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invest in estonia


Bioeconomy / Timber

Estonia has one of Europe’s largest bioeconomies, including world-leading expertise in forest-based activity. Supported by high-quality natural resources, ultra-high use of IT and support policy making, Estonia offers a range of production and innovation opportunities.

  • 30% of economic output linked to bioeconomy
  • 5-6% of occupied workforce directly linked to forestry sector
  • 163M t carbon storage in wooden biomass on forest land
  • #4 globally for science education

Our advantages

30%of economic output linked to bioeconomy
BioeconomySizable bioeconomy delivering economic, social and environmental benefits.
Christmas tree iconAvailability of high-quality, sustainably produced natural resources.
Flexible approachWorld leader in forestry management and production of wood-based products.
icon-laptopUltra-high use of IT in planning, management and innovation.
CleanTechCommitment to sustainable development in Bio and Circular economies.

Timber overview

51%of Estonia is forested

Blessed with pristine nature, Estonians have centuries-long expertise in harnessing natural resources in an efficient and sustainable manner. Historic traditions are integrated with the practical application of modern methodologies taught in universities and professional competence centres for horticulture, forestry, environmental science and chemicals. The forests are a treasure chamber of nature and enormously important for biodiversity, as a weapon against climate change, as places for recreation as well as an important economic factor.

As befits the world’s most digitally enabled nation, IT utilisation is ultra-high. Following the supply chain from the forest to the final product, one can find various examples of how the new economy is transforming the Estonian forestry and wood industry towards efficiency, higher quality, and the future usage of wood as a renewable resource. In addition to high automation to ensure quality and efficiency in production, Estonia is a leader in raw material yield optimisation. For example, Timbeter’s machine learning and imaging solution attract global clients. Timber has a vast potential to replace concrete and steel as construction materials for buildings.

Estonia’s bioeconomy is driven by its world-class expertise in forest-based activity. Possessing an abundance of high-quality FSC and PEFC-certified raw materials, Estonia has a full value chain for export-oriented activity supported by a track record of successful investments. The wood processing industry consists of a healthy mix of big multinational leaders as well as smaller local producers such as AS Toftan in the south of Estonia. Stora Enso’s (read more) significant, vertically integrated operations include forestry management, milling and value-added treatment services. Metsä Wood operates five sites in Estonia including a new €50M energy-efficient factory in Pärnu exporting plywood globally.

Estonia has recognized wood as the most sustainable material for the building industry and has mastered that skill to the level that it is now the largest exporter of wooden houses in the EU, 90% of which are exported to Northern Europe. Estonian manufacturers produce a wide range of wooden houses such as modular homes, prefab element homes, machined log homes, handcrafted log homes and garden houses. Estonian prefabricated house producer Timbeco is producing elements and modules for zero-emission houses, and building-integrated solar (“BIPV”) solutions from Estonian companies Roofit.Solar and Solarstone contribute further to making housing as energy-efficient as possible.

Whether you seek high-quality production, world-class digitalisation capability, or cutting-edge R&D, Estonia is an attractive and scalable location for bioeconomy investment.

Bioeconomy overview

2.32M haarea of forest land

Estonia has a large and growing bioeconomy that merges traditional skills in forestry, aquaculture and agriculture with cutting-edge technological solutions. With a bold plan to scale up its bioeconomy with higher value chains, the country is taking serious steps to become a major player in the transition from a fossil-based materials society to renewable biobased materials future.

Biochemistry is a key focus area in the Estonian R&D, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy 2021-2035.

Estonia is a pioneer in biomass – 79% of Estonia’s land is currently used for the production of wood and agricultural biomass and it has gradually increased over the last 20 years. The available forest area, and substantial forestry, and wood processing industry scale indicate a huge untapped potential for increasing biomass processing and generating added value. Estonia is home to Europe’s largest wood pellet producer Graanul Invest. The project’s main product is lignin, which has enormous potential to replace hydrocarbons as a source of plastic materials. The goal of their sweetwoods project is to produce high-purity chemicals from wood. Fibenol focuses on creating sustainable biomaterials using cutting-edge processes to develop a new generation of sugars, high-purity hydrolysis lignin, and unique microcrystalline cellulose from hardwood. They are enabling a new era of biomaterials and bioproducts, helping industries do more with less. Fibenol’s innovative flagship plant will convert more than 90% of biomass into high-value products with a minimal environmental impact.

With over 30% of economic output already linked to the bioeconomy and innovative approaches to business transformation and policy-making providing unique proof of concept and expertise, Estonia is set to emerge as a global centre of excellence in the field. The Estonian University of Life Sciences has a key role in bioeconomy development through research and education around the sustainable use of natural resources and rural life and economy. Its Centre of Bioeconomy focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration initiatives within the university and with other research institutions, companies and organizations. TalTech scientific teams work together with the industry on the development of biopolymers and other high-tech materials from wood and industrial waste. Other related courses offered include synthetic biology, sustainable food production, etc. University has its own large research group dedicated to biochemistry and novel material technologies.

Whether you seek high-quality production, world-class digitalisation capability, or cutting-edge R&D, Estonia is an attractive and scalable location for bioeconomy investment.

Bioeconomy / Timber

These websites can be useful when interested in Bioeconomy in Estonia:

You are also welcome to send us a request for personal e-consulting to obtain more specific information.

Business opportunities in Estonia

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