Our innovation approach

Innovations create new business opportunities and value for our existing businesses. We invest in development to provide resource-efficient and renewable alternatives for the future.


We believe in the circular economy model where materials and value circulate. Because we’re dedicated to use valuable and renewable forest biomass responsibly and efficiently, we already reuse or recycle most of our production waste and continuously explore new solutions. The raw materials and products we develop help our customers replace non-renewable materials with renewable, recyclable and low-impact alternatives.

Our development teams have adopted an ecodesign approach, which means environmental aspects are systematically integrated into the innovation process at an early stage. Our products are safe and sustainable because they’ve been designed with responsibility in mind from the get-go.
The innovation performance of a company is often measured by the number of new patent applications it files. At UPM, we file approximately 360 patent applications around the world each year. We regularly review the importance of each patent to determine the ones we should keep and the ones we should sell or license to external partners.

We collaborate with a wide network of universities and research institutes as well as start-ups and technology suppliers, to support our R&D operations. Through collaboration with our partners we’re able to develop new solutions and business models more quickly and get to the market faster.



Role of innovations in our businesses


Fibre-based businesses continue to form the foundation of UPM's strategy. Our businesses are united by a single purpose: to create value from renewable and recyclable materials by combining expertise and technologies.

Our global network of research centres supports our businesses and their development goals. We enhance the competitiveness of existing businesses by finding solutions to increase resource efficiency, reducing costs and developing new products.

Our three spearheads for growth:

  • Specialty packaging materials – combining our expertise in specialty papers and adhesives
  • High value fibre – leveraging our forest and pulp knowhow
  • Molecular bioproducts – turning to chemistry for new applications like biofuels, biochemicals and biomedicals.
Business area R&D's role
UPM Biorefining
  • Pulp and plantations optimisation for various needs
  • Biofuels
UPM Energy
  • Energy conversion technologies for a wide range of biomass and fuel mixtures
  • CO2-neutral energy sources
  • Opportunities arising from the evolution of the electricity market
UPM Raflatac
  • Expansion of product range and market support
UPM Specialty Papers
  • Effective support for paper businesses in growth markets and new products
UPM Communication Papers
  • Cost competitive and resource efficient solutions and new products
UPM Plywood
  • Products with special customer value
  • Process efficiency
New businesses
  • Supporting the development of new opportunities building on synergies
  • Developing competences and common infrastructure

Take a look at what beyond fossils means for us


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