In late 2015, UPM partnered up with Taiste Oy, a company specialised in mobile applications. The mobile phone app aimed particularly at new forest owners is already available for Android, and Apple’s iOS versions will be released in the summer of 2016.

Accurate information about the value of a forest, for example, could activate an inheritor to take an interest in forest management or the timber trade.

UPM’s Paula Savonen praises the company’s new partner. According to her, it pays for a large-scale enterprise to be humble, since in-house competence is not always enough.

“We met many growth-orientated, enthusiastic and competent companies at Slush 2015. The only thing we needed to do was to present our goals in a clear way.”

Another example of Slush-derived cooperation is the collaboration with the small NordicEdu Oy, which is developing a forest-themed mobile game. To find a partner for this project, UPM teamed up with the Guides and Scouts of Finland.

Intelligence packed into packaging

In its capacity as a solution provider, Stora Enso, for its part, is making board intelligent.
“We don’t want be a board supplier for packaging manufacturers alone,” says Timo Sokka, head of new business development.

Stora Enso’s software developer in smart medicine packages aimed at consumers, for example, is Siili Solutions Oyj. The packages are equipped with microchips and employ Microsoft’s cloud service.

Launched in February 2016, the project was in its demo phase as early as in April.

According to Mikko Mertovaara, who is in charge of Siili Solutions’ IoT solutions, the process was swift thanks to Stora Enso’s clear business objective.

“Technology is a means to an end rather than the silver bullet itself.”

Building up an ecosystem

At Metsä Group, the new era is visible as manufacturing partnerships related to the bioproduct mill.

Metsä Fibre’s latest partner, the SME EcoEnergy SF Oy, is building a biogas plant that makes use of the sludge resulting from pulp production at Äänekoski.

Niklas von Weymarn, Metsä Fibre’s vice president in charge of development, points out that the company’s bioproduct concept is being supplemented on a continuous basis.

“In the future, all of our four pulp mills will be bioproduct mills.”

Even though Äänekoski, at the moment, resembles a construction site, the manufacturing ecosystem already includes eight operators – five old and three new ones.

In addition to EcoEnergy SF, AGA is building a facility which will supply Metsä Fibre with oxygen in the area.

A contract on the wood yard operations of the bioproduct mill has also been made with Mantsinen Group.

Text: Jaakko Liikanen
Photo: Harri Halmejärvi