SARPSBORG, Norway, Jan. 30, 2014 (Press Release) - Borregaard has received a commitment for NOK 18.8 million in support from the Research Council of Norway (NFR). The funds will be used for two different innovation projects based on biomass as a raw material.
"This is the second major pledge we have received in only a few weeks, which demonstrates that our research projects represent both great added value and credibility in the professional communities. Both research projects have an environmental upside in that the end products are bio-based," says President and CEO Per A. Sørlie of Borregaard.
The funds come from Skog-Verdi, a collaboration between the support programmes BIA (User-managed Innovation Arena) and BIONÆR (Sustainable added value in food and bio-based industries). A total of NOK 25 million were announced for new projects based on forestry and wood for products. The background of the announcement is the Government's package of measures for the forestry industry in the revised 2013 national budget. The support assumes that Borregaard itself contributes around NOK 33 million across the two projects within the fields of lignin and specialty cellulose respectively.
NOK 10.8 million has been awarded to the "Green Binder" project, which is a collaboration project between Elkem and Borregaard where the goal is to develop bio-based binding agents for carbon products. This project has also received support from Innovation Norway to the tune of NOK 2.7 million.
In addition, NOK 8 million has been awarded to the "High Purity Cellulose" project, which aims to develop a process to produce specialty cellulose qualities for use in advanced chemicals. Innovation Norway is also supporting this project with NOK 7.3 million.
The funds will be used over three years.
"The project quality, the projects' potential for creating added value and the company's ability to realize innovation have been decisive for the funding. Both of the Borregaard projects are clearly related to renewal and restructuring. Future growth in the forestry sector will be from new products, new exploitation of raw materials and new technology. Here Borregaard is at the forefront," says senior consultant Ulf Rune Visur Syvertsen with NFR.
Borregaard has the one of the world's most advanced biorefineries. By using natural, sustainable raw materials, Borregaard produces advanced and eco-friendly biochemicals, biomaterials and bioethanol that can replace oil-based products. The company has 1,050 employees in factories and sales offices in 16 countries in Europe, America, Asia and Africa. Borregaard also has strong positions in ingredients and fine chemicals. The group annually spends around NOK 150 million on research and development and has its own research centre with 80 employees in various chemical disciplines in Sarpsborg. Around 15 per cent of the company's turnover comes from new products introduced in the past five years.