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Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance Reviews New Technology Roadmaps at Quarterly Meeting

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The forest products industry’s Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance quarterly meeting December 9 in Chicago highlighted presentations by six work teams of research roadmaps to address key opportunities and challenges for the industry. Focus areas were improving the pulp and paper industry’s sustainability and competitiveness and developing new product applications and products from sustainable raw materials for emerging markets.
"These teams have identified significant research opportunities in which breakthrough technology could help us make a major difference in achieving our industry’s growth and sustainability goals," said Agenda 2020 Chair Beth Cormier, VP- Research, Development, and Innovation of SAPPI NA. "In so doing, they have contributed to national as well as industry objectives, such as strengthening the economy—especially in the rural areas where so many of our manufacturing facilities are located—improving our resource efficiency, and increasing our country’s energy independence. The teams have done a great service to the industry and to our nation."
The Agenda 2020 board of directors in April 2013 had commissioned work teams to explore key technology advancement needed for the industry to reach its vision for 2030. That vision, which supports several national goals, involves dramatically reducing energy and water use, developing new products from renewable bioproducts, and improving competitiveness.
Teams on resource efficiency focused on black liquor concentration, next-generation pulping, delivery of a drier sheet to the dryer section, and reuse of process effluents. Teams on cellulose nanomaterials and value from biomass focused on new product opportunities. The roadmaps provide research pathways for consideration by industry, the research community, and government funding agencies to sponsor projects to move the industry forward.
About a year into the 18-month effort, in May 2014, Agenda 2020 won a grant from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMTech) initiative to take these roadmaps farther. "Early roadmap work in 2006 and 2010 was directional, but too high-level to be particularly actionable," observed Agenda 2020 executive director David Turpin. "The roadmaps completed this month more precisely delineate the achievable goals and pathways toward realizing the industry’s vision. We will now develop plans to determine which to pursue on our own, and which to advance through the AMTech process. In either case, the industry will develop specific requests for proposals and seek to fund them," he continued.
Following the December 9 quarterly meeting, attended by about 35 members and guests, Agenda 2020 hosted the second of two open-forum discussions December 10 to hear input from a wider group of constituencies about the industry’s technology opportunities. The first forum occurred November 18 in Atlanta, Ga. Those forums and the roadmaps will provide the basis of the organization’s technology agenda, strategy and plans for the coming years.
Place Agenda 2020 Chair, Director.jpg here 
In the photo above, Agenda 2020 Chair Beth Cormier (SAPPI) and Executive Director David Turpin
review the teams’ roadmap reports.
The Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance is an industry-led consortium that promotes development of advanced technologies for the pulp and paper industry.

Further information is available online, or contact David Turpin.

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