When it comes to the forest expertise, Joensuu region is, without a doubt, among the global leaders, especially in the utilisation of digital solutions. The region has particularly good expertise in sustainable use of forests, wood construction and renewable energy production. Special competence areas include, in particular, the utilisation of new technologies, such as digitalisation and photonics, for several new applications, for example, in the collection of forest information, the management of forest resources and the prevention and management of forest fires.
This is made possible by top expertise in Joensuu that has been gained through various research, development and business initiatives. We are pioneers in forestry education, and our offering covers all levels of education from vocational education to doctoral programmes. The region’s vibrant and international atmosphere provides companies with the best possible setting for growth and development.
The forests in North Karelia are certified, and they are managed and utilised in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. This provides an excellent opportunity for the climate-friendly utilisation of raw materials, carbon sequestration, the development of new products and the sustainable development of the sector. North Karelia has as many as 197,000,000 cubic metres of forest, which counts approximately 83% of the area of the region.
On the other hand, the waterway through the Saimaa Canal to the Baltic Sea enables companies to export goods to the global market cost-effectively.
In addition, high-quality and extensive photonics expertise and strong business activities in the ICT sector offer forest bioeconomy and circular economy companies unique opportunities for product development and innovation.
Forerunner in digital forestry
In Joensuu, the extensive expertise in forestry is combined with top expertise in photonics, strong IT education offering and software companies. Experts for several ICT jobs graduate from the University of Eastern Finland, Karelia University of Applied Sciences and the vocational school Riveria. Every year more than 300 students enter these institutions to study.
Finnish and international top expertise
The region’s expertise in forest bioeconomy can be seen, for example, in the fact that there are more than 500 companies and 6,000 jobs in the sector. The region’s unit of Natural Resources Institute Finland and the headquarters of the European Forest Institute EFI are recognised to have the top expertise in the sector, making our forestry ecosystem to rise on the top level. Several companies that are successful both in Finland and abroad operate in the region:
- The world’s largest forest machine factory John Deere Forestry Oy
- Logistics and materials handling operator Mantsinen Group Ltd Oy
- Timber harvesting and logistics operator Kesla Oyj
- Pole solutions, impregnated wood products and services for infrastructure networks provider Iivari Mononen
- Special plywood manufacturer UPM
- Enocell pulp mill that produces top-quality softwood and hardwood pulps, Stora Enso Oyj
- Activated carbon plant in Ilomantsi, Neova Group
- Systems and services for forest inventory and planning are provided by Oy Arbonaut Ltd, Bitcomp Oy and Blom Kartta Oy
- One of Europe’s largest sawmill and wood processing companies, Binderholz Nordic Oy
- And many other small or medium-sized exporting companies in wood processing or forest technology
Education is provided for professionals of all levels, from vocational education to doctoral degrees:
- University of Eastern Finland
- Karelia University of Applied Sciences
- Riveria vocational school
- Forest machine training in Valtimo
North Karelia and its capital, Joensuu, is also the capital of European forest expertise through the University of Eastern Finland, Natural Resources Institute Finland, European Forest Institute and many other actors, including a rapidly growing group of innovative forest companies, Arbonaut being at the head of them. Joensuu Science Park enables the growth for the international IT and natural sciences students to become experts for these companies.
Tuomo Kauranne, President, Arbonaut Oy Ltd
A quick review of Joensuu’s forest and photonics expertise: