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Forest-based Sector Technology Platform
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issue#27

October 2016

Forest-based sector recommendations for the next Horizon 2020 Work Programme released
The 2018-2020 programming period of Horizon 2020 has been initiated and several bilateral and committee meetings have taken place in most EU countries since mid-September. Aiming to ensure that the sector’s research interests and innovation ambitions are integrated into the scope of the next Work Programme, forest-based sector stakeholders together with FTP prepared: FTP Recommendations for the Work Programme 2018-2020 of Horizon 2020.

The ‘FTP Recommendations’ identify some 90 research and innovation activities of major concern for the European forest-based sector, such as innovative products, materials, processes and market solutions, with the potential to trigger enormous socio-economic and environmental transformation in the next 5-10 years. The recommendations consist of four thematic position papers, in which priority research and innovation activities are described under the Work Programmes of highest relevance to the sector:
Download complete document

FTP Recommendations for the Work Programme 2018-2020 of Horizon 2020 provides appropriate support to all FTP network partners engaged with advocacy actions during the programming period. The material is the result of an inclusive and transparent consultation process that involved all 25 FTP National Support Groups (NSGs) and the European associations and confederations of the forest-based sector.

EFI members support efforts during the programming period
FTP Managing Director Johan Elvnert presented the official FTP Recommendations for the Work Programme 2018-2020 during the EFI 2016 Annual Conference in Vienna, on 22 September 2016. The members and staff of the European Forest Institute (EFI) were encouraged to join FTP’s efforts to disclose the sector’s research and innovation priorities for relevant audiences, particularly to Programme Committee members. Elvnert appealed for the whole sector to speak with one voice to achieve an effective advocacy effort, ahead of the release of the Work Programme: “A coherent, strong and coordinated action of sector representatives will certainly increase the chances for a favourable outcome of the programming activities,” he affirmed.
 
Download FTP's presentation

MWP recognises CT-scanning as the most important innovation of the sector in 2016
The 2016 edition of the Marcus Wallenberg Prize has recognised industrial computed tomography scanning (CT-scanning) as the most significant technological development of the year in the forest-based sector.

The award ceremony took place in Stockholm on 10 October 2016, and brought together entrepreneurs, innovators and talented young scientists.
CT-scanning can be used to see inside a wooden log before it is sawn into boards. Extensive research and development has led to the current state of the art: a high-speed X-ray-based online scanning machine that is robust and efficient and can operate at an industrial pace. Certainly, CT-scanning demonstrates that integrating ICT-based solutions into the forest-based sector’s value chain can significantly enhance efficiency in production, optimise raw materials use and create added value for the sector. An example of an innovative solution sought by the sector, as described in FTP’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for 2020 (SRA).

Bioeconomy Panel tasked with outlining the stakeholders' perspectives on the EU bioeconomy
After two meetings and the designation of its leadership, the European Bioeconomy Panel will face the important challenge of finalising and ensuring the adoption of the European Bioeconomy Stakeholders Manifesto. The process for developing the Manifesto was conducted by the Dutch Presidency of the EU during its mandate from January to July 2016. It engaged multiple stakeholders through a series of consultations, with the objective of producing a document that could embrace and express their perspectives on the EU bioeconomy.
‘Building blocks’ of the document have been handed over to the members of the Panel. At this stage, it is a draft document that compiles a broad collection of stakeholders’ views on the future development of the EU bioeconomy: challenges and opportunities, suggestions for guiding principles, as well as proposed actions. Now the members of the Panel will define an appropriate purpose for the document, adjust the content accordingly and investigate means to convince relevant stakeholders’ groups to endorse the final document. Being the official representative of the European forest-based sector in the Bioeconomy Panel, FTP will closely monitor the actions and decisions related to this process and make sure that the final Manifesto serves the best interests of the sector.

Read more about the European Bioeconomy Panel in FTPNewsletter #26
Shaping the Nordic bioeconomy

As a member of the European Bioeconomy Panel, FTP Managing Director Johan Elvnert has also been appointed to the Nordic Bioeconomy Panel. This Panel has 11 members and has been organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Panel met in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 4 October 2016 to select and discuss a selection of strong cases of bioeconomy initiatives in the Nordic region. Future activities are likely to include the preparation of a Nordic Bioeconomy Strategy.

