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In the picture, from left: Kristina Sundin Jonsson, head of administration, Municipality of Skellefteå, Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Vice-Chancellor of Luleå University of Technology, Carina Håkansson, president of Swedish Forest Industries Federation, and Lorents Burman, mayor in Skellefteå. Photo: Patrick Degerman View original picture , opens in new tab/window

New forest collaboration will strengthen research and education

Published: 13 June 2019

Luleå University of Technology has signed a collaboration agreement with the Swedish Forest Industries Federation and Swedish Wood. The collaboration – which includes research, innovation and education – should lead to investments that ensure the supply of skills and support the transition to a bio-based economy.

– The forest and wood industries have a key role for the sustainable society and we are very pleased that the industry sees Luleå University of Technology as an important partner. We look forward to develop research initiatives and our educations in the field, as well as taking our responsibility for competence development and lifelong learning, says Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Vice-Chancellor of Luleå University of Technology.

One of the main purposes of the collaboration is to ensure that the wood mechanical education and research at Luleå University of Technology in Skellefteå are developed. The University, the Swedish Forest Industries Federation and Swedish Wood will also develop a new model for lifelong learning, where employees in the forest and wood industries can combine work and skills development.

"An enabler for a sustainable future"

– The forest industry is an enabler for a sustainable future, by manufacturing products that are alternatives to fossil materials. Increasing our knowledge and strengthening both future and current employees in the development of bio-based products as the basis for a growing bioeconomy is really important to us, says Carina Håkansson, President of the the Swedish Forest Industries Federation.

As part of the collaboration agreement, Luleå University of Technology, Swedish Wood and the Swedish Forest Industries Federation will co-finance a professorship in the field of CT scanning, wood physics and digitization.
– The professorship is a big step in the development of the future wood industry, says Björn Källander, research director at Swedish Wood.

Recruitment of top students

The University shall also investigate the conditions for the establishment of a wood mechanical termination in Skellefteå for students in the engineering programs in mechanical engineering and architecture, as well as for this orientation to be developed into an international master.

The Swedish Forest Industries Federation and Swedish Wood are investigating the possibility of contributing a number of scholarships to facilitate recruitment of top students from Europe and third countries. 

– The initiative entails a unique opportunity for collaboration between the University, the industry organizations and companies. It strengthens the academic activities and improves the industry's opportunities to recruit staff with high competence, says Mathias Fridholm, business area manager at Swedish Wood.

Lorents Burman, mayor in Skellefteå, welcomes the new collaboration agreement:
– This will secure the development of research and education in bio-based products. It also ensures Campus Skellefteå and northern Sweden as a leading hub in wood mechanical development, he says.

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