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Design Driven Value Chains in the World of Cellulose (DWoC) is a multidisciplinary research collaboration project funded by Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) focused on finding new and innovative applications for cellulosic materials. The DWoC project combines design thinking and design-driven prototyping with a strong competence in technology development. The project takes place 1.4.2013 – 31.3.2018.

Design Driven Value Chains in the World of Cellulose (DWoC) from DWoC on Vimeo.

The goal is to make Finland the source of value-added cellulosic products and business concepts and to accelerate the transformation of the current large-scale forest industry into a dynamic ecosystem for the bioeconomy containing both large and small-scale businesses.

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  • To utilize cellulose in highly refined products like textiles, fashion, interior decoration, health products, architecture and construction.
  • To accelerate the reform of the forest industry into a pervasive cellulose-based business network / ecosystem.
  • To strengthen the competitiveness of Finland by creating a new generation of highly competitive cellulose-based design products – Finland will become an agent of this new circular economy on a global scale.
  • To inspire students from engineering, business and design to collaborate to find new solutions for the utilization of the biomaterials.

Cellulose is one of the most abundant materials found in nature and is mainly produced by plants, but also by bacteria and algae. It is a structural component of plant cell walls, which is considered sustainable, renewable and multifunctional. Due to its abundance, biodegradability and chemical tunability, new methods of using cellulose have become an active research topic alongside more traditional wood or cellulose based products. The combination of recyclability and new end-use opportunities makes cellulose the potential supermaterial of the future.


DWoC was initially inspired by the unique summer project CHEMARTS carried out at Aalto University, where the concepts of ‘World of Cellulose’ and ‘Luxurious Cellulose Finland’ were created by technology and art students at Aalto. DWoC concept is based on the unique combination of design driven prototyping to a strong technology development competence. The latter has traditionally been the key asset of the Finnish forest industry, which has been focused on B2B –business with cost-efficient production technologies. This is also visualized in the long and world class research tradition in the field of cellulose as polymer, fibre and material as well as applications thereof. Simultaneously, Finnish design has been integral part of industrial design heritage. Combination of these two strengths together is one of the key assets to raise the Finnish cellulose ecosystem to a globally competitive place in the future.

The partners in the project are: the Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT, Aalto University, Tampere University of Technology and the University of Vaasa.

Read more on the report.

Contact: Project coordinator Kirsi Kataja, VTT, kirsi.kataja@vtt.fi