Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards for the Global Forest Products Sector

The Idea

The Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards is a global competition for students and young researchers who are passionate about a range of activities relevant to forest-based science, products using forest-based raw materials, process improvements, or other innovations throughout the forest sector value chain.

The Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards are not just about research and development – they are also about showcasing the work of students and young researchers who are passionate about climate positive forestry and forest products, clean manufacturing, and the forest bioeconomy.

Taking place every two years and sponsored by the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA), the Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards are presented to three worthy recipients from around the world. The three winners will have the opportunity to share their projects at the ICFPA CEO Global Roundtable in April/May 2023 (at a location to be confirmed in late 2022).

National Competitions and the International Awards

  • Each ICFPA member organization will be asked to run their own national competition and will advance up to 2 candidates to compete internationally.
  • Applicants advancing to the international competition will be requested to submit a short video describing their project.
  • Three submissions will be shortlisted by an international judging panel to receive the international awards.
  • Travel and accommodation expenses for the three international finalists will be covered to present at the ICFPA CEO Roundtable in April/May 2023 (at a location to be determined in late 2022).


Applicants must be students or researchers who are 30 years old or younger on 1 March 2022. Applicants must be carrying out research and innovation projects relevant for forestry, forest products, and/or forest products processing technologies – with links to academia, public or private research centers, and/or corporate research and innovation departments.

Theme: Building a Lower Carbon Economy with Climate Positive Forestry and Forest Products

To carry out research work that promotes innovation and decarbonization in the forest products sector either in the forest, at production facilities, along the supply chain, or via product innovation.


Period Action
By 31 May 2022 Announcement and Call for Applications in Country Regions
By 31 July 2022 Regional Evaluation of Applications (Short List) | National Judging Panels Named
By 31 August 2022 Regional Awards to Be Selected
1 September to 30 November 2022 Global Pre-Selection

International Judging Panel Named

1 December 2022 to 28 January 2023 Global Final Selection
April/May 2023 (TBD) Presentations And International Awards – CEO Roundtable


Applicants are invited to submit their application containing the following documents:

  • Short CV (maximum one page)
  • Summary of the project, including:
    • 550 words; double spacing; font Calibri 12
    • Objectives
    • Description of the project
    • Summary of Methodology
    • Expected results
    • Why is it relevant for the forest products industries
    • What makes it innovative
    • How is it fitting with the selected theme
  • Direct and indirect links to each of the UN SDGs
  • One letter of support

Applications and deadlines for national award selection will be defined by local/regional associations. Please contact your national association to submit your application, or should you require any additional information.


A jury composed by industry representatives and well-respected researchers will evaluate the finalists both in regional and international level, based on evaluation form with pre-defined premises.

For general information, please contact