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UPM Biofore exhibition opens at Verla Mill Museum

Published : 17 May 2019, 01:39

  DF Report

Press Release Photo by Sami Kulju/UPM.

The UPM Biofore exhibition opens on Thursday at the Verla Mill Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kouvola, southeastern Finland.

Throughout summer, the former bale warehouse will host an exhibit showcasing bioinnovations that are shaping the fossil-to-bio transition. The Verla Mill Museum is owned and managed by UPM, said a press release.

One of the main attractions is the Biofore Concept Car, which replaces conventional oil-based materials with renewable biomaterials. The car represents a paradigm shift for the forest industry and exemplifies the exciting new applications that are emerging for bio-based innovations. Automotive and transport engineering and industrial design students from the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences participated in designing and building the concept car. The car has already toured seven countries, most recently China last autumn.

Visitors are also invited to experience the Biofore Tea House, now on show for the first time in Finland. Designed by six students from the Shanghai-based Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, it exemplifies the innovative use of biomaterials while paying tribute to Chinese tea culture and skilled wood craftsmanship.

Another highlight is the UPM Formi chair. This impressive, streamlined wooden chair is an example of what can be achieved when robotics and biomaterials are combined with 3D printing. The printed material is a new type of biocomposite, UPM Formi 3D, which has been specifically developed for 3D printing. The biocomposite chair is very light and is fully recyclable.

In addition, a whole new building - called 'Aitta' (Shed) - has been constructed from UPM Timber sawn timber in the adjoining lakeside park. The impressive 8-metre-high wooden monolith can be seen and admired from afar, but visitors are also invited to step inside, where a hidden surprise awaits: a temporary store of 420,000 pine seeds, which will eventually grow into a forest the size of 320 football fields.

"This summer, our significant heritage site will bring together the past and the future. While Verla exhibits the rich history of the Finnish wood processing industry dating back to the 19th century, the exhibition looks to a future in which renewable materials will play a more important role than ever," said Ville Majuri, Director, Verla Museum and World Heritage Site.

"UPM is building a sustainable future by delivering renewable and responsible solutions to challenges driven by global megatrends. As the leader of the forest-based bioindustry, we want to bring our innovative biomaterials to the idyllic industrial milieu of Verla. The exhibition will show how our materials and products, such as biomedical products and the concept car, provide sustainable alternatives for a future beyond fossils," noted Elisa Nilsson, Vice President, Brand and Communications, UPM.