The European forest-based sector has defined its long-term research policies and become a significant research policy actor in the EU through the Forest-Based Sector Technology Platform. A Strategic Research Agenda has now been prepared on the basis of a procedure that was approved in February 2005.
"Through the Forest-Based Sector Technology Platform we can create a basis for competitiveness also in the future. Research and product development require cooperation in the entire value chain, particularly near end users and customers. The challenge is to identify ideas and turn them into real products, services and business concepts," says Senior Vice President R&D Lars Gädda of M-real, who is the chairman of Finland’s National Support Group in the forest-based sector. Research institutes, universities and financers are represented along with businesses in the National Support Group.
The Strategic Research Agenda maps out areas in which the European forest-based sector can maintain and improve competitiveness and increase European welfare, for example in generating value from products and services offered by forests and improving possibilities to use wood. Forests as part of society and preserving forest resources over the long term are also important themes.
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New types of production concepts and the idea of getting more from less are also on the research agenda. Emphasis will be focused on the use of renewable resources and bioenergy. Here again the forest-based sector must develop from a producer of raw materials into a supplier of solutions.
"The Finnish forest-based sector has played a strong role in preparing the research agenda, and so focuses that are important to us have received a lot of attention. This includes, among other things, the multiple significance of forests, the availability of raw materials and the possibilities of bioenergy. Developing information and communication technology has also been broadly considered. In this respect Finns are in a very good position since we have two strong clusters: the ICT and forest clusters," Mr Gädda adds.
For more information, please contact
Kari Luukko, Research Manager, Finnish Forest Industries Federation and secretary of the Technology Platform, tel. +358 9 132 6622
Päivi Luoma, Manager, EU Policy, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6626
European Technology Platforms are a new form of cooperation that the Commission has proposed to industry in order to strengthen European competitiveness according to the Lisbon Strategy.
The Forest-Based Sector Technology Platform has defined a vision for 2030 according to which the European forest-based sector plays a key role in a sustainable society. It comprises a competitive, knowledge-based industry that fosters the extended use of renewable forest resources.