Jan Bottiglieri | [email protected]
It’s a common trope in movies: the image of a solitary scientist bent over a microscope or workbench, or swirling some mysterious liquid in a graduated flask, working alone into the wee hours of night while the rest of us sleep unencumbered by the mantle of genius. And Greek engineer-philosopher Archimedes was probably alone when he stepped into a bathtub some two thousand years ago and yelled “Eureka! Eureka!” upon realizing he had discovered the water displacement method of measuring irregularly-shaped objects. (Although one wonders: If he was really alone, who heard him yell “eureka”?)
Though the Archimedes story may be apocryphal, it is the origin of the “eureka moment,” that sudden flash of insight sparked by true discovery. I think our industry is on the verge of such a moment—maybe a bunch of them. Our scientists have the capability to look more closely into every facet of modern papermaking technology; to measure more precisely every incremental change; to delve more deeply into the mysteries locked at the atomic level in that most amazing of raw materials, the tree.
In this special “Research and Development” issue of Paper360°, we offer a suite of articles examining different aspects of our research arena—from important research happening today to the roadmaps leading to the projects of tomorrow. In reviewing input from a host of research professionals, I had my own “eureka moment”: partnerships drive our industry’s R&D. Everyone we spoke with noted partnerships between academia, manufacturing, suppliers, and other organizations as a catalyst for industry innovation. “Innovation happens at the intersections of things,” Beth Cormier, Sappi North America’s vice president for R&D, told me. There goes the myth of the solitary genius: it seems the real magic happens when scientists, teachers, students, and business leaders come together.
This issue also includes the PPI Top 100—a comprehensive look at our industry’s global players. This marks the first time it appears in the pages of Paper360°, a positive result of the publishing partnership between TAPPI and RISI. I know readers will find it a valuable resource.
There’s one more partnership I’d like to mention: the partnership between Paper360° and its readers. I would love to hear your ideas, comments, and suggestions—or perhaps you have a “eureka moment” of your own you’d like to share. I look forward to hearing from you.
LARRY N. MONTAGUE
President & CEO, TAPPI
VP Operations, TAPPI
Senior Editor, North and South America
Senior Editor, Europe and Asia
Editorial Director, TAPPI Journal
INTEGRATED MEDIA DIRECTOR
[email protected] (352) 333-3345
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