot scale at the Ragn-Sells facility in Boden, and in 2016 at Boliden's decommissioned mine in Näsliden. The guidelines are based on experience and knowledge built up during these trials. "We're very pleased with the results," says Gunnar Westin, business developer at Processum. The challenge has been to draw up instructions that are as clear as possible, because it is important that the proportions are adapted to the materials in question so that the capping layer fulfils its function. However, we now know that the guidelines provide a good and detailed description of every stage of the process, so that the material acts as an oxygen barrier in a longterm and safe manner. Effective and environmentally friendly capping layers are sought-after by the mining indus-
try. Green liquor waste is a waste material from the pulp industry that is used to some extent as a construction material in the industry's own landfill sites, but is otherwise classed as waste.
Extensive cooperation Substantial environmental benefits can be had by combining the wishes of the mining industry with an ambition to develop added value from waste materials from the pulp industry and recycling companies. The material has a high water retention capacity and low water permeability, which are critical properties when applying capping layers (oxygen barriers) to materials that are readily oxidised, such as sulphur-rich waste rock. "Representatives from the entire value chain have been involved in the development and testing of the method, and we now believe that there are financial, environmental and practical benefits for all the parties involved," says Gunnar. A key aspect of our assignment is that the technology and research that we carry out reaches the market. This is one of the reasons behind the guidelines that we have drawn up. This is our way of disseminating the knowledge to people we believe will benefit from it. We are also pleased to note that the guidelines have already been applied to the treatment of mining waste outside our research projects. //
Göran Persson, former Prime Minister, was one of the speakers.
A national day for sustainability Sweden is aiming to become a leading nation in bioeconomy, and last year the very first National Bioeconomy Day was held in Örnsköldsvik, with Processum as one of the organisers behind the event. "We're thrilled that together with the other organisers we were able to arrange such a successful National Bioeconomy Day, which we're convinced will become an annual gathering," says Magnus Hallberg, CEO of Processum. Future issues were on the agenda when the very first National Bioeconomy Day was held in Örnsköldsvik in March 2017. Many key people were present, including Minister for Rural Affairs Sven-Erik Bucht and Göran Persson, former Prime Minister and chairman of the European think-tank ‘Think Forest’. "The National Bioeconomy Day includes seminars, lectures and debates with interesting participants. The days are structured around three challenges facing bioeconomy: Scaling-up and test beds, the need for a demand for green products and regulations and instruments which impact on the growth of the bioeconomy," says Magnus Hallberg. "The National Bioeconomy Day is a big step forward in Sweden’s efforts to become a leading nation in the new bioeconomy. The Swedish bioeconomy is developing rapidly at present, and we must therefore bring together key individuals and decision-makers from bioeconomy compa-
nies and organisations across the country," says Peter Hedman, project manager, North Sweden Cleantech, who was one of the organisers. He believes that the sector is facing a number of challenges which will require common solutions and that the National Bioeconomy Day can provide a unique platform to exploit the potential that exists. "The first national day was a great success. There was universal agreement that the venture is essential in order to elevate the issue to a higher level in order to achieve an understanding of how important the bioeconomy is to Sweden in many ways. For example, the importance of the fact that Sweden is 70 percent forest and that this resource must be managed appropriately, but also from a climate perspective on the journey towards phasing out fossil raw materials," says Peter Hedman. "We had a good mix of speakers and panels at various levels of the value chain. This, coupled with the fact that many people signed up and came to Örnsköldsvik, demonstrates the considerable interest in the issues. The National Bioeconomy Day was arranged by North Sweden Cleantech, the Government Offices of Sweden, the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Swedish Forest Industries Federation, Vinnova, Processum, IKEM, Region Västerbotten, the County Administrative Board of Västernorrland and the municipality of Örnsköldsvik. //
"The first national day was a great success. There was universal agreement that the venture is essential in order to elevate the issue to a higher level to achieve an understanding of how important the bioeco nomy is to Sweden in many ways.”
The regions are helping Sweden move towards bioeconomy The preparation of a national forestry programme has been under way since 2015, based on a vision that Sweden should be a bioeconomy by 2050. Regional initiatives are also vital in order for the programme work to be successful with a unified forest policy.
Feasibility studies have now been set up in Jämtland and Västernorrland in a co-production between the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF) and the County Administrative Boards in the respective counties. These aim to investigate the conditions for developing regional forest programmes and identify potential issues for these. "An important aim of the feasibility studies is to unify the industry and society with regard to ways of working, methods and financing in the ongoing regional forest programme. We want to take the initiative in raising awareness of forestry issues and highlighting the importance of forests for regional development and growth," says Karin Nolén, LRF, who is project manager for the feasibility studies in both Jämtland and Västernorrland. The broad agreements will be reached in close cooperation with forestry, authorities and organisations in the county, and will be anchored at the appropriate strategic level. "We have established two separate feasi bility studies, which together will represent a good cross-section of the challenges and oppor tunities that are being faced by Forest Sweden. These cover both small- and large-scale forestry, as well as forest owners' associations and a leading forestry industry. Together we are in
agreement over the most important features and what we can achieve. As a regional steering group for the feasibility study is to be set up, Processum will actively participate in this work through Jennie Söderström. "Processum's participation has been extremely valuable. Not least because the organi sation is augmenting our knowledge of forest ownership and forestry through its expertise throughout the entire chain, covering training, research and innovation in the process industry. We are leaders in the region in this field, partly thanks to Östrand's initiatives and the plans for a large-scale biorefinery within the Domsjö industrial park. A decision concerning further work must be taken, and a partnership and organisation must be established. "It has been incredibly rewarding work, with a high level of commitment and willingness to contribute from both the sector and the public authorities. A decision is now required from Region Västernorrland and Region Jämtland Härjedalen regarding continued programme work in order to provide the regions with the courage and desire to pick up the baton. It's clear that the sector is willing to participate and contribute," concludes Karin Nolén.
