The CoE’s research was focused on 1) high-quality tailored products to replace various mass products that are being discontinued in the paper and packaging industry; 2) multimedia product applications (hybrid media) for the printing industry and ICT industry; 3) integrated product applications for the health care industry and food and pharmaceutical packagings; and 4) quality assurance for paper and packaging products, transport tracking and authenticity assurance.
Work at the CoE consisted of basic research that covered the whole value chain from raw material production to product demonstration.
The units involved in the CoE had unique interdisciplinary expertise.
The CoE’s aim was to 1) develop materials that can sense an external (chemical, electric, magnetic, biological, thermal, optical or acoustic) stimulus and can respond to that stimulus in a controlled way; 2) compile materials into fibre-based compound materials (e.g. paper) with hierarchical (multidimensional) interactivity; 3) print on natural fibre or polymer-based substrates interactive organic components such as indicators, sensors and transistors; a continuous roll-to-roll production method will help to lower product costs; and to 4) demonstrate at the functional materials printing laboratory (Fun Print), established with funding from Åbo Akademi University, alternative methods for the production of functional intelligent materials.
The CoE was headed by Professor Jarl B. Rosenholm from the Åbo Akademi University Department of Physical Chemistry. Professor Rosenholm holds leading positions in national, European and other international nanoscience organisations.
Research at the CoE was intensely interdisciplinary. At Åbo Akademi University, teams were involved from the Department of Physical Chemistry, Department of Physics, Laboratory of Paper Coating and Converting and the Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry; and at the University of Helsinki, from the Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and the Fun Print laboratory.
Other important background organisations included the Graduate School of Materials Research (GSMR) under the supervision of Professor Rosenholm and the International PhD Programme in Pulp and Paper Science and Technology.
The CoE had six professors, some 30 full-time and part-time core researchers and 18 other researchers funded from other sources.