IN2WOOD: Forest clusters development in 6 regions of Europe
IN2WOOD is a project of the Regions of Knowledge Initiative (RoK) funded under the European Commission (EC)'s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) (Capacities theme), which deals with the challenges of sustainable European forest management and the research and technological development (RTD) environment of the forest-based sector. Forest clusters of six European regions: - Styria Austria - North-Rhine Westphalia - Germany - South Tyrol, Italy - Grisons, Switzerland - Banská Bystrica, Slovakia and - Carpathia, Ukraine. %l We have joined forces to elaborate a JAP for the future coordination and strengthening of their complementary RTD potentials. The IN2WOOD coordination activities are carried out by triple helix clusters of research, regional authority and business (small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)) representing the forest-based sector in each partner region. As a coordination action, it aims to improve the transnational integration of regional research agendas. The JAP paves the way for the implementation of several pilot concepts in the respective working areas. Fostering stronger networking and knowledge exchange among stakeholders within and between partner regions, the project's mentoring interface also reaches out to forest regions in South-eastern Europe, where the consortium will strengthen existing links and initiate new partnerships. The project thus supports further development and internationalisation of regional research-driven clusters in the European forest sector.
Project website: http://www.in2wood.eu
Based on the outcomes of the WP2 (Analysis) and WP3 (Strategies) (finished and reported in period 1) and by continuing the WP5 (Mentoring interfaces) and WP6 (Dissemination) the work performed and the main results achieved in period 2 (July 2011 - June 2012) are the following:
Measures towards the implementation of the JAP were taken in period 2 (months 19 to 30) in the form of pilot concepts defining complementary partnerships, plans and funding schemes for the setup of innovative follow-up projects. The following seven pilot concepts with contributions from mentoring partners were elaborated by the IN2WOOD consortium:
(1) silvicultural systems for storm-damaged forest stands;
(2) wood production systems for marginally productive sites and wastelands;
(3) cluster development measures supporting innovation and information systems;
(4) urban wood competence centre;
(5) strategic network woody biomass;
(6) forest disaster management and emergency logistics;
(7) forest-based eco-tourism.
Main results of WP4:
(1) seven detailed pilot concepts including contributions from mentoring partners (deliverables D4.1 - D4.7);
(2) funding scheme for the implementation of JAP and pilot concepts (deliverable D4.8);
(3) summary on the IN2WOOD impact on regional RTD collaboration (deliverable D4.9);
(4) setup of two initiatives outside IN2WOOD based on own financial sources / contributions:
(i) afforestation of mine spoil project as a public-private partnership between state forests of North-Rhine Westphalia and Serbia, the Serbian state energy supplier RB Kolubara, the Ruhr Kohle AG (real estate development agency and energy supplier in NRW), the enterprise LIECO (producer of containerised seedlings, Styria/AUT), and the Forest Research Institute of the University of Belgrade / SRBl;
(ii) questionnaire for the assessment of the biomass potential in SEE. Initiated by partner 3 LBWUH, implemented on voluntary basis by stakeholders from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany, FYROM , Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine;
(3) submission of a large number of transnational proposals based on WP.4 within the funding schemes FP7 and ETC/INTERREG with four approved proposal and three evaluations to be due in 2013;
(4) round tables and stakeholders information sessions with broad media coverage to gain support for the implementation of pilot concepts (generally these sessions were held in connection with project meetings of the IN2WOOD consortium):
(i) 3 - 7 October 2011, Uzhgorod and Lviv, Ukraine: round table on roundwood and biomass logistics; study trip and discussion session on forest-based eco-tourisms in Ukraine and Germany; stakeholder meeting on innovations in timber construction and improved utilisation of timber in Lviv;
(ii) 16 December 2011, Lviv, Ukraine: round table on timber constructions in Western Ukraine;
(iii) 11 January 2012, Essen, Germany: presentation of the concept of creating a knowledge network on timber constructions at the second largest construction fair Deubau 2012;
(iii) 8 February 2012, Landquart, Swtitzerland: media conference with regional stakeholders on the topics biomass utilisation and timber constructions in the canton Grisons;
(iv) 9 February 2012, Prad, Italy: regional stakeholder information sessions on the topics alpine forestry, logistics, biomass utilisation and timber constructions;
(vi) 20 April 2012, Lazarovac, Serbia: presentation of the concept of afforestation of mine spoils in Germany and Serbia at the first environmental day of RB Kolubara including the official kick off for the first experimental short rotation plantation in the open pit mine of Kolubara.
WP5 - Mentoring (continued from period 1):
Fostering knowledge exchange and cluster formation, IN2WOOD's mentoring interface strengthens relationships among stakeholders within and between the partner regions and initiates networking with new associated forest regions, especially in (South)-eastern Europe.
