Global ERA-NET teams drive innovation in the forest-based economy

Final selection for the ForestValue 2017 Call for Proposals selected 17 transnational research projects that promise to drive innovation for sustainable management and the forest-based economy

Autumnal trees in Montseny, Spain. Photo: Tom ter Horst

The ForestValue consortium is proud to present the results of the Joint Call 2017. During the call steering committee meeting held in October at BMEL in Berlin, Germany, 17 transnational R&D projects were selected for funding: six addressing the call topic A, “Innovative sustainable management of multifunctional forests,” and 11 projects addressing call topic B, “Innovative industrial production and processing technologies, products, concepts and services.” 149 research teams from 13 ForestValue partner countries (Argentina, Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and UK) and three teams participating with their own funding from Canada, Estonia and Portugal will work together in the next three years to develop solutions for sustainable forest management and to innovate the processing of forest-based resources and production of bio-based products and services. As shown in the Figure 1, Sweden is funding the most projects (15) followed by Germany (12), Austria (9), Finland and Norway (each 8), Slovenia (7), France (6), Spain (5), UK (3) and Argentina, Canada, Estonia, Ireland, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland (each 1).

Figure 1: Projects per country

The main share of researcher teams are coming from universities (34%), where 25 % of the beneficiaries are representatives of research organisations. Almost equal shares of participants are distributed between SMEs – 11% and Large Enterprises 12 %, however 6 % participanting companies just defined themselves as industry, which means that the share of industrial researcher participating in the upcoming projects is almost 30 %. About 10 % of the teams of the upcoming projects are representing other types of organisations, e.g. trade associations, governmental agencies, NGOs, information services, etc. The fact that such a high share of industrial researcher and trading bodies are involved in the upcomming projects is very positive, as the main goal of the ForestValue call is to support the market implementation of developed products and solutions in the short term and achieving substaintial impact of the everyday life of the European citizens. 12 out of the 17 selected projects have at least one industrial partner, where the maximum number of industrial partners in a project is 10 companies. The vital interest by the industrial companies on the planned research is evident due to the fact that beside the EUR 21.55 million requested public funding provided together by the ForestValue partner countries and European Commission investments, of the teams plan to contribute more than EUR 4.6 millions from their own sources (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: The ForestValue Joint Call: facts and figures

The majority of the projects are having small or midium size with three to eight partners, but also there are four large projects with 10, 13, 23 and 26 partners respectively. Also very positive is the fact that the projects are joining knowledge and expertise of partners from three up to eight countries from Europe and beyound.

The project partners are now negotiating with their national funding agencies and the projects are expected to start in early 2019.

For more information, please visit the ForestValue website

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EFIMED is the Mediterranean Facility of the European Forest Institute. Based in Barcelona, Spain, it was launched in 2007.