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Forest-based Sector Technology Platform
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issue #30

February 2017

WoodWisdom-Net invites stakeholders to the 8th WW-Net Research Programme Seminar
The first results of the 4th Joint Call of WoodWisdom-Net will top the agenda at the 8th WoodWisdom-Net Research Programme Seminar organized by WoodWisdom-Net and the Forestry Commission Scotland in Edinburgh on 4 - 5 April 2017. Participants from industry, academia and policymaking organizations across the forest-based sector will have the opportunity to engage in discussions on the results of a total of 23 WW-Net projects from the 4th Joint Call. There will also be the chance to exchange views and network with project stakeholders, as well as providing feedback and ideas for the development of the next WoodWisdom-Net Research Programme.
As part of the programme, FTP will present the latest news from the ongoing research project Vision and Roadmap 2050 for European Raw Materials (VERAM), in which both FTP and WoodWisdom-NET are partners. The Horizon 2020-funded VERAM is a shared effort of the abiotic (minerals and metals) and biotic (wood and natural rubber) sectors to establish a 2050 Research and Innovation Roadmap laying the foundation for future call topics in raw materials-related research. 

In 2006, the ERA-Net WoodWisdom-Net initiated the joint transnational WoodWisdom-Net Research Programme. Resulting from all four joint calls (in 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2013) a total of 62 transnational research projects, amounting to around € 85M, have been jointly funded by the WoodWisdom-Net partners so far.

Registration for the seminar is open until 22 March 2017. To see the programme click here.
 
Register here

The Value of Wood Forum showcases the contribution of wood-based innovation to the EU bioeconomy
© Michel Petillo
Forest-based sector innovation on services, processes and technologies are boosting the European bioeconomy and fostering progress in the triple bottom-line of sustainability. Successful cases providing evidence of this will be explored by FTP Managing Director Johan Elvnert during his participation in The Value of Wood Forum that will take place on 21 March, at 15:00, at the Residence Palace, Brussels. Presented and moderated by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) Paul Brannen and Henna Virkunnen, the Forum will also dedicate one session ​to discussing the value of timber and wood-based products in the future construction sector in Europe.
The event officially opens the #ForestCityProject, a public information campaign that aims to reconnect citizens with nature and raise their attention to relevant policy discussions around forest resources. Exhibition panels presenting messages about the value of wood will be displayed on the Esplanade of the European Parliament (21 March - 4 April) and in the Cinquantenaire park (4 – 5 April). The #ForestCityProject is supported by FTP, the European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR), the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certifications (PEFC) and other partners.
Register here

Bioeconomy Panel to place research and innovation as cornerstones for the bioeconomy

On its assignment as a member of the EU Bioeconomy Panel, FTP is committed to providing valuable and substantial input to the EU Bioeconomy Stakeholders Manifesto, with the firm hope that it will trigger a crucial debate on what is needed to sustain the EU bioeconomy in the future. As previously reported by the FTP Newsletter, the process to have a European Bioeconomy Manifesto was proposed by the Dutch EU Presidency.
The finalisation of the document was handed over to the members of the European Bioeconomy Stakeholders Panel, who are currently discussing the many comments submitted by different stakeholder groups. Progress in editing the document has been steady so far, despite the challenges to balance the various perspectives of all stakeholders. The plan is to have an agreed Manifesto to be released in November.
 
Register now for the ERIFORE workshop on European forest bioeconomy research infrastructure
The research project European Research Infrastructure for Circular Forest Bioeconomy (ERIFORE) invites experts of the forest-based sector to participate in its 2nd open ERIFORE Workshop that will take place in Stockholm on 27 March 2017. The event will present an overview of the capabilities and emerging concepts of the European forest-based research infrastructure reflecting the plans for future needs. Bringing together the main research institutions and key industrial players active in the field of the forest bioeconomy, the workshop will provide participants with a unique opportunity for networking and discussions on future strategies and cooperation between different forest-based bioeconomy stakeholders. Download the workshop programme and register before 15 March 2017.
ERIFORE is a € 2.6 million infrastructure development project under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union. The project aims to establish an open access research infrastructure to facilitate the development of technologies enabling research and commercialisation of new value-added products from forest biomass. ERIFORE shall pay a significant contribution to unleashing the potential of the forest-based sector to take the lead in Europe’s endeavour to develop a biobased society.
 
