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Browsing by Author "Ignatius, Heikki"

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  • Ignatius, Heikki (2019)
    The structural changes concerning the forest industry sector will stimulate the incumbents in the sector to develop new product areas for the replacement of the old, declining core products. Wood-based biochemicals are considered as one of the major product areas able to compensate the decline in revenues caused by diminishing demand for graphic papers. There is already existing demand for biochemicals from the owners of major product brands who seek to replace fossil-based raw materials with more sustainable alternatives. New wood-based product areas respond to the changing operating environment of the sector but also require new types of business models and strategies as well as development of expertise from different fields. This work examines the systemic weaknesses and strengths of the development of the Finnish wood-based biochemical sector as well as the policy tools facilitating the development and diffusion of the sector. This study was carried out as a qualitative study where literature review was complemented with eight semi-structured expert interviews. The conceptual basis for analyzing the material were based on innovation theories, enabling the identification of the weaknesses and strengths of the system. The results revealed several drivers for the further progression of the system but specifically two internal functions of the system were identified which can be recognized to hinder the optimal development of the entire system. The development and diffusion of knowledge as well as the differing expectations and visions between system actors were identified as barriers to the further development of the system, necessitating more effective policy measures. As this study addressed specifically the systemic weaknesses and strengths, it would be important for the future studies to address more detailed policy measures in order to enhance the further promotion of the sector. This approach should also consider the relationship of the wood-based biochemicals as a part of the whole biochemical sector and its development.