The European paper industry is a highly innovative sector. Its strategic vision of reconciling sustainability and competitiveness, the inherent properties of its raw materials, and the transformation the sector is going through are already delivering new products, new technologies, new bio-values, and business opportunities. In 2011, Cepi launched the 2050 Roadmap to a low-carbon bioeconomy, as the very first European manufacturing industry sector to react to the European Commission’s roadmap towards a low-carbon economy with its own sector roadmap. The Two Team Project, which ran in 2013, seeked to find the most innovative breakthrough technologies of the industry with two teams competing against each other. Eight breakthrough technologies made it to the publication. In 2015, Cepi collected more than 40 of the industry’s most innovative products in another publication, “The Age of Fibre”, showcasing once again the versatility and innovation in the industry. Cepi is also a founding member of the European Bioeconomy Alliance.
From November 2012 onwards, it was decided to give more visibility to research and innovation in the paper sector, but also to focus on the role that young researchers play today and are expected to play tomorrow in building the future of the sector. Since then, Cepi organises the European Blue Sky Awards where every year three researchers from all over Europe are distinguished for their work. The goal is to stimulate competition between students and young researchers carrying out projects in a wide range of activities relevant to forest-based science, products using forest-based raw materials, process improvements or other innovations throughout the value chain.