Register for the workshop
Research to advance investigation on three genes that account for growth- and yield-promoting abilities
© UPSC / Gun Lövdall
The use of molecular genetic tools to increase forest productivity and tree growth is a challenge that the European forest-based sector is eager to address. This important endeavour, to enhance biomass production in Europe, is at the core of the research partnership announced in mid-January 2017 that brings together the Swedish company SweTree Technologies, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC), part of Umeå University, and the Belgian VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology.
During the project, Swedish and Belgian scientists aim to identify new genes for growth increase in poplar trees. The key genes identified will be tested for their growth- and yield-promoting abilities. Similar tests with other plant species and agriculture crops are also in the scope of the research project.

This Swedish-Belgian research collaboration undertakes a key research and innovation area (RIA 2.3D) of FTP’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda. Its findings will play an important part in better understanding the benefits and risks associated with genetically improved trees. The data collected will provide means for the sector to make informed, scientifically sound decisions that will ultimately have an impact on the future competitiveness of the sector; for instance, the opportunity to grow and harvest fast-growing tree species, currently of low-value, to produce high-value wood-based products. Read more.
Schweighofer Prize to award visionary forest-based sector achievements
Recognition of forest-based sector innovation that is vital to shaping the future of the industry is more relevant than ever. This is the key message endorsed by the Schweighofer Prize, that will announce this year’s winners during an award ceremony that will take place at the Vienna City Hall on 20 June 2017. Since 2002 the Schweighofer Prize has acknowledged innovative and visionary ideas, technologies, products and services that unlock the potential of the European forest-based sector and contribute to enhancing its competitiveness. The Schweighofer Prize is donated by the Austrian Schweighofer family, which has been involved in the European woodworking industry for generations.
 
Grant agreement signed

Further to the € 15 million EU grant awarded in November 2016, the research project Renewable Materials and Healthy Environments Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence (InnoRenew CoE), led by FTP NSG Slovenia Chair Andreja Kutnar, was one of the celebrated project teams at the signing ceremony for the successful Horizon 2020 Teaming project winners, in Brussels on 17 February. The ceremony was hosted by the Director-General of the European Commission’s DG Research and Innovation, Robert-Jan Smits. InnoRenew CoE will establish a Centre of Excellence that will pursue research, development and innovation in renewable materials use and solutions for sustainable building. Public funding, amounting to a total of € 45 million, will lay the foundation for the independent and sustainable operation of the Centre within the next five years. Read more about the success of InnoRenew CoE .
 
The first-ever forest project to benefit from the Investment Plan for Europe

The Irish forestry sector will receive € 112 million of EU support for a new initiative that seeks to improve forest management and strengthen the supply of wood for commercial use across Ireland. This initiative is the first-ever forest project in Europe to receive backing from the Investment Plan for Europe, one of the top priorities of the European Commission to boost jobs and growth in Europe.
The initiative targets privately owned forests seeking to provide crucial upgrades to Ireland’s forestry infrastructure through the consolidation of its management. The new investment is being implemented by Dasos, a pan-European specialist forestry investment fund, and is backed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) with € 28.5 million and € 55 million, respectively.
6-8 March 2017 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
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20-24 March 2017 (Agadir, Morocco)
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21 March 2017 (Brussels, Belgium)
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2nd Open ERIFORE Workshop
27 March 2017 (Stockholm, Sweden)
........................................................................................................................................................... 27 March 2017 (Brussels, Belgium)
........................................................................................................................................................... 28-30 March 2017 (Stockholm, Sweden)​
........................................................................................................................................................... 4-5  April 2017 (Edinburgh, Scotland)
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