On Monday 8 December, The King attended a seminar on the forest industry materials research of the future at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
During the afternoon, representatives from the forest industry discussed how Swedish forest raw materials can strengthen Sweden and Swedish forestry.
During the seminar, The King said: "Forestry, with its renewable raw materials, has traditionally been – and remains today – a cornerstone of the Swedish economy and makes a significant contribution towards exports and local employment. In order for the Swedish forest industry to be vibrant and sustainable, we need more young people to get involved in forestry issues. We also need more research and education.
"I look forward with confidence to following developments and research in connection with forest-based materials that are sustainable and focused on renewability within fields such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and fibre technology."
Chairman of the Board of Sveaskog Göran Persson gave his perspective on the challenges and circumstances faced by the forest industry. Lars Berglund, Director of the Wallenberg Wood Science Center, and Lars Wågberg, Professor of Fibre and Polymer Technology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, spoke about Swedish forestry as a source of the materials of the future.
Deputy President Eva Malmström Jonsson led a discussion on how forces can be gathered nationally. The panel consisted of Per-Olof Wedin, President and CEO of Sveaskog, Christer Simrén, Executive Vice President of BillerudKorsnäs, Henrik Sjölund, President and CEO of Holmen, Lars Idermark, President and CEO of Södra, and Marcus Wallenberg from the Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
The King concluded by visiting KTH's Integrated Transport Research Lab, a new research centre for the transport systems of the future. Here, technology such as self-driving buses, electric roads and better systems for avoiding traffic queues will be developed and tested. The lab is a collaboration between KTH and Scania.
The Wallenberg Wood Science Center is a joint research centre and collaboration between KTH and Chalmers. The centre was created in 2009 with the aim of developing new materials from the Swedish forest industry as a complement to traditional uses of timber for wood and paper.