The picture was taken at one of several steering group meetings. Back row from left: Mats Forslund (JHT), Johan Loock (Region Västernorrland), Mathias Westerlund (Holmen Skog), Jennie Söderström (Processum), Sven Erik Hammar (Mellanskog), Gunilla Kjellsson (Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF Västernorrland), Torbjörn Engberg (County Administrative Board of Västernorrland), Lars Ahlin (LRF Jämtland). Front row from left: Annika Fälldin (LRF), Karin Nolén (LRF), Gustaf Källström (Norra forest owners' association), Vanja Strand (Swedish Forest Agency), Peter Andrén (County Administrative Board of Jämtland), Susanne Öberg (LRF), Gunnar Heibring (Norrskog), Mats Sandgren (SCA Skog).
A growing interest association Processum Interest Association has grown in just a few years. There are many benefits to being part of this association too. "As a member, you gain access to knowledge, expertise and networks," says Lars Winter, chairman of Processum Interest Association. There is an excellent collaboration between industry and research companies in Domsjö. The RISE group has a 60 percent stake in Processum, with the rest being jointly owned by the member companies. "I believe there are few places in Sweden with such good collaboration. Processum is a key partner to us as members. The members gain a common platform and Processum offers ideas and its unique expertise. The partnership means that we can exert an influence and retain expertise in the area," says Lars Winter. There are many benefits to being involved. It is about expertise, as well as networks, good infrastructure and access to laboratories, equipment and machinery. Lars Winter points to the R&D council, which is tasked with promoting new ideas for products and processes in the biorefinery field. Members of Processum Interest Association and other companies and associations can receive support from the R&D council to implement interesting project ideas. Twenty companies are currently members of the Interest Association. "Financing with the aid of public funding is a great strength," says Lars Winter. Companies from across Sweden are welcome to join. However, companies must also add something to the association and they must be active and contribute.
Dåva Deponi & Avfallscenter in Umeå is the 20th and most recent company to be admitted to the association. The company is owned by the municipality of Umeå and aims to ensure that waste is safely disposed of at landfills and to recycle as much of this waste as possible. "For example, this might be industrial waste, contaminated soil relating to the pulp industry, or ash from biofuel boilers," explains CEO Jörgen Aronsson. There is already a link between Dåva Deponi and the other member companies, hence the Umeå company became aware of Processum. "It's an interesting constellation of companies which I think is unusual. There is drive and ambition. We want to learn from them and identify new ideas. Our owners want us to be at the forefront when it comes to research and development, and I believe there is much in this region that we are unaware of at present." Jörgen Aronsson hopes that Dåva Deponi can in turn contribute with "the final link in the chain". "We can learn about how to deal with waste products. I've noticed that there is some times a gap in knowledge, and this can be an expensive affair if things are not done in the right way. This is where I believe we can contri bute a considerable amount of knowledge. //
Lars Winter, chairman of Processum Interest Association.
Jörgen Aronsson, CEO, Dåva Deponi & Avfallscenter.
New platforms for interaction Science & Innovation Day and Business Innovation Day are two meeting places for industry and academia. Both of these events took place in Sundsvall in 2017, with Processum as a more active partner than ever before. "These two days are a good way for us to participate in the regional innovation system and to showcase ourselves as a resource," says Jennie Söderström, inno vation manager at Processum. The topic "Digitalisation and bioeconomy for a sustainable future!" attracted more visitors than ever before to the Science & Innovation Day. The main speakers included Dr. Kate Stone from Cambridge University and Hélène Barnekow, CEO of Telia Sverige. Mid Sweden University presented the latest research results from its research centre STC – Sensible Things that Communicate and FSCN – Fibre Science and Communication Network. "The aim of the event is to integrate industry with research in the region in order to exchange knowledge and ideas and create new partnerships. We've taken an active role in this, with participation in the steering group and planning of the actual day," informs Jennie Söderström.
made more efficient. Every challenge is matched with selected experts who act as a discussion partner, discuss solutions and help with contact networks. Mid Sweden University was also the main organiser of this event and Processum was again an active participant in 2017. //
Business Innovation Day Business Innovation Day focuses on the challenges faced by small and medium-sized companies. The aim of this day is to improve our understanding of the potential for innovation through cooperation. For example, this could be a product that needs to be developed, a new service or a way of working that needs to be
Photo: Inger Axbrink, Mid Sweden University
Annual travel grant awarded to two chemistry teachers from Skellefteå Chemistry teachers Ulrika Andrén and Inger Höglund from Skellefteå received Processum's travel grant for 2017 in order to participate in the "Experimental chemistry" course in Gävle. The grants were awarded for the third year in a row and are a result of Processum’s success in winning Västernorrland County Council’s external environmental prize for 2014. The "Experimental chemistry" award for natural science teachers is a joint venture between the Swedish National Committee for Chemistry (Nationalkommittén för kemi) at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, various universities, the National
Resource Center for Chemistry Teachers (Kemilärarnas resurscentrum) and the Swedish Chemical Society. Ulrika and Inger were in Gävle during the period 7-11 August to attend the course. The aim of the course is to give the participants an advanced knowledge of experimentally based modern chemistry. When Processum received an environmental prize in 2014, it was decided to use the prize money to award travel grants to chemi stry teachers across the region. The aim is to encourage chemistry teachers in their work in inspiring greater interest in chemistry amongst young people through participation in the course. //
Production: Devocy Communication, 2018
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The 2017 Activity Report for Processum.