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CEPI Two Teams making serious progress

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CEPI Two Teams making serious progress

April 22, 2013 - 06:23

The CEPI Two Team Project uses crowd sourcing and open innovation while putting two teams in competition with each other in order to identify within a year breakthrough technology concepts. Those technologies need to enable the European pulp and paper industry to significantly reduce its carbon emissions, while creating more value. Through the installation of these technologies the industry would be in a position to implement the CEPI Roadmap 2050 that suggested that the sector would decarbonise by 80% and create 50% more value by 2050.

A cocktail of expertise

The teams involved in the process are composed of paper company experts, representatives of companies supplying machines or chemicals, university professors, researchers, even experts not directly in contact with the sector who are all bound to very strict confidentiality rules. They operate in a safe Intellectual Property Rights environment as well and do not communicate with each other on the content of their discussions.

Since the launch of the project, the teams have already had four opportunities to meet and to elaborate generic concepts of breakthrough innovations.

In December, the kick-off meeting held in the Atomium of Brussels allowed the participants to break the ice, get to know each other and be informed on the "rules of the game", the available tools and material, as well as the time schedule.

The first substantive meeting took place in Lenzing (Austria). The teams had the opportunity to learn about hi-tech textile fiber produced in the mill before having a full day of brainstorming in split rooms.

In February, Tata Steel opened its Ijmuiden mill (Netherlands) to the teams, telling them about the ULCOS project (Ultra Low Carbon Steel) before the teams could separately refine the concept areas they had identified in Austria. A first selection of promising concept areas was made at that occasion.

After a visit to the Repsol laboratories in Madrid, the teams came to a more realistic selection of generic concepts that are likely to be in the teams' final report to be delivered in September.

Comparison, inspiration and metaphors

While not disclosing any content of what the teams have in mind, readers might be interested to know that both teams are exploring and assessing whether technologies and innovations used in other industries might be helpful. In that context, they have looked at the textile industry and its methods to create surfaces out of fiber. They are also considering the food industry and its techniques of drying food.

Nature can also be a source of inspiration and bio-mimetics might contribute to the final results submitted by the teams.

Useful metaphors are often making very abstract and technical ideas easier to understand. Candles, conditioning shampoos, tumble dryers, and other items are some of the pictures the teams are using to make processes more accessible that might be relevant for the end results to be delivered by the teams.

What's next?

A few more meetings are planned in May and June this year. Then the teams will start preparing their final reports. A pre-jury will meet early October to score the teams' submissions before the jury will select the winning concept in time for the winner to be announced on November 27, 2013, during the European Paper Week.

The proposed generic concepts by the teams will help CEPI to convince the European Commission to grant some money from the framework program for research Horizon 2020 to the pulp and paper industry. The research money will help to further develop the ideas, hence contributing to the decarbonisation of the industry.

While good progress has been made within the teams, there is still room for feeding the process with any disruptive idea or concept. Nearly 20 submissions have been registered on the website. More than 100 LinkedIn members have joined the CEPI Two Team Group. The Two Team project is also on Twitter and on Facebook. Social media are different ways to get in touch and follow the blue and red team progress. Each fan or Twitter follower will be, to a certain extent, part of the future of the European paper industry.

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