Winners Announced in CMPC Low Water, Blue Stain-Free Wood Challenge

October 6, 2023

In July, CMPC — one of the biggest worldwide pulp and paper companies with 49 industrial plants across nine countries — joined forces with Foresight Canada to launch the Low Water, Blue Stain-Free Wood Challenge. This Innovation Challenge sought innovative solutions to reduce water use (or eliminate it completely) in the process of fighting the blue staining in wood caused by the Ceratocystis Pilífera fungus. 

After a a rigorous review process, CMPC has selected the following winners for their innovative, water-saving solutions:

  1. Inhibit Coatings Ltd
  2. NexGen Ecoatings, Inc.
  3. WaterPuris Inc.

Prior to this Innovation Challenge, the only way to avoid the appearance of the fungus was by watering the logs before the blue stain had set in, resulting in high water usage. Thanks to the impressive solutions put forward by these three companies, CMPC will be able to make strides towards their ambitious goals of reducing water use, emissions, and landfill waste.

The Solutions

Inhibit Coatings’ technologies are designed to address the problems of the modern world. This means creating sustainable, safe, and affordable solutions. Their antifungal coating systems achieve this, putting less demand on the environment and posing less risk to people and the environment while providing high protection against fungi. They are also easy to use and can be customized to different applications. 

NexGen products have been designed to prevent any mould growth on wood substrates using only natural (eco friendly & non-toxic) ingredients. Additionally, these ingredients, a proprietary blend of co-polymer resins blended with specific protective dry additives, provide significant protection to the substrates from fire (NA Class A rating), rot, decay, and insect damage from all wood-boring insects, including termites. The product has also been created to minimize the need for vast amounts of water, which is a typical requirement for existing forms of protecting wood substrates.

WaterPuris Inc.’s solution is game-changing for fungi prevention because the ozone nanobubble solution is chemical-free and significantly reduces the amount of water used to prevent blue-stain fungi in pine logs. The ozone naturally decomposes into oxygen, leaving no harmful residues and not impacting the pulp and paper processes downstream. 


“The management of water resources is a priority at CMPC. We are delighted that the challenge identified technologies that can reduce our water usage while maintaining the high quality of our products. Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to all the applicants who took the time to present their interesting solutions. We are looking forward to testing the winners' technologies and potentially co-creating a pilot opportunity with them.”

Sebastián Corthorn Innovation Leader, CMPC

“Water is by far our planet’s most precious resource. If we are going to meet global sustainability targets and create a liveable future for generations to come, we must protect it. We are extremely proud to have supported CMPC to find solutions that reduce water usage and accelerate them towards their ambitious climate goals — we can’t wait to see the impact of these impressive solutions.”

Jeanette Jackson CEO, Foresight Canada

“This challenge has opened a door into a new industry (pulp and paper) for Inhibit Coatings. The opportunity to work collaboratively with CMPC will allow us to work through some unique challenges in this industry. We look forward to overcoming these challenges to make an environmentally friendly, practical and cost-effective solution, accelerating the launch of our antifungal coatings into the real world.”

Eldon Tate CEO, Inhibit Coatings Ltd.

"We found the experience to be very positive. We appreciate the fact that CMPC is actively looking for alternatives to the traditional methods for protecting fibrous substrates from certain strands of mould that create negative impact on our industry.  It is through opportunities like this that companies with innovative products can get them into the market and affect change in a meaningful manner."

Robert Seaman President & CEO, NexGen Ecoatings, Inc.

"This Innovation Challenge was a thought-provoking experience that helped the team understand some of the water sustainability challenges for CMPC and the pulp and paper industry. WaterPuris had the opportunity to articulate the benefits of nanobubble technology and quantify the potential for positive economic and environmental impact. The Challenge will help us accelerate our technology by allowing us to pilot our technology with customers in various industries and gain valuable feedback to improve from the prototype stage to commercialization."

Robert Liang Co-founder, WaterPuris Inc.

The Low Water Blue Stain-Free Wood Challenge was delivered in partnership with Foresight Canada and CMPC. 

About CMPC:

CMPC produces and commercializes products based on pulp, paper, wood, and tissue. The company was born in 1920 with the production of papers and cardboards, and today commercializes its products through its three main businesses: Pulp, Biopackaging and Softys, reaching more than 26,700 direct clients around the world.

CMPC has 49 industrial plants in nine countries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, the United States, and Uruguay. Its worldwide presence reaches 12 countries, including three commercial offices in the USA, Germany, and China; and an innovation office in Finland.

Their corporate purpose —We create the natural fibre for a better future— is integral to the company's way of doing business and guides its actions and operations towards a sustainable future on a day-to-day basis.

About Foresight Canada:

Foresight is Canada’s cleantech accelerator. Foresight supports the identification and validation of cleantech opportunities and the successful commercialization of solutions. We bring together industry, government, academia, investors, and innovators to address today’s most urgent climate issues and support a global transition to a green economy. Find out more at Follow on Twitter @ForesightCAC.

Media Contacts

Foresight Canada:

Kaitie Unwin

[email protected]