Timber Construction Award Eifel 2020

Admire modern timber architecture – opening of the touring exhibition for the timber construction award Eifel 2020.

The reinterpretation of traditional construction materials are important impulses for sustainable and climate-friendly construction with the building of modern, multi-storey wooden houses in private and public settings. The ability to combine high-quality architecture, climate protection and regional added value in wooden houses is displayed by the touring exhibition of the timber construction award, Eifel 2020.

Solar Decathlon Europe 2021/22

Solar Decathlon Europe 2021/22, Wuppertal, NRW, Germany: a special prize for university teams – the Timber Construction Award.

As part of the international university competition, Solar Decathlon Europe 2021/22, the Studiengemeinschaft Holzleimbau e.V. and six other organisations are awarding a special prize for innovative living and energy concepts with wood – the ‘Timber Construction Award’.

North Karelia and Japan to strengthen cooperation in forest bioeconomy

Cooperation in forest bioeconomy between North Karelia and the province of Nagano in Japan was officially started on Monday 10 May 2021 in a meeting between the Regional Mayor of North Karelia, Markus Hirvonen, Director General of Forestry Department of Nagano, Eiji Ide, and City Mayor of Ina, Nagano, Takashi Shirotori.

“To start with, we are looking for inter-regional partnerships for educational and RDI operators in both North Karelia and Nagano,” says Petteri Ryhänen, project manager at Karelia University of Applied Sciences.

The province of Nagano, with approx. two million inhabitants, is the third most forested region in Japan. Almost 80% of the region’s land area is covered by forests. Nevertheless, the forest-related business and bioeconomy sectors in Nagano are still in a development phase. Therefore, Nagano can benefit from the forest expertise and knowledge of North Karelia.

“Our inter-regional cooperation can bring about innovations and technological solutions for using the abundant forest resources in Nagano and North Karelia and new ways to develop forest-related business, education, and research,” says Ryhänen. The cooperation is also expected to open new export opportunities for Finland. “We are planning a visit to a national forestry machinery fair in Hokkaido, Japan, in October 2021, together with North Karelian companies involved in the project. In connection with the trip, we can also visit Nagano and get acquainted with the region and meet our cooperation partners face-to-face,” Petteri Ryhänen says.

The cooperation initiative is spurred by an ERDF funded project (2020–2022), led by Karelia University of Applied Sciences. Also involved in the project are the Regional Council of North Karelia, Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), University of Eastern Finland, Riveria Vocational Education and Training, and Business Joensuu. Finnish Forest Center and the North Karelian representative of Team Finland act as expert members.

As a result of this cooperation, North Karelia organises a webinar to introduce its forest bioeconomy to Japan. The webinar will take place on 15 December 2021.

Webinar programme


North Karelia tackles climate change with innovation

North Karelia aims at being a forerunner in climate sustainability in Finland by 2030. The region’s Climate and Energy Programme 2030 approved by the Regional Board in February 2021 shows the way to achieve this goal.  

The Programme is focused on finding solutions to mitigate and slow down climate change. It encourages regional operators to recognise opportunities offered by research and technological development and emphasizes collaboration across organisational boundaries.

The Climate and Energy Programme sets the following targets to be achieved no later than 2030:

  • North Karelia is a region full of life with a population full of well-being.
  • Biodiversity is safeguarded in all activities.
  • Energy is low-emission, produced in the region and comes from local natural resources.
  • Climate-sustainable construction and housing are enabled in both urban and rural areas.
  • The region’s natural resources are used in a sustainable and climate resilient manner, enabling diverse business operations.
  • Expertise and research data in the region are transferred to operators in a flexible way. North Karelia is an inclusive local society allowing for the active participation of its residents and communities.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions in the region have decreased by 80 % between 2007 and 2030.  

The programme has been prepared through broad cooperation between actors in the region. The process is perceived to be inclusive, ensuring consideration of different perspectives. As central themes the programme highlights peatlands, biodiversity, sustainable use of forests and global responsibility.

The previous Climate and Energy Programme was launched in 2011 and complemented in 2017 by the Roadmap Towards Oil-free and Low-carbon North Karelia. 

A breakthrough in biochar based business is possible

A new, diverse, and highly researched business can be created around biochar. This is the strong message to the region’s companies and innovators from the BlackGreen biochar programme of North Karelia. The biochar programme offers companies a great opportunity to get help with research, development and innovation work.

North Karelia committed to a low-carbon future

North Karelia is one of the five ‘Hinku’ regions in Finland since June 2020. Regions involved in the Hinku network are committed to an 80 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the 2007 level by 2030, together with municipalities involved.

For years now, the municipalities in North Karelia have worked together on projects to mitigate climate change. So far, 9 of the 13 municipalities in North Karelia – Ilomantsi, Joensuu, Kitee, Lieksa, Liperi, Nurmes, Outokumpu, Tohmajärvi, Valtimo – have joined the Hinku network, covering over 80 % of the area and accounting for 84 % of the population of the region.

“We build our future together,” says Hanna Huttunen, Chair of the Regional Board of North Karelia. “Local decisions make a difference. A good example is the thermal power station ‘Miilu’ of Outokummun Energia, which replaced heavy fuel oil with wood chips in the generation of heat, leading to a 60 % decrease in greenhouse gas emission in the town right away,” Huttunen says.

The Regional Council of North Karelia has been committed to climate and energy programming for decades, practically for the whole of the millennium 2000. Together with Finnish Environment Institute, The Regional Council is implementing a multi-annual, extensive program, Towards Oil-Free and Low-Carbon North Karelia. In 2018, the greenhouse gas emissions had reduced by 25 % from the 2007 level, so there is still plenty of work left.

The four other Hinku regions in Finland are Kymenlaakso, South Karelia, Tampere Region and Päijät-Häme.

More information on the Hinku status

Silvadrones Oy – Lord of the Skies

Silvadrones Oy is a Joensuu start-up company which is renewing the traditional forestry sector from up upon high. The company uses spraying drones to spread boron fertiliser over forests. What’s more, we are not talking about some little model gliders here, but rather a flying robot unparalleled anywhere else in Finland.

Taaleri is preparing a new bioindustry project

Taaleri is preparing a bioindustry venture to build a new biocoal plant in Joensuu. The plan is that customers will also be able to invest in the project at a later stage. Torrefied biocoal is replacing coal in energy production and other industries. Biocoal can also be used for soil improvement and water treatment.