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VTT and KCL sign a letter of intent to integrate the research and laboratory operations of KCL to VTT



VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and KCL (Oy Keskuslaboratorio - Centrallaboratorium Ab) have signed a letter of intent to combine their research and laboratory operations. The letter of intent includes a review of the possibilities of integrating the research and laboratory functions of KCL into VTT's research and service operations. For KCL, the letter of intent applies to approximately 160 employees, 110 of which work in research and development and 50 in laboratory operations. The objective is that the personnel transfer to VTT as existing employees. The final agreement will be signed in May 2009. 

The intended reorganisation relates to the development of the research organisation of the entire forest industry. The integration aims at creating a strong, efficiently networked innovation centre for the new forest industry. The solid knowledge of the forest industry that KCL already possesses will be extended to new areas of growth, such as bioenergy and biorefineries, printed intelligent products and new material technologies. VTT's extensive technological know-how and the ability to combine various competencies create excellent prerequisites for expanding operations.

Integration of the KCL research operations and laboratory services into VTT will also strengthen VTT's research and service resources on areas of strategic importance, as well as create an opportunity for growth.

The rest of KCL will remain an independent company, continuing operations as the owner of its Otaniemi facilities and pilot plant as well as the owner of Kymen Laboratorio Oy. Approximately 90 people will continue to be employed by KCL.

The full implementation of the project will require funding from the Finnish government and the approval of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy as well as VTT's Board of Directors.

”The objectives recorded in the letter of intent are consistent with VTT's strategic objectives of creating competitive advantage for the customers in the forest industry through more efficient and focused research operations,” says CEO and President Erkki KM Leppävuori of VTT. ”It is essential that various competencies and technologies be combined to discover brand new applications and innovations. VTT has made good progress towards meeting this strategic objective. KCL's know-how will expand and strengthen VTT's current resources in this area, bringing a new range of resources into the organisation. The intended organisation will form a top competence centre of a global scale, with efficient cooperation with universities, industry and commerce, and research funding organisations all over the world.”

”The combining of VTT and KCL research resources will create a truly unique competence centre for the forest industry,” says Pauli Hänninen, Chairman of KCL's Board of Directors. ”The reorganisation is a part of a structural change in the research organisations of the Finnish forest industry. The strategic know-how centre ForestCluster Ltd is an earlier result of the same process.”

In autumn 2006, ForestCluster defined its most important research focus points, aiming at doubling the value of the sector’s products and services by the year 2030.

For more information, please contact:

Erkki KM Leppävuori, CEO and President, VTT
tel. +358 20 722 4100

Petri Kalliokoski, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, VTT
tel. +358 40 526 7122

Pauli Hänninen, Chairman of the Board of Directors, KCL
tel. +358 40 581 4720

Susanna Nieminen, Acting President, KCL
tel. +358 40 769 6571

VTT is the third largest applied research organisation in Europe. VTT provides a wide range of technology and research services for both domestic and international clients, privately owned companies and the public sector. With its expertise and through new innovations VTT aims to increase the technological and economic competitiveness of its owner and its clients, as well as social welfare.

KCL is a research facility owned by companies from the Finnish forest industry, offering a wide range of laboratory, piloting and information services.