FBI Day 2024: More and cleaner from less


In Tampere, forest products specialists talked about both global deforestation and Finland’s top-notch innovations. The event’s stars were the active students.

The 2024 Forest Based Industries (FBI) Day was held on 24 January at Tampere Hall. It was organised by the Finnish Forest Products Engineers’ Association, PI and the student organisation Paperikerho of Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK). More than 360 people were attending 279 of them students. The companies taking part in the event numbered 20. All of these figures represent new records for the event.

TAMK students Tiia-Tuulia Kimpimäki, Annika Kivimäki, and Kerttu Seikkula, along with the rest of the project team, made particularly significant contributions to the success of the day. They began preparations for the day as early as in November.

On the day of the event, the young women were happy about the trust put in them. “Luckily, our team is big. When we help each other, things run smoothly throughout the day,” said Kimpimäki. Seikkula says that she was delighted to realise that she understood how the wood, pulp and textile industries work as she listened to the speeches.

Production up, emissions down

Ali Harlin, a research professor at VTT, emphasised that textiles must be made to last. This being the case, pulp – of which, according to Harlin, everything is known in Finland – is the
most promising material for the textile industry. “You can get added value by producing more from less than before,” said Harlin. Matti Toivonen, VP of Technology at Metsä Fibre, had similar thoughts. He mentioned that the company he represents strives for maximizing the utilization of its raw materials. The new Kemi bioproduct mill, an investment of more than EUR 2 billion, operates entirely without fossil fuels. “More production, less emissions,” said Toivonen.

Virpi Puhakka, director of Valmet’s Beyond Circularity ecosystem, presented the green transition ecosystem in which Valmet plans to invest approximately EUR 40 million in 2022–2025. “Pioneers are always needed. There are sure to be some in this room,” Puhakka said.

“Young people, be inquisitive!”

The students asked the speakerswhich subject is the most important one for success in the forest products industry. VTT’s Harlin recommended choosing studies according to one’s own interests. “Be inquisitive,” he said.

Text: Hannu Kaskinen