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SuperBark – Safe, sustainable and high-performance adhesives and coatings from industrial softwood bark

SuperBark is a four-year EU project starting on September 1st 2023, funded by Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU) under Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. SuperBark will explore natural components in tree bark to develop new safe, sustainable, high-performance and bio-based adhesives and coatings for wood panels and packaging paper. CLIC Innovation leads the communication, dissemination, and exploitation of the project outcomes to increase awareness of new technologies, products, and associated opportunities.


Adhesives and coatings are an integral part of consumer products used in our daily lives. Today, most adhesives and coatings on the market are formulated using fossil-based and harmful chemicals, which conflicts with the EU-level goal of reducing our dependency on non-renewable resources and protecting the health and well-being of citizens and the environment.  


The SuperBark project will exploit natural components in pine and spruce bark, a major industrial side stream of the forest industry, to develop ≥ 95% bio-based adhesives and coatings for wood panels and packaging paper in line with the functional, safety, and sustainability standards required by the industry and consumers.  

SuperBark will bring together experts from different disciplines, various organisations and industries and thus contribute to the CBE JU specific objective of increasing the intensity of cross-disciplinary research and innovation activities to support the acceleration of innovation processes and development of bio-based innovative solutions. 

Work content 

The work is divided into six work packages, of which WPs 2-6 are operational work packages supported by the project management in WP1. 

WP1 Project Management and Coordination (VTT) 

WP2 Production of bark-based components (VTT): Extraction of polyphenols from bark using a novel alkaline fractionation technology and conversion of cellulose-rich bark residues into cellulose nanofibrils (CNF). 

WP3 Polyphenol-based adhesives (FHG): Development of several strategies for synthesis and formulation of ≥ 95% bio-based adhesives for plywood, particleboard and medium density fibreboard based on polyphenolic compounds from European softwood bark and other bio-based components, and optimisation of adhesion strength properties of the wood-based products bonded with the bio-based adhesives. 

WP4 Bark-based nanocellulose coatings (HFA): Development and optimization of adhesive and coating formulations for plywood including bark-based CNF and polyphenols to increase properties such as scratch resistance, abrasion resistance, hardness, photo-protective properties and antifungal/antimicrobial resistance.  

WP5 Safe and sustainable by design and process modelling (LIST): Apply a combination of digital technologies in process design, system dynamics modelling, and data analysis to accelerate the adhesive and coating developments and evaluate technical, socio-economic and market opportunities. 

WP6 Communication, dissemination and exploitation (CLIC): Communication and dissemination of project findings to scientists, policy makers, society, and industrial actors in relevant sectors, including furniture, construction, transportation and packaging, to raise awareness on the benefits of the adhesives and coatings developed from bark components.  

The exploitation of results from SuperBark will have a measurable economic impact on the consortium companies and will also translate into clear environmental and health impacts to the society, in alignment to the objectives set in the CBE JU annual work program. 


The consortium consists of 12 full partners: 

  • Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy (VTT), Finland (coordinator) 
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Angewandten Forschung EV (FHG), Germany 
  • Rigas Tehniska Universitate (RTU), Latvia 
  • Holzforschung Austria Österreichische Gesellschaft Für Holzforschung (HFA), Austria 
  • Luxembourg Institute Of Science And Technology (LIST), Luxembourg 
  • Institut Za Celulozo In Papir (ICP), Slovenia 
  • Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Tecnalia), Spain
  • CLIC Innovation Oy (CLIC), Finland 
  • Adler-Werk Lackfabrik Johannberghoffer GmbH & Co KG (Adler), Austria 
  • Metsäliitto Osuuskunta (Metsä), Finland 
  • Goricane Tovarna Papirja Medvode d.d (Goricane), Slovenia 
  • Kastamonu Entegre Agac Sanayi Ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi (KEAS), Türkiye


Laura Turpeinen

Laura Turpeinen

Communications coordinator, Bioeconomy

Tel. +358 50 557 9317