A competition for higher education students - Wood U Innovate


Let's find a solution for global challenges from wood together!

Forest-based industries can offer solutions to many global challenges, such as the climate change. The Finnish Forest Products’ Engineers Association (PI) and the Finnish Forest Industries Federation want to support university students who want to find solutions from wood and consequently promote innovations in the forest-based industry.

Help the forest-based industry to find renewable solutions! Choose one or more of the  forest-based industries’ megatrends* and generate new ideas to overcome challenges that face us. The idea can be a new product, a service or even a new operating method.


Why participate?

We offer you a unique opportunity to present and further develop your idea, why not so far as to a business idea. The finalists will be also provided with coaching so they will enhance their performing skills. You will get feedback from our jury that is comprised of top professionals from the field including Katariina Kemppainen (VP, Group R&D, Metsä Group), Jenny Müller-Wahlman (Director, Innovation and R&D, Stora Enso), Pia Nilsson (Director, Global Platform Development R&D, UPM), Atte Virtanen (Vice President, Biomaterial processing and products, VTT),  Maarit Lindström (Director, Finnish Forest Industries Federation) and Antti Lindqvist (Managing Director, Finnish Forest Products’ Engineers Association).



The prizes of the competition are in total 10 000 euros, which will be granted to three or more competition proposals according to the decisions by the jury.


Who can participate?

All students from Finnish universities and universities of applied science are welcome to participate in the competition. The solution does not have to be a ready product, but it can be e.g. an idea, study assignment or preliminary plan in its very early stage. Applicants can participate in the competition alone or by forming a team.


How to participate?

Step 1: Plan alone or with a team a wood-based innovation, which would help our industry to address and solve a global challenge.

Step 2: Entries should be submitted no later than 8.2.2023. You may also attach a more detailed description of your idea in pdf or video format. You can present the idea in either English or Finnish.

Step 3: The jury will choose the finalists in February 2023. All teams will be informed of the preliminary eliminations via email.

Step 4: Wood U Innovate competition’s final event will take place on the 20th of April in Helsinki at Kalastajatorppa in connection with PI’s Spring Summit. All university students who have participated the competition with their proposal will be invited to participate the interesting seminar and competition for free.

The application period is from 24.11.2022 to 8.2.2023. Apply by filling this form!


*)The Forest-based industry has identified e.g. the following five long-term megatrends that have enormous effect on the changes world-wide.

1. Digitalization: For some industries digitalization is a huge challenge, for others it is a great business opportunity.

2.Urbanization and gentrification: By 2030 about 40 percent of the world population will need access to adequate housing. This translates into around 100 000 people needing housing every day. Housing will concentrate on cities because of population growth and urbanization. About half of the world’s natural resources are used in buildings and construction and construction sector produces 30 percent of all waste.

3.Competition for resources: By 2050 we will need 60 % more food, 30 % more water and 50 % more energy (the approximations are changed to figures that are more up to date. The predictions still include a lot of uncertainities).

4.Environmental challenges and reputation: Conscious consumers will want to buy products that are resource efficient. Conscious consumers choose a more sustainable way of living. They appreciate individualized products and services, which distinguishes them. Consumers do not want to strain the environment with their choices. People also move a lot more nowadays because of work, free time, and residency.

5.Population growth: By 2050 about 68 percent of the global population will live in cities. Cities consume most of the world’s natural resources and energy. Also, the consumption habits have changed because of the urbanization and gentrification. Consumers want solutions that make living easier. A conscious consumer looks for experiences but does not want to strain the environment by their choices



https://research.wri.org/sites/default/files/2019-07/creating-sustainable-food-future_2_5.pdf https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/pdf/IEO2021_Narrative.pdf