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issue#28

December 2016

NSG Slovenia leads research consortium awarded €45 million RTD grant
With a grant of close to €15 million awarded by the European Commission and topped up with an additional €30 million from the Government of Slovenia, a consortium of Slovene partners led by the University of Primorska and FTP NSG Slovenia will establish the Renewable Materials and Healthy Environments Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence (InnoRenew CoE).  

The Centre of Excellence will elevate Slovenia to the forefront of sustainable building research in Europe. Drawing from the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills of the consortium and its partners, the Centre will pursue research, development and innovation in renewable materials use, with a focus on supporting the circular economy and providing positive health benefits in buildings. The public funding will be available for five years, during which period the conditions for independent and sustainable operation of the Centre will be laid down.
 
From left to right: Peter Plavčan, Minister of Education, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic; Professor Andreja Kutnar, project manager InnoRenew CoE of the University of Primorska and Chair of FTP NSG Slovenia; and Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.
© University of Primorska
“During this initial funding period, we will make a significant contribution to the growth of the Slovene economy, to raise added-value of the workforce and resolve current breaks in the forest-wood chain. Our aim is that Slovenian wood products and solutions will be used for high-value purposes across the world and our research and innovation will influence the development of the sector globally”, stated InnoRenew’s project leader Andreja Kutnar.

The Centre has further been recognized by the European Commission, by being amongst ten innovation projects selected under the ‘Teaming’ instrument of Horizon 2020, one which aims to disseminate scientific excellence and bridge the research gap in Europe. The instrument facilitates close cooperation between countries that regularly top the EU’s innovation scoreboard, the so-called EU15, and the newer EU13 Member States.
InnoRenew project pursues knowledge-based innovation to transform the Slovenian forestry and construction sectors

The impact of the project will be clearly seen by the residents of Primorska, as the region will host the newly built Centre, employing more than 50 world class national and international scientists and will strive to boost the Slovenian forest and construction sectors with knowledge-based innovation. The project addresses various innovation priorities of the EU forest-based sector, described in FTP’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRA): resource efficiency in manufacturing (SRA 3.1) and building with wood (SRA 4.1), as well as promoting citizen’s perception of the sector (SRA 1.2) while fostering policies and good governance (SRA1.3). All these aspects contribute considerably to raising awareness of the role of the forest-based sector and the use of wood-based materials in building the European biobased society. Developed by nine partners, the InnoRenew project has engaged 62 small and large enterprises, research organisations and public institutions, from 20 countries. The University of Primorska is the project coordinator, while the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut, an advanced institution for research, development and industry innovation, from Germany, has acted as a mentor institution.
Download InnoRenew brochures
Shaping the ERA-NET co-fund 'Innovative Forest-based Bioeconomy'
FTP network partners are strongly encouraged to promote the Call Innovative Forest-based Bioeconomy among national funding providers. This is an unprecedented arrangement between the ERA-NETs Foresterra, Sumforest and WoodWisdom-NET in a co-fund action to expand and ensure funding opportunities for the woodworking and forestry sectors. So far, 18 EU and non-EU countries have expressed interest in joining the co-fund and participating. The objective is to raise the number of countries represented and the budget, pooling nearly €20 million.
 
The complex endeavor to put together three established ERA-NETs in a single co-fund is the outcome of close cooperation between FTP, WoodWisdom-NET and Sumforest. Together, they demonstrated to the Commission that the ERA-NET mechanism has proved to be an appropriate one to accommodate the research priorities of the woodworking and forestry sectors and is well appreciated by the sector.  Convinced of the relevance of the proposal and its significance to underpin innovation in these sectors, the Commission accepted to reshape the Call and maintain its financial support. Please contact Mr Mika Kallio (mika.kallio@woodwisdom.net) for further information.
1st EU Raw Materials Week features forest-based innovation
At the 4th annual High-Level Conference of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials, FTP was showcased as a best practice European Technology Platform (ETP), advocating research and innovation.This provided FTP with an excellent opportunity to promote the achievements of the sector during Raw Materials Week, an event that brought together participants across the raw material sectors and value chains, to debate and discuss raw materials policy and initiatives in the EU. The 1st edition of Raw Materials Week was by the European Commission DG GROW in Brussels, from 28 November to 2 December 2016.
 
Download FTP's presentation
In November, FTP also represented the sector in other important fora such as the High-level Group on Energy Intensive Industries, the European Bioeconomy Panel, the Forest-based Industries Expert Group and the Nordic Council, as well as in workshops and seminars to discuss and disseminate the sector’s view with regards the role of forest-based innovation in the bioeconomy, circular economy and the EU energy framework.
Nordic Council of Ministries meeting at the European Forestry House on 25 November 2016.                             © CEPF
Exploring research cooperation between EU and Indian pulp and paper sector

Establishing high-level contacts and launching start-up discussions for future cooperation were among the main objectives that brought a delegation of representatives from the Indian government, pulp and paper association and research institute on a study tour of Europe. On its final stop, in Brussels, FTP hosted the delegation at the European Forestry House, on 10 November, with a view to creating conditions for future research collaboration. The long-distance guests were introduced to the key pillars of EU research and innovation activities by FTP Managing Director Johan Elvnert who gave a comprehensive overview of available EU funding sources provided for the sector within the framework programme Horizon 2020.

Topics such as water resources, recycling and scarcity of biomass supply, amongst others, are of key relevance to the Indian pulp and paper sector. Bernard de Galembert, Innovation and Bioeconomy Director of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) shared with the delegation the latest updates from the European pulp and paper sector as well as policies advanced by a Brussels-based advocacy group, the European Bioeconomy Alliance. The tour ended with the EU regulatory framework, as the guest speakers from the European institutions gave a crash course in the relevant EU policies that affect European forest-based industries.

