Stora Enso Consumer Board and Packaging Solutions

Redesigning the future with renewable packaging

10/06/2014

New head of Innovation wants closer ties between R&D and business development

Marko Hakovirta recently joined Stora Enso and Renewable Packaging as head of Innovation. He will further strengthen the division’s innovation strategy and vision. He has been in the field of innovation and technology most of his professional life, both in the industry and academia.

​He is full of ideas on how Renewable Packaging can develop its innovation process and increase its business impact.

“We have a very solid R&D reputation regarding all our research centres and specifically in the packing related activities in Karlstad and in Imatra. They are regarded top-notch in the industry. As an example we are highly respected for what we do within MFC (Microfibrillated Celluloase) and are known to have the largest MFC-capacity in the industry. Although it is still in a pre-commercial phase we have the knowledge to scale it up for large scale applications.”

Marko also believes there are many growth opportunities in increasing consumer focus in packaging innovation and design.

“Packaging industry is transitioning from traditional manufacturing centric packaging innovations towards more user centric approach and we need to be part of this progress”.

He sees that in addition to innovation drivers such as production costs, production efficiency, logistics, optimization we should include also ergonomic, perceived value, look and feel, user experience, functionality and easiness to use.

He thinks Renewable Packaging should better tap into the global innovation environment. We should develop more international partnerships with universities and institutes and develop models on how we can work closely with incubators and perhaps have our own innovation incubator.

“Bringing different networks together always creates new opportunities. Innovation is a big word and as such very inspirational. I think that clue however is that for something to be an innovation project it needs a business plan, otherwise it is just an idea.”

​About Marko Hakovirta:
Before joining Stora Enso he was a professor in chemical engineering at Auburn University in the US and was heading the Alabama Center for Paper and Bio-source Engineering. Prior to that he was also working at Georgia Tech and the Institute of Paper Science and Technology in Atlanta.

Prior to becoming a professor Marko Hakovirta was working in Metso Group in various leadership positions related to technology, business development, sustainability and strategic planning. 
He has a PhD in Physics from the University of Helsinki and a MBA degree from Emory University in the US.