CMPC launches unprecedented USD 100 million innovation fund

The company’s goal is to form strategic partnerships with innovative initiatives that aim to build processes and solutions to meet the needs of the future.

After almost five years of work, CMPC has launched a USD 100 million fund that will be used for investing in startups or early-stage companies at a global scale, R+D development through collaborations with academia and innovation centers, and building collaborations with other companies.

This is an unprecedented fund for the company that came out of the new standards CMPC had laid out in its 2030 strategy in which innovation will play a central role for future growth, for customers and for achieving efficiency. This also represents the largest capital investment ever made by the company in this realm.
CMPC CEO Francisco Ruiz-Tagle said, “It is fundamental that we use new and disruptive technologies to not only generate value for customers and consumers, but to also prioritize the efficiency and sustainability of their processes in order to create the economy of tomorrow.”

In this context, the company seeks to project itself over the next century by implementing bio-solutions that meet market needs at the right time. To this end, specific annual goals were created around innovation: 30% of process improvements by 2025 must come from innovation, digitalization or the use of data; 20% of the fulfillment of sustainable development goals must be achieved through innovation, new or disruptive technologies for CMPC; and by 2025, 10% of sales must come from new and innovative products, businesses or business models.

The search for these new partnerships will focus on the digitalization and circularity of industrial and forestry processes, on the manufacture of cellulose-based textile fibers and fiber recycling, bio-based sustainable packaging, new uses for wood and bio-materials in construction, and on bio-based fuels and green energy.
In addition to searching for new initiatives, CMPC also makes it possible for interested parties to apply to this fund. To do this, they must fill in the required information on and then go through a validation process. The goal is for all of these funds to be executed between now and 2030 via two tranches: The first 50 billion will be used to build out the portfolio of projects and the second half is for scaling the selected solutions.

CMPC’s Competitiveness and Innovation Manager Felipe Alcalde said that the company wants to “hold a vanguard position in innovation, and we want to have a role to play in a world where bio-based solutions deliver more sustainable solutions to the consumers of tomorrow. At CMPC, we’re convinced that natural fibers have tremendous potential, so we want to develop, together with our customers and other stakeholders, the innovation that is required for these projects to come to light. This fund only serves a purpose if there is collaboration and impacts as a result.”

New partnerships

To date, the fund has already invested USD 15 million in projects and partnerships of different kinds. Regarding startups, thanks to the strategic alliance reached with CMPC, Pulpex, an English company that creates paper bottles made out of greater than 90% fiber from sustainable sources, will produce more than 2 billion bottles by 2028, which will be destined for leading consumer brands worldwide.

In addition, Finnish startup Woamy will use cellulose from CMPC to manufacture a bio-based foam material they’ve created to replace other plastic foams. The invention is recyclable, biodegradable, lightweight and resistant.