FORIC (Forest as a resource industrial research college) is our new industrial research school. Program director is professor Per Engstrand. FORIC is financed by the KK Foundation and a part of our KK research environment at Mid Sweden University.
FORIC is a new graduate school in close cooperation with the business companies in Sweden where graduate students will increase their competitiveness. Academia and industry will benefit from interacting with each other.
Today biorefineries become an important way to refine forest resources and develop the industry in a sustainable direction. But not even the really big companies can handle themselves of all the processes around the technology used in a biorefinery. Optimizing the chain from forest to finished product therefore requires collaboration between different companies in the forest industry and also other companies close to forest industries, such as logistics, recycling, waste, energy etc.
Research funded by KK Foundation and the companies
30 researchers and professors from different disciplines at Mid Sweden University will be attached to the research school. Up to 50 percent of the research is funded by the KK Foundation and the rest of the companies.
"We have very good experience of working with Mid Sweden University and their research schools, and that is why we have chosen to enter also in this program. Based on previous collaborations with them, we have seen that this is a very good way to work", says Folke Österberg, SCA Forest Products AB.
Find new knowledge and new collaborations
14 Ph D student will gather in the first seminar in February 2015. One goal is to get companies to interact with each other.
"Take the example of a company working with sludge recycling. Instead of waiting until all the sludge is collected in one place, you can create stations along the process and thus optimize recovery. To do this requires joint system for forest products companies and recyclers. These systems need to be synchronized by someone, and that is where the research enters the picture", says Per Engstrand. "We want to build networks for the companies to help them transform in industrial ecosystem and find new innovations, products and services."
14 researchers starts 2015
Graduate School FORIC's Phase 1 starts in February 2015 with 15 companies postgraduates and Phase 2, not yet approved, is starting in autumn 2016, with further 15 Ph D Students.