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A Highly Promising Franco-Canadian, Innovation Partnership

(Editor's note: Based on a joint news release from FPInnovations and CTP.)

FPInnovations and the Centre Technique du Papier (CTP), have signed a partnership agreement. Pooling their capabilities will enable both organizations to develop and increase the added value of cellulose bio‐based materials so these can more quickly be put to various uses beyond the traditional markets for wood‐based industries (fiber, pulp, paper, cardboard).

The agreement was signed in the heart of Grenoble's "Cellulose Valley," at the CTP, in the Rhône‐Alpes region of France. The Rhône‐Alpes region is known for having the most woodlands in the country and for being the country’s leading wood‐producing area. Representatives of the Canadian Embassy were on hand for the event and Natural Resources Canada offered its strong support. Political representatives of the Rhône‐Alpes region, the County, and the Community of Commune were also present.

The skills and expertise of these two institutions are well‐known and recognized worldwide. They are both leaders in research, manufacturing, and characterization of cellulose biomaterials, and they share the ambition of giving these materials new properties and functionalities.

Two examples of cellulose biomaterials are crystalline cellulose and cellulose filaments (CF).

The first large‐scale production plant for crystalline cellulose, is being operated in Windsor, Quebec, Canada by CelluForce, a joint venture between FPInnovations and Domtar. In March, Schlumberger, the world’s leading supplier of technology, integrated project management and information solutions for the global oil and gas industry,  announced an investment in CelluForce's nano-crystalline cellulose for use in oil and gas well production.

Large‐scale production of cellulose filaments (CF) recently occurred in Trois‐Rivières, Quebec, Canada by Kruger Inc. in collaboration with FPInnovations, after only five years of intensive research and development work. CF is also being treated by means of new chemistry, such as chromatogeny—a technology created and developed in Grenoble, France. The CTP boasts the first industrial pilot plant for demonstration in the world.

Some of the properties and functionalities of crystalline cellulose include: outstanding water resistance (hydrophobicity), increased film‐forming characteristics, high‐added‐value cellulose, increased mechanical properties (resistance and solidity), high performance resistance to surface wear‐and‐tear, and barrier and reinforcement properties for many products. Some of the non‐traditional markets for these products include: electronics for packaging and smart objects, home energy efficiency, and coating and paint formulations.

According to Gilles Lenon, CEO of the CTP, the new partnership with FPInnovations "will give rise to the selection of promising projects gradually coming within the scope of our general research programs, in order for innovation to take root in our companies. With one foot in research and the other in industry, our two centers—situated at the interface of knowledge, expertise, and know‐how—surpass the uncertain nature of research to respond to industry and social concerns as well as to national and international market expectations."

"Through this partnership agreement, CTP and FPInnovations want to promote cooperative relations and exchanges at the academic, scientific, technical, and business levels in order to support innovation in the forestwood‐paper‐cardboard sector," stated Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations.

FPInnovations is a not‐for‐profit world leader that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector’s global competitiveness and responds to the priority needs of its industry members and government partners. It is ideally positioned to perform research, innovate, and deliver state‐of‐the‐art solutions for every area of the sector’s value chain, from forest operations to consumer and industrial products. FPInnovations’ staff numbers more than 525. Its R&D laboratories are located in Québec City, Montréal, and Vancouver, and it has technology transfer offices across Canada. For more information about FPInnovations, visit www.fpinnovations.ca.

CTP has been a French Industrial Technical Centre for more than 55 years, an establishment of public utility whose role is to promote the technological development of the pulp, paper and board production and converting industry in order to improve its performance, productivity and competitiveness in keeping with the requirements of sustainable development. The CTP’s activities include applied research, consultancy, expert appraisals, services and training for the paper‐making industry with a view to transferring know‐how concerning virgin and recycled raw materials, processes, products and the associated services in order to meet market requirements and expectations more effectively. Drawing on the experience of its 135 employees, its laboratories and industrial pilot facilities at the Grenoble and Douai sites, the CTP is preparing the future of products and processes through innovation! For more information on the CTP, visit our website:www.webCTP.com.

For more information contact Terry Kneed at FPInnovations at: terry.knee@fpinnovations.ca, or Sandrine Pappini at CTP at: sandrine.pappini@webCTP.com.

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