Foresight for building a regional cluster platform: Cellulosic fibre value chain technology roadmap in Green Triangle region, South Australia

Toni Ahlqvist, Mikko Dufva, John Kettle, Nafty Vanderhoek, Ville Valovirta, Torsti Loikkanen, Göran Roos

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientific


The practice-oriented paper reflects on the results of a strategic technology roadmapping project realised in the Green Triangle region of South Australia. The project integrated different methods in order to provide policy recommendations for the renewal of the forest industry in the region. Firstly, the project created a multi-criteria assessment framework for the evaluation of the present state of local companies. Secondly, the project made three value chain depictions: one that described the present value chain based on physical, monetary and information flows, and two so-called 'potential' value chain descriptions. Thirdly, the project formulated technology roadmaps and assessed the potential for forest industry renewal. Fourthly, the project provided detailed policy recommendations based on the findings in the project. The integrated methodological approach of the project provided a robust basis for construction of policy recommendations. The company assessment grouped the local companies in four categories for comparative assessment purposes: forest owners, harvesters and hauliers, sawmills, and specialised suppliers. For the roadmap construction, the main information categories were drivers, markets, regulation, customer needs, solutions, and enabling technologies, and the specific dynamics connected to all these categories. This information was structured into three temporal spans: present, short term (ca. 3-5 years) and long term (ca. 5-10 years). There are, at least, three novel aspects of the project. Firstly, the integration of multi-criteria evaluation, value chain analysis and roadmapping creates new opportunities, but also new challenges. Secondly, the future-oriented view of the Australian forest industry is a new aspect. Thirdly, the project also had a strong regional policy perspective, especially connected with the discussions on path dependency and path creation in the regional development context. The project had both practical and managerial implications. Firstly, the company assessment identified the domains where each individual firm had weaknesses as well as where the group as a whole lagged global best practice. Secondly, the value chain analysis showed strengths and weaknesses of the present structure, but also delineated the necessary components to be developed in order to move towards higher value added production. Thirdly, the roadmaps showed the frontiers of research and business in advanced cellulose fibre-based industries, and made possible the positioning of the Green Triangle region. The project had two wider implications for policy. Firstly, the integrated methodological approach of the foresight exercise enabled the production of detailed policy recommendations that were embedded in the local industrial context. Secondly, the project open a window of opportunity to consider so-called platform policies, that is, policies that aim to develop the fragmented regional structure of the Green Triangle's forest industry towards an integrated cluster-based platform, which would enable the region to benefit from agglomeration economics through a collaborative strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event5th International Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis: Engage today to shape tomorrow: FTA 2014 - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 27 Nov 201428 Nov 2014


Conference5th International Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis
Abbreviated titleFTA 2014


  • foresight
  • forest industry
  • cellulose
  • value chain
  • technology roadmap
  • cluster
  • regional platform
  • policy
  • Green Triangle
  • South Australia


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