Published 8 November 2018
In Stora Enso’s transformation, there are key areas that will highly impact our businesses going forward. By working with startups and partners, we can pick up the pace and drive the full potential of renewable materials.
Partnership is not a new concept for Stora Enso. However, in the past few years, we have amplified collaborations with incubator startups and companies on the innovation path as well as research organisations and academic institutions. These partnerships are mutually beneficial, bringing resources, capabilities and insights to one that the other lacks and vice versa, or simply combining the ‘brain power’ of two for a common aim.
In 2017, Stora Enso launched our first Accelerator programme, in partnership with Aalto ENT and Vertical Accelerator. The programme focused on digital solutions for smart factories, supply chain track and trace, customer experience and other ideas with a clear connection to renewable materials. As an outgrowth, we have already announced two partnerships, with Sulapac and TRÄ.
With Sulapac, we will concentrate on combatting the global problem of plastic waste by accelerating the use of renewable materials in packaging. With TRÄ Group, the focus is on making the specification of wooden buildings easier and attaining smarter construction with a digital platform and toolbox that connects industry professionals throughout the value chain.
Following on the success of the first programme, a second Accelerator programme has recently been launched with a focus on circular economy, especially in regard to circular solutions, raw material management, packaging, separation and sorting, and fuel. Selected startups will be teamed up with Stora Enso participants to actively ideate and innovate for new solutions with renewable materials at the foundation. An Executive Education programme is run in parallel.
Stora Enso also has discrete projects with startups and other partners within the divisions, with the purpose of sharing insights and development. Additionally, we participated in Combient Foundry Venture Client Program together with Kone to find opportunities specifically around virtual forestry and smart sales and purchasing.
Our work with startups has recently been recognised as we have been awarded the most startup friendly company in Finland in 2018 by Tribe Tampere. The award notes our proactive work within the Finnish startup ecosystem, systematic model in engaging startups and flagship business programmes.