To accelerate paperboard and packaging innovation and to develop solutions for packaging today and into the future, Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, has started up operations in its new Excellence Centre at the unique bioeconomy site in Äänekoski, Finland. The Excellence Centre, which covers a total of 1,500 square meters, includes R&D facilities, a packaging design studio, a customer feedback centre and a state-of-the art laboratory providing more than 100 different measurement methods and analytics. The centre also features a virtual store and a computer-aided engineering (CAE) tool to allow sophisticated simulation and analysis of packaging performance. The centre, with its cutting-edge technology for R&D, packaging design and paperboard and packaging performance, aims to accelerate material and packaging innovation and provide a collaboration platform for customers and technology partners globally. “As the amount of packaging continues to grow, new, sustainable solutions are needed to replace fossil-based materials and ensure circularity. The Excellence Centre concept enables paperboard and packaging solutions that look at the entire value chain, and not just at its separate parts. With the material knowhow, competence and tools now available, we can optimise performance throughout the packaging lifecycle”, says Mika Joukio, CEO of Metsä Board.