Today, Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lövfen, and his rural affairs minister Sven-Erik Bucht, made a flash tour of Västernorrland County, paying visits to partners in Bio4Energy's Industrial Network: SP Processum, Domsjö Fabriker and Holmen Skog.
SP Processum acts as a science partner to a host of member companies in and around the northern Swedish city of Örnsköldsvik.
The visit there follows others to the region by the Swedish energy minister Ibrahim Baylan, who came to meet Bio4Energy at Umeå in November 2014, and his innovation counterpart's participation in the final stages of last year's Innovation Race, in which representatives of companies, research institutes and academia met at Umeå over several days to come up with innovative solutions for realising the bioeconomy.
"[The biorefinery] Domsjö Fabriker hosted today's meeting and before lunch the visiting gentlemen were taken on a trip to the forest by [forestry operator] Holmen Skog, and where told of the importance of sustainable forestry and the benefits of increasing tree growth for regional development", said Sören Back, communication manager at SP Processum.
"We told them about what we do, what challenges we see and what we think is possible, and the fundamental importance we place on the cooperation between the academy and the other parties", Hallberg added.
Hallberg said that his chief message to the two visitors had been to stress that the technology and know-how for conducting large-scale biorefinery based on woody materials were already there, and the onus was on the government and companies to take steps so that those processes could be commercialised.
"If industry and the State want to do this, it can be done. Large industrial facilities can be constructed. Then there is a need for continued research and we have a role as lobbyists. But the parties [industry and the government] must take the first step. They must make up their minds. Industry and the State have to see this through".