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ESPOO - Finnish state-owned energy company Fortum and forest industry specialist Metsä Group have joined forces in a bid to develop ground-breaking technologies to convert straw and wood pulp fibre into novel bioproducts, such as textile fibres.

Called ExpandFibre, the four year R&D programme is being supported by a €20 million (US$22m) grant from Business Finland, an innovation funding body directed by the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

The intention is to provide selected markets with new, high-volume bio-products that have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to fossil-based alternatives.

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