ICFPA Announces Winners of International Forest Innovation Awards Program

The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2022-2023 Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards program, a global initiative that helps recognize and promote young researchers who are driving innovation and advancing positive change in the field of forestry, harvested wood products, and forest products innovation.

This year, ICFPA members nominated 14 candidates from around the world to compete internationally. Following careful consideration by a jury composed of leaders with connections to industry, academia, and public policy across the globe, the three winners have been chosen to receive recognition for their exceptional contributions to the forestry research field:

First Place: Ivana Amorim Dias – Brazil

Nominated by: Brazilian Tree Industry (Ibá)

Research subject: Purification of high-value-added compounds from the soluble phase of bio-oil

Second Place: Ilona Leppänen – Finland

Nominated by: Confederation of European Paper Industries (Cepi)

Research subject: Capturing nano- and microplastics with nanocellulose networks

Third Place: Leane Naude – South Africa

Nominated by: Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA)

Research subject: Developing more cost-effective purification method of lignosulphonate, an abundant and versatile alternative to fossil-based fuels

“We are truly inspired by the high caliber of submissions received for this year’s Blue Sky Awards program,” noted ICFPA President Jori Ringman. “All candidates are leading the way in developing sustainable and impactful solutions that have the potential to make a positive difference in climate smart forestry and forest products, clean manufacturing, and the forest bioeconomy. The three winning researchers show that products from the circular bioeconomy can provide superior alternatives to fossil-based ones and that bio-based materials can be a solution to the global issues that an economy based on fossil materials has created. We are honored to recognize and support their pioneering work,” added Ringman, who is also Director General of Cepi (the Confederation of European Paper Industries).

Winners will receive a cash prize along with the opportunity to present their research projects to an international group of forestry business leaders at ICFPA’s Global CEO Roundtable event, being held in Amsterdam in May.

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

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 : kpatterson-baker@fpac.ca

t : 613-563-1441 ext. 314