SÃO PAULO – The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) has announced the winners of the Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award, a global award that aims to stimulate interest by young researchers carrying out projects in a wide range of activities relevant to forest-based science, products as well as process improvements or other innovation throughout the value chain.

The Announcement was made at the ICFPA CEOs Roundtable, a meeting of global leaders of the forest-based industry, organized by ICFPA, where researchers presented their projects.

The theme of the 2016-2017 global competition was "Game Changing Technologies for the Forest and Paper Industries – Unfolding Potential of Forest, Paper and Wood-Based Products". Each participating country nominated national candidates to compete internationally. This year, twelve projects were nominated by ICFPA members to the international phase. Based on the assessment of a jury composed of experts of different regions and organizations three winners were selected:

- Koh Sakai, with the project 'Cellulose nanofibres prepared by phosphorylation'
- Shuji Fujisawa, with the project 'Biocompatible nanocellulose/polymer composite microparticles formed by emulsion-templated synthesis'
- Esthevan Gasparoto, with the project 'Cutting-edge technologies for forest monitoring and measurement'

"The ICFPA congratulates all the participants and the global winners of the first edition of this global competition. We believe it is important to foster knowledge and stimulate innovative research among young researchers. Our industry is a vibrant and dynamic workplace for the future and therefore we will continue our support of students and young professionals", said ICFPA President Elizabeth de Carvalhaes.
For more information on the award and researchers finalists, please check: http://www.icfpa.org/who-we-are/blue-sky-young-researcher-and-innovation-award.

The ICFPA represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations around the world.