The trip was organised as part of the project, 'Development and adoption of enhancing productivity in the paper and pulp sector' run by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) with the support of the Indian Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP). Prior to the visit to Brussels, the delegation toured in Norway and Sweden, meeting key Scandinavian stakeholders. The trip was assisted by the support of Philip Reme, Managing Director of the Norwegian Paper and Fibre Research institute (PFI).

Please contact Ms Thais Mattos (thais.mattos@forestplatform.org) for more information.


European Commission launches public consultation on Horizon 2020

The European Commission is calling upon researchers, entrepreneurs, innovators, citizens, organisations and all stakeholders who have a say on research and innovation activities in the EU to take part in the public consultation that will feed into the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020. According to the Commission, the interim evaluation will help improve the implementation of Horizon 2020 and will also lay the ground for the next EU research and innovation funding programme beyond 2020. This consultation will remain open until 15 January 2017.

Download online formulary
EIP on Raw Materials calls for new members

The European Commission’s DG GROW is calling for the application of new members to make up the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials (EIP) High-Level Steering Group and Operational Groups, including one dedicated to biotic raw materials. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2017. The membership of the High-Level Steering Group will be composed of 70 representatives at the highest hierarchical level, while the new membership of Operational Groups will consist of 70 experts, who will provide advice to the High-Level Group. Please access this link to read more about the conditions of the call and eligibility criteria; you can also download the templates to submit your application.

Access reference documents

Innovation trends highlighted at European Paper Week
“We have seen the future and advanced examples of the bioeconomy 2.0 today”, affirmed the Chairwoman of the FTP Board Lena Ek in her speech to the scientists presenting innovative ideas for the pulp and paper industry at the Young Researchers Session of European Paper Week (EPW), in Brussels, on 22 November 2016. “The new possibilities that you have introduced using different materials, innovative applications and production flows go beyond the current understanding of the bioeconomy”, she continued.
Top row: Panellists at the Young Researchers Session of EPW. Second row, from left to right: Bernard de Galembert (CEPI); Leo Arpa (Mondi Paper Europe & International); Lena Ek (FTP and Södra) and Herman Schwartz (Siemens).
© CEPI
Later in the evening, a Welcome Cocktail co-organised by FTP and the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) opened the three-day official conference, inspired discussions about the latest trends in the sector and encouraged networking among global industry representatives and European policymakers. FTP Managing Director Johan Elvnert emphasised the relevance of the sector’s investment in innovation: “FTP is a cooperation platform for innovative solutions. We fight problems with the support of a robust strategic research and innovation roadmap and pursue our Vision for 2030. Our efforts have been recognized with significant public funding. However, the major effort to unlock innovation is carried out by the sector”, he concluded.  
From left to right: Johan Elvnert (FTP); Lena Ek (FTP and Södra) and Sylvain Lhôte (CEPI).
© CEPI
FTP Vision 2030 and SRA reconfirmed as key roadmaps for forest-based innovation in Europe

Among the recommendations of the Bratislava Declaration on the EU Forest Strategy: a new impulse on a way forward, is to stimulate relevant actors in the forest-based sector across all Member States to make the best use of synergies between FTP’s Vision 2030 and Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for 2020 (SRA), as well as the EFI strategy 2025. The Declaration was adopted as an outcome of the informal meeting of EU Forest Directors, that took place in Bratislava on 7-9 November 2016, and gathered together Forest Directors from Member State ministries, forest authorities as well as stakeholder representatives, including the Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF) and the European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR).
 
In addition to research and innovation in supporting sound policy decisions, the Bratislava Declaration also addresses forests in the 2030 climate and energy framework, underlines the need for in-depth discussion of the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) proposal and further emphasises the role of forests in biodiversity conservation, among other relevant and global forest-related issues.

Bratislava Agenda highlights strategic role of ETPs in steering innovation cohesion in Europe

Revamping the European Technology Platform (ETPs) concept with strong industrial leadership and efficient national mirror platforms is among the positive notes of the Bratislava Agenda - A call for a European Industrial Revolution to Re-industrialise Europe. In the document, ETPs are defined by their potential to develop an “ecosystem that will facilitate the European Industrial Revolution”, trigger innovation and steer increased cohesion towards a common industrial ecosystem in the EU, while respecting the particularities of Member States. Such strategic positioning of ETPs positively reflects on the work of FTP and enhances the possibilities to develop much more influential work on behalf of forest-based innovation in the EU.

The Bratislava Agenda calls upon all European stakeholders to recognize and act on the paradigm-shifting changes that challenge industries across world regions. It was launched during the international conference Re-industrialisation of the EU 2016 (REinEU 2016) that took place in Bratislava, from 26-28 October 2016. As a member of the conference High-Level Steering Group, FTP Managing Director Johan Elvnert chaired the session ‘Biotechnology disrupting traditional sectors’.
Download the 'Bratislava Agenda'

European paper industry foresees 40% more investment to lead the low carbon bioeconomy
At the 18th edition of EPW, the European pulp and paper industry outlined its investment agenda towards achieving the industry’s 2050 vision of a low-carbon and resource-efficient bioeconomy. Building on the roadmap CEPI laid out in 2011, the industry reaffirmed its vision of leading Europe’s bioeconomy transition towards 2050 by cutting its carbon footprint by 80%, while creating more than 50% added value. These key findings of the roadmap review are now available for stakeholders’ consultation of the discussion paper Making industry transformation happen in Europe released at EPW.

The goal is to broaden the collective input of the document through seeking consultation with key stakeholders on enabling conditions for industry transformation and to table a revised roadmap in early 2017.
 
©CEPI
Download 'Making industry transformation happen in Europe’
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