Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award 2016/17

Publish Date: Jul 14, 2016

Deadline: Jul 31, 2016

About program

The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) has announced the South African leg of the international Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award. The competition, open to researchers and students under the age of 30, aims to recognise and foster innovation around projects focused on the all aspects of the forest-products industry.

An initative of the International Council of Forests and Paper Associations (ICFPA), the inaugural theme is centred on "game changing technologies ― unfolding the potential of forest, paper and wood-based products".

How it will work

This global biennial programme will grant up to three awards to the most attractive submissions. "It is an excellent opportunity for local researchers to gain international exposure as the national winners will then be reviewed by an international panel", says Molony. "The overall shortlisted researchers will give presentations at the meeting of international CEOs at the ICFPA meeting in Berlin in June 2017".

T’s and C’s

  • After a transparent and objective selection process, the winning submissions will have the opportunity to present their projects in front of the CEO Roundtable.
  • Travel expenses to Berlin and accommodation will be sponsored by the Blue Sky Award. Only three students will be selected.
  • Each country will nominate a candidate to compete internationally after going through the national selection.
  • Prior to the final selection, finalists will be invited to submit a short video in which they briefly describe their project.
  • Applications shall be submitted before 31 July 2016.
  • Submissions will be evaluated by PAMSA’s Research Committee and representatives from local universities.
  • An award of R25,000 will be given to the winning South African researcher.


Young researchers: students and other researchers under the age of 30 who are carrying out research and innovation projects relevant to forestry, forest products processing technologies and forest products in an academia, public or private research centre, company research and innovation department.

The main topics

The theme includes two sub areas and their respective research lines:

a) Future generation forestry

  • Forest tree breeding and biotechnology,
  • Precision forestry,
  • Measurements and inventory.

b) Innovation in the wood-based industry

  • Analysis and properties of pulp and paper,
  • Facilities, instrument and process control,
  • Bioproducts and wood chemistry,
  • Recycling, deinking and environment,
  • Timber for construction,
  • Material substitution with wood.


    1. May/June 2016 – Announcement and call for applications
    2. End July 2016 – Deadline for applications
    3. Sept 2016 – Announcement of winner at TAPPSA conference in September
    4. Jan/Mar 2017 – Global pre-selection
    5. Mar/Apr 2017 – Global final selection
    6. June 2017 – Presentations in Berlin and international reward

How and where to send applications

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

  • Short CV (maximum one page)
  • Statement of purpose, including:
    • 500 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?
    • Additional requirements:
      • Advanced English skills (writing, listening and speaking).

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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