Blue Sky Awards Set To Recognize Forward-Thinking Forest Sector Innovations From Around The World

Earlier today, the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) released the list of 14 candidates from eight countries around the world who are contestants for the Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards for the Global Forest Products Sector.

Launched in 2016, the contest is a biennial effort to recognize, celebrate and promote some of the game-changing innovations being developed across the global forest sector.

The Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award collected proposals from aspiring scientists and young researchers who are passionate about climate positive forestry and forest products – and who have conceived innovative solutions that can help further decarbonize the forest products sector at production facilities, along the supply chain, in the forest, or via product innovation.

Three of the 14 candidates will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to present their work to ICFPA’s Global CEO Roundtable discussion being held in early 2023. An international judging panel was assembled to assess the strength and potential of each entry and includes the following leaders from around the world with connections to industry, academia, and public policy:

Dr. Lyndall Bull, Forestry Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN)

Barbara Tavora Jainchill, Programme Management Officer, Forest Affairs, with the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat

Kirsten Vice, Vice President, Sustainability and Canadian Operations, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI)

“The global forest sector has the potential to address some of the most urgent social, environmental, and economic challenges of today,” noted ICFPA President Jori Ringman. “From advancing a lower-carbon world through sustainable forest management, to building the forest bioeconomy and leveraging the power of carbon-storing wood products – we are thrilled to help recognize the brilliant young minds whose disruptive ideas and innovations can help pave the way forward,” added Ringman, who is also Director General of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (Cepi).

To learn more about the Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards for the Global Forest Products Sector, visit 

2022-2023 National Finalists

The following 14 national finalists are contestants for the 2022-2023 Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards for the Global Forest Products Sector:

AF&PA (United States)

Qiang Fu
Sneha Seetharama

AUSFPA (Australia)

Sam Van Holsbeeck

CEPI (European Union)

Ilona Lappanen

FPAC (Canada)

Anupama Sharan
Kudzanai Nyamayaro

IBA (Brazil)

Ivana Amorim Dias
Lauana Silva

JPA (Japan)

Takaaki Kasuga
Tomoki Ito

NZFOA (New Zealand)

Grace Marshall
Vikash Ghildiyal

PAMSA (South Africa)

Leane Naude
Qiniso Ngiba

The ICFPA serves as a forum of global dialogue, coordination and co-operation. Currently, the ICFPA represents 18 pulp, paper, wood and fibre-based associations that encompass 28 countries, including many of the top pulp, paper and wood producers around the world.

For more information, contact:
Kerry Patterson-Baker, VP Communications
Communications Secretariat for ICFPA
e :
t : 613-563-1441 ext. 314