Wood-based feedstocks can unlock the potential of complete biomass value chains in Central and Eastern Europe

Forest-based sector stakeholders from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Romania confirmed that national bioeconomy strategies would be very welcome in order to structure policy conditions for developing efficient and complete wood-based feedstock value chains in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). In open discussions that took place on 8 September, in Brussels, during the workshop EU Cohesion policy regions: the potential of biomass to biobased products, stakeholders called for in-depth internal discussions on the definition and scope of the bioeconomy in the national context, as a means to overcome the fragmentation of national policies.
 
Providing a sectoral approach with a focus on CEE, FTP Managing Director Johan Elvnert shed light on critical issues that hinder  improved performance of the forest-based sector in the region. He emphasised the considerable potential of forests in the bioeconomy towards de-carbonisation strategies and pointed out policy bottlenecks that, for instance, delay the development of conditions for establishing regional biorefineries. The workshop was hosted by the Directorate on the Bioeconomy of the European Commission’s DG for Research and Innovation (DG RTD). Its objective was to foster regional bioeconomy cooperation in the EU Cohesion Regions and to enhance stakeholders’ participation in Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 2, as well as the Calls of the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU).

Biobased sectors to be better placed in the circular economy package and in legislative proposals on waste
A European bioeconomy based on sustainably produced biobased raw materials has a strong role to play in the fight against climate change; it is crucial to ensure consistency between the industrial bioeconomy and the Energy Union framework, as well as competitiveness in a circular economy. It was with this comprehensive message and a strong call for MEPs to become activists of the bioeconomy that MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats) welcomed 20 parliamentary assistants to the briefing session Building the circular economy with biobased materials and products, that was held in Brussels, on 23 September 2016. (Click on the image to watch the video).
Click to watch the video
The lively discussions that took place between the assistants and the members of the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA) touched upon the interconnections between the circular economy and the bioeconomy, particularly in the context of the Circular Economy Package and the legislative proposals on waste. For EUBA members, it was a timely opportunity to explain to a pivotal audience the importance of the bioeconomy for Europe and its relationship to EU policy objectives on jobs and growth, climate and sustainability.

NSG Austria speeds up action in the programming period of Horizon 2020
With a distinguished audience, fruitful discussions and an excellent networking environment the NSG Austria Annual Meeting took place in Vienna, on 5 October 2016. The objective of the event was to exchange information about the status of and expectations about the upcoming Work Programme of Horizon 2020, to discuss FTP’s Communication Strategy, as well as plan the next steps for NSG Austria during the programming period of Horizon 2020. During the discussions, the participants expressed their preliminary ideas and concerns about the innovation needs of the sector beyond 2020, as well as their impressions of the upcoming 9th EU Research Framework Programme. The NSG Austria Annual Meeting was co-chaired by the NSG Austria Chairs: Leo Arpa, Head of Research and Development at Mondi and Peter Meyer, Director of the Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW).
Woody biomass plays a central role in the ambitions of the Dutch bioeconomy
By 2030, the Netherlands alone is expected an additional demand of about 30 million m3 of timber per year for traditional products, new biobased products and energy.

This scenario is outlined by the newly launched report Dutch forestry and forestry sector in the bio-economy: scenarios to 2030 in an international bio-economy perspective, which also presents facts and figures about the opportunities to harvest more wood from Dutch and European forests.

Drawn up with the collaboration of the NSG Netherlands, the report provided input for the Dutch Action Plan on Forest and Wood, an initiative of several stakeholders in the forestry sector to be launched in late October, during the Climate Summit to the Dutch State Secretary of Infrastructure.
Download the report

Research project 'What Wood We Believe' unveils societal perceptions of the forest-based sector
A ‘machine’ capable of advising on the best forest-related message for specific audiences; this was one of the valuable outcomes of the research project What We Wood Believe (W3B) that impressed forest communicators attending the W3B’s Final Stakeholders Workshop, in Brussels, on 22 September 2016.
Called the ‘Learning Machine’, the web-based support tool allows information to be entered, such as gender, age, type of residence (e.g. urban, rural/brick, wood, etc.), profession, education, etc., and then predicts topics of interest for the target audience. The tool was developed with input provided by surveys which attracted nearly 2,500 respondents. The W3B consortium also presented developed interactive games and audio-visual resources as effective platforms to develop positive narratives about the sector.
Funded by the ERA-Net WoodWisdom-Net over a period of two and half years, W3B aimed at developing and implementing efficient communication strategies, which demonstrate the relevance of the European forestry and wood sectors its services and products, leading the way towards a sustainable society. Wood Kplus – Kompetenzzentrum Holz Austria  – coordinated the project.
26-28 October 2016 (Bratislava, Slovakia)
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Copyright © 2016 Forest-based Sector Technology Platform (FTP), All rights reserved. 


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