Focus on breakthrough technologies

Paper industry starts competition for low carbon and energy efficiency concepts

  • Focus on breakthrough technologies
    Focus on breakthrough technologies

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) has taken up the challenge to investigate how to meet the European Union targets that aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by the year 2050. In an effort to drive innovation in this industry into action on the R&D front, the “Breakthrough Technologies Two Teams” approach was set up. An interview with Marco Mensink, Deputy Director General of CEPI and Bernard de Galambert, Forest and Research Director.

Can you explain why the Two Team approach has been formed?

In November 2011 CEPI launched its 2050 Roadmap for a low carbon economy. In the Roadmap, one key element in making it happen is the development of breakthrough technologies. They have to be available by 2030 to deliver in 2050. We have ten years to think, 10 years to demo, 10 years to build and 10 years to run. We put together two teams to compete in identifying of potential breakthrough technologies for pulp and paper industry.

Who can join the teams?

Anyone connected or not connected to the pulp and paper industry can submit ideas, via the different channels we have set up. Both producers and suppliers of pulp and paper will be part of the teams. People can join the ‘fan club’ of one of the teams and engage in discussions.

Can technology be submitted by non-team members? If so, how do they submit it?

Absolutely, that is a must. The two teams can be approached by anyone with a good idea, via the special website ( Furthermore, we have set up a Twitter account (@CEPI2TP), a LinkedIn group (CEPI Two Team Project) and a Facebook account (2050 Roadmap: Two Team Project) to invite people to submit and discuss ideas.

Do you include all technology? Are there boundaries?

The bottom line of the project is that there should be as little limits to creativity and imagination as possible, however the two team project has a technology focus. It will NOT focus on new products, markets and value chains. The project does focus on breakthrough technologies for pulp production, paper making and energy production/conversion. The teams should come with concepts for new pulp technologies, new paper machines and boilers, as well as other functionalities of the current equipment, or optimisation of the current processes. The winning concepts should have a clear business case.

What are the criteria for the technologies you are looking for? What will be the outcomes?

The two teams compete in identifying more efficient, lower carbon, better integrated, more sustainable technologies and/or processes. Irrespective of their working methods, each team should deliver at least two generic concepts for breakthrough technology in pulp and paper manufacturing. Each concept should have an analysis showing the estimated benefits, and a justification why the team selected it. In principle, this analysis should be in line with the value creation and carbon reduction starting points of the forest fiber industry 2050 Roadmap. Practically, the jury will vote on the basis of three specific criteria:

  1. to what extent does the concept contribute to the -80% decarbonisation?
  2. to what extent does the concept contribute to the +50% value and
  3. have the proposed concepts a promising business case?


The Two Team Project ends at European Paper Week 2013, our intentions and goals do not. The concepts developed will have to be taken further, by companies, research institutes and the Forest-based sector Technology Platform. The EU is developing its 2014-2020 research and innovation budgets. We will work hard to secure that they include opportunities for the best concepts.