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 (Berlin, Germany) 17 transnational R&D projects were selected for funding: 6 addressing the call topic “A Innovative sustainable management of multifunctional forests”, and 11 addressing call topic B, “Innovative industrial production and processing technologies, products, concepts and services”. One hundred and forty nine research teams from 13 ForestValue partner countries (Argentina, Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) along with 3 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. These teams will also be working to innovate the process of forest-based resources and the production of biobased products and services. As shown in Figure1, Sweden is currently funding the most projects (15), followed by Germany (12), Austria (9), Finland and Norway (8), Slovenia (7), France (6), Spain (5), UK (3), and (1) project each in countries; Argentina, Canada, Estonia, Ireland, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland.
The main portion of research teams come 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 % of participating companies define themselves as industrial, which means that the share of industrial research participating in the upcomming projects is almost 30 %. About 10 % of the teams for the upcomming projects are representing other type of organisations including; trade associations, governmental agencies, NGOs, information services, and etc. The fact that such high shares of industrial research and trading entities are involved in the upcoming projects establishes a positive perspective for the future. This is due to the fact that the main goal of the ForestValue call is to support the market implementation of developed products and solutions in the short term. It is also vital to the ForestValue call to implement processes that change the everyday lives of European citizens in a positive way. Out of the 17 selected projects 12 have at least one industrial partner, where the maximum number of industrial partners allowed in a project is 10. The interest of industrial companies on this type of planned research is evident, provided that 4.6 million euros of total project funding has come from said industrial associations. Supplemetary to these funds raised by individual industrial companies is the EU’s contribution of 3.8 million euros. These funds combined with the national commitment’s contribution of 17.7million euros, reaches the 26.1 million euros of funding needed to cover project costs. (s. figure 2).
The majority of projects are of small or meidium size containing 3-8 partners. However, there are also 4 large projects with 10, 13, 23, and 26 partners respectively. A positive attribute to having many partners on a project is the benefit of combined knowledge and expertise of partners from up to three to eight countries from Europe and beyond.
All participating partners are now negotiating with their national funding agencies so that projects can be expected to start as soon as early 2019. We wish all teams a successful start in producing cooperative research that will keep readers of the ForestValue newsletter informed about the progress of these declared projects.
Lead of Task 4.1. Lessons learned lead form the joint call 2017:
Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR), Germany