Mechanical forest industry, or timber product industry, employs 11,000 persons across Finland. Mechanical forest industry includes the industrial sectors related to the manufacturing and further processing of sawn timber, logs, pillars or veneer and plywood based products. In total, there are hundreds of these sectors. Mechanical forest industry is a vital part of the value chain of wooden construction and other types of timber use as a supplier of products and services.
North Karelia is known as a strong and versatile area for mechanical forest industry. The region has a solid history in strong entrepreneur personas, high-quality wood raw material, and a shipping and transport network provided by large bodies of water.
Karelia University of Applied Sciences also carries out research and development activities related to the industry as well as testing laboratory activities used to support companies’ product development.
Natural Resources Institute Finland has decades of experience in successful activities, and domestic and international cooperation in research and development projects in the mechanical forest industry and related supply of raw materials. In addition to research and development work, stakeholders are provided with specialist and testing services related to the topic
In the 2010s, the work aiming to improve the modification and long-term sustainability of wood, environmental arguments for wooden products, effects on indoor air, and suitability for construction, and side stream utilisation have emerged as important themes alongside quality, value and characterisation perspectives.
University of Eastern Finland has a multidisciplinary research and education network in wood materials science. The network examines the growth of wood and forests, the qualities of wood material, and its use in various value chains. The research covers areas such as the material characteristics of wood, modification and protection solutions, and new board products. A significant share of the research is focused on analysing the side streams resulting from wood processing and assessing potential use applications.