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In 1999, The Paper Province (TPP) was established as a cooperative project within the municipality of Karlstad in order to support the development of the stagnating pulp and paper sector. In 2003, TPP was reorganised into an economic association. Today, TPP is a cluster organisation owned and run by more than 90 member companies in Värmland and the surrounding area. The companies, ranging from global giants to local suppliers represent the whole value chain and associated service sector and are active in more than 100 countries.
To provide meeting places between different actors, various network activities are being arranged, e.g. breakfast seminars, monthly after-work pubs, a yearly Paper Makers' Night Conference and study visits. To secure access to relevant competences, many initiatives have been taken to attract students to various programmes and to develop courses according to company specifications, often in close cooperation with Karlstad University and Karlstad Municipality.
Over time, the activities of TPP have broadened. In 2004, the Packaging Greenhouse (TPG) was established as an independent test laboratory for paper and engineering products and services. TPG is a private company, owned to 100% by TPP. TPP has also become an important part in many regional development projects, with co-funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
Between 2003 and 2009, the turnover of TPP increased from about €0.25m to €0.85m. Part of the funding is made up by yearly membership fees. Since 2007, the share of EU-funding has increased to approximately 50% of turnover. Approximately six persons are working at TPP. TPP has become a well known international cluster organisation. External surveys show that The Paper Province’s work leads to new products and services, increased sales and more jobs. In 2007, TPP was appointed one of the “Top EU Clusters in High-Tech Regions”.