The company said it will use the center to further its goals to accelerate material and packaging innovation and provide a collaboration platform for customers and technology partners globally.
“As the amount of packaging continues to grow, new, sustainable solutions are needed to replace fossil-based materials and ensure circularity. The Excellence Centre concept enables paperboard and packaging solutions that look at the entire value chain, and not just at its separate parts. With the material knowhow, competence and tools now available, we can optimise performance throughout the packaging lifecycle,” says Mika Joukio, CEO of Metsä Board.
The Excellence Centre, which covers 1,500 square meters, includes R&D facilities, a packaging design studio, a customer feedback center and a laboratory providing more than 100 different measurement methods and analytics. The facility also includes a virtual store and a computer-aided engineering (CAE) tool to allow simulation and analysis of packaging performance.
Metsä Board said virtual collaboration workshops have also been developed to enable joint development and co-creation if physical meetings are not possible.
“Renewable and recyclable fresh fiber paperboard can be utilized for packaging in many ways. Fiber-based packaging has a lot to offer, and together with our partners and the new Excellence Centre, we are able to explore the possibilities even more comprehensively. I am excited about the opportunities this will bring for today and the future,” Joukio said.
Äänekoski’s bioeconomy ecosystem includes a next-generation bioproduct mill, a paperboard mill, plywood mill, the Pro Nemus visitor center, and a textile fiber demo plant.