The Innovation Award is presented to a company that has distinguished itself by making exceptionally good use of research findings, thus creating research-based innovation.
“We are very pleased to be able to present the innovation award to a company that uses knowledge and research to adapt to the needs of society and to become more competitive. This company is an example to be followed,” said Bjørn Haugstad, State Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Research.
Systematic research and innovation work
The 2015 Innovation Award of the Norwegian Research Council is given in recognition of Borregaard’s systematic and long-term efforts in research, development and innovation, and the company’s ability to adapt to new market needs. Borregaard shows strong competitiveness in a sustainable manner.
“Borregaard has succeeded through targeted, systematic and ongoing investment in research, development and innovation in a sector where other players are struggling. Borregaard competes in a global, dynamic market, where the continuous development and improvement of products and processes is vital,” wrote the jury in its assessment.
Market-driven research work
Borregaard’s research is strongly market-driven. The company spends about 5% of sales on research, development and innovation. Today about 12% of sales comes from new products Borregaard did not have five years ago. The jury emphasised that Borregaard has been able to integrate research and innovation into its corporate culture, and that market and production play a vital role in the company’s innovation processes.
This traditional Norwegian industrial company, with almost 1100 employees in over 16 countries, has historically been best known for the production of cellulose and paper. Today Borregaard produces advanced and environmentally friendly biochemicals and biomaterials from renewable and natural raw materials.
The company makes a range of products from wood that are alternatives to petroleum-based products, and do not compete with food production. These products go to a variety of markets, such as agriculture and fisheries, medicine and foodstuffs, buildings and environmentally friendly biofuels.
Borregaard is a good role model
The jury considers that Borregaard is a good role model and an inspiration at a time that calls for readjustment, and a key player with further potential in the bioeconomy sector. In addition, the company collaborates with a number of research institutions in Norway and abroad, and has leaders and researchers who are visible and active in the Norwegian research and innovation landscape.
The Research Council's Innovation Award is worth NOK 500 000, and will be used for Borregaard’s innovation activities.
Three awards: Excellence in Research, the Innovation Award and Excellence in Communication of Science
The Innovation Award is one of three awards presented by the Research Council at its annual Evening of Excellence in Oslo Concert Hall on 23 September. The two other awards are for Excellence in Research and Excellence in Communication of Science.