In the VINNOVA competence center programme, universities, research institutes, corporations and public agencies will collaborate on research in an area vital to Swedens future competitiveness. The investment is part of the strategic partnership program initiative run by the the Swedish government.
RISE Acreo is the main applicant and will act as co-ordinator for the Digital Cellulose Center, established together with RISE Bioeconomy (former Innventia), Linköping university (Campus Norrköping), KTH Royal Institute for Technology and a number of different corporations. The purpose of the DCC is to make cellulose based products an integrated part of the digital society. The DCC is granted 36 MSEK from VINNOVA until the 2022 when an evaluation will take place to determine if the center will be funded for another five years. The VINNOVA funding will be matched by the academic partners and corporations, making the total funding for the project 108 MSEK for the first five years.
The research within the Digital Cellulose Center will focus on the topic of digital cellulose, where cellulose is combined with electroactive material, making it possible to develop electrically active cellulose products that can communicate with the digital world while remaning sustainable and environmentally friendly. This could mean entirely new types of active packaging solutions, able to sense and adapt to their surroundings, or paper rolls able to store energy from solar cells or windpower.
“The Digital Cellulose Center is a truely exciting project and we will continue to drive the development of the paper industry towards new possiblities. We’re seeing great potential in the innovative solutions for packaging logistic, renewable materials and energy storage that might emerge from this research environment,” says Anna Jonhed, Chair person of the board for the Digital Cellulose Center.
It’s not a coincidence that the competence center for digital cellulose is formed around RISE Acreo and RISE Bioeconomy, LiU and KTH. These academic parties have done research on digital cellulose in the past, in large projects funded by the Wallenberg foundation, SSF and the Swedish Energy Agency, such as the Modulit and Power Paper projects.
“The previous projects have shown great potential for biobased energy storage, for example. In DCC we now have broad industrial cooperation along the value chain from raw material producers to suppliers of electronic components and recycling company which is essential for the development,” says Pia Wågberg, RISE Bioeconomy.