In period 2, the main focus of WP.5 was laid on the creation of strategic partnerships by deepening relations to mentoring partners and involving them in the elaboration of pilot concepts.
(a) two biomass workshops in Aachen, Germany (21 September 2011) and Belgrade, Serbia (7 March 2012);
(b) inter-linking with the RoK projects BIOCLUS and RokFor (7 November 2011);
(c) several bilateral and multilateral study trips (Afforestation on mine spoils: 22 August 2011, Serbia; cross-border forest management: 18 October 2011, Slovakia / Poland; Improving economic cooperation between Styria - Ukraine: 14 March 2012, Styria; Biomass utilisation: 7 May 2012, South Tyrol);
(d) mentoring partners have become directly involved as external experts into IN2WOOD's pilot concept development;
(e) reports in period 2: mentoring joint database D5.2 and mentoring process D5.4.
WP6 - Dissemination (continued from period 1):
Communicates the forest sector's key strength and opportunities for sustainable development to a range of decision-makers in industry and policy. In period 2, the focus of IN2WOOD's dissemination activities shifted from raising awareness on the projects aims and the partners involved to raising awareness on the developed regional strategies and pilot concepts to gain support for the implementation of the proposed actions on both regional and transnational level.
Main results of WP6:
(a) comprehensive media coverage on the project activities in period 2 under http://www.in2wood.eu including the provision of all presentations to the general public;
(b) one video shot on the kick-off of the afforestation project in Serbia. Web: http://www.in2wood.eu/index.php/in2wood/96-plantation-pilot-action-kolubara-april-2012 and on http://www.youtube.com
(c) final IN2WOOD conference with 79 participants from 13 countries at the High Tatra, Slovakia on 3 - 4 March 2012;
(d) appearance and booth at second largest construction fair Deubau 2012, Essen, Germany;
(e) high number of press articles released. A comprehensive list of articles in period 2 is provided in D6.2 and D6.4;
(f) one scientific article on logistics submitted to the Journal of Forestry Science.
WP4 - Expected final results and their impact:
(a) elaboration of detailed pilot concepts reflecting joint research and development needs of the IN2WOOD and mentoring partners;
(b) broad awareness for the existing competence in timber construction among IN2WOOD partners, and a strong consensus with mentoring partners from SEE for the need of cooperation in qualification, trainings, and research in this area;
(c) joint efforts for working towards a network of regional competence centres on timber constructions to spur building with wood in SEE;
(d) improved standing and better support for the implementation of future actions of the IN2WOOD and mentoring partners in their respective regions;
(e) improved recognition of the importance of woody biomass utilisation and timber construction among stakeholders from SEE in terms of employment, ecological and economic value;
(f) start of a new study plan 'Cluster approach and cluster analysis in the forest sector' at the National Forest University Lviv, Ukraine (initiated by partner No. 11 UNFU);
(g) joint funding screening led to a much better understanding of existing funding instruments, as well as the identification of new funding possibilities among IN2WOOD and mentoring partners;
(h) strong impetus for the submission of proposals due to improved knowledge and understanding of funding schemes;
(i) successful submission of four new European proposals of IN2WOOD and mentoring partners. Several partners from SEE were encouraged to enter transnational projects for the first time;
(j) start of spin off initiatives beyond IN2WOOD (official start of the afforestation project on mine spoils in Serbia, start of a voluntary survey on biomass potentials in SEE);
(k) identification of forest-based tourism as a high potential economic area in SEE (as reflected in the adaption of the topic of pilot concept 7).
WP5 - Expected final results and their impact:
(a) establishment of strategic partnerships between IN2WOOD and mentoring partners in terms of improved access to stakeholders from SEE, consortium building, invitation to joint proposals, information exchange, responsiveness in communication, readiness to cooperate and new bilateral partnerships;
(b) overcoming disciplinary and geographical boundaries by bringing people from different sectors, sub-branches, domains together who would not usually communicate. Lesson learned was that often boundaries between domains (research, business, and authorities) are much more difficult to overcome than national boundaries between partners of the same domain;
(c) linkages to other European projects and consortia emerged from mentoring;
(d) regional cooperation among partners and stakeholder groups has improved including a better recognition of the forest sector by regional decision maker;
(e) joint project proposals of IN2WOOD and mentoring partners based on WP4.
WP6 - Dissemination - Expected final results and their impact:
(a) partners further improved their visibility and credibility in and beyond their region;
(b) the IN2WOOD logo was further positioned as a well-known and recognised label within the forest sector in SEE. The positive image of the IN2WOOD label is reflected by an ongoing discussion between IN2WOOD members and mentoring partners on its re-use in follow-up projects and initiatives.
Project website: http://www.in2wood.eu