Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

LignoSilva Report Summary

Project ID: 664557
Funded under: H2020-EU.4.a.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LignoSilva (Centre of Excellence of Forest-based Industry)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

ISSUE ADDRESSED:

EU 2020 Strategy put emphasis on closer alignment of science and research with business. The reason is a lack of ability to transfer results of science and research into practice in the majority of economic sectors, including production, processing and use of wood, compared to developed non-European countries. Within the EU, the problem is most pronounced in the less developed countries including Slovakia.
Vision 2030 for forestry-wood sector indicates that this area will play an important role in the society based on biotechnology (bio-based society). Growth predictions in the renewable energy use for 2020, 2030 and 2050 in the EU countries consider biomass to be the most important renewable source.
The intention of establishing the Centre of Excellence of Forest based indutry reflects a growing need for scientific – research innovations and their implementation in practice in production, processing and use of wood in less developed countries and also in well developed countries of the EU facilitated through prolific long-term cooperation. Faster sustainable development of production, processing and use of wood in Slovakia requires solutions for the following major issue areas:

Timber production:
Due to climate change, increase in acreage of protected areas and only limited ability of forest-managing bodies to response to fast changing of natural and economic conditions, the production potential of forests is being exploited to a limited level both in terms of volume and quality of felled timber. Gradual changes in tree species composition worsen the possibility of satisfying the needs of timber processors and timber supplies which reduces economic viability of the forest sector. The aforementioned trend will negatively impact both the stability of production and fulfilment of non-productive forest functions with economic and social consequences, even at a medium-term time scale.
Significant growth in timber production can be achieved by using long-term abandoned agricultural land in a total area of 0.5 mil hectares for growing forest, especially forest plantations producing timber for energy and chemical processing.

Timber processing:
Due to economic and ownership rights transformation in the 1990s many wood processing companies collapsed and the wood-processing industry got fragmented. This fact particularly badly affected mechanical wood processing. As a result, technological infrastructure of processors is underdeveloped, finalisation of production and proportion of value added products is low and thus economic stability of the whole sector is very limited. Problems still persist on the domestic timber market and thus there is a growing need for exporting of unprocessed timber (export varies between 2.5 - 4 mil.m3 at 9. mil.m3 annual logging). At the same time, a disproportion between the volume, tree species composition and quality of felled timber, and domestic processing capacities is growing. Traditional wood production chain, which usually ends with the final wood based products, can be extended by re-appreciation of old wooden products once they have been used. Competitiveness of such products is influenced by continuity, sustainability and balance of supply of used wood, technical and organizational quality of the system of separate collection, its sorting, analysis of chemical loads and organization of technological processes associated with recovery of old wood based products and their transformation into new materials and products. In the pulp and paper-making industry there is significant potential for innovations in the introduction of new production programmes, improvements in the efficiency of existing production lines and the rate of wood utilization.
In recent years, a significant demand for energy wood for electricity and heat production has been recorded. Energy producers prefer fuel for the lowest possible price, chiefly because of lower effectiveness of energy production due to unsuitable production methods. The disproportion between the size, quality and location of the utilizable resources of energy wood and energy production sites increases whilst supply chain issues are also on increase. If the above-mentioned trends continue, the future for sustainable use of energy wood for energy production will be in jeopardy.

Regional development and the environment:
One of the largest problems of Slovakia is continued deepening of economic underdevelopment in the rural areas. Owing to natural conditions (43% forest cover), forestry and timber industry are one of the most important economic sectors with a potential to significantly improve economic conditions in the rural areas in terms of permanent employment and job creation, value added production, processing and utilization of timber, improvement of competitiveness and the environment, also in relation to climate change.

Key tasks of the CE based on the need for improvement in the following issue areas are as follows:
Timber production:
- Improvement of tree species composition in forests allowing for long-term supply of timber to wood processors and other timber users taking into account fluctuating market conditions;
- Improvement of adaptation abilities of forests to climate change to ensure fulfilment of their non-production functions;
- Improvement of the economic effectiveness of timber production through the implementation of innovations in production processes allowing an increase in complex use of felled timber;
- Improvement of the timber production on non-forest land.

Timber processing:
- Optimization of the structure of processing capacities allowing to maximise domestic processing of produced timber;
- Improvement of the rate of wood processing completion and creation of value added products;
- Implementation of production programmes increasing the competitiveness of timber products compared to products from non-renewable raw materials;
- Improvement of environmental performance of wood processing technologies and capacities to recover waste.

Wood for energy use:
- Ensuring sustainable production of energy wood in forests, on non-forest land and utilization of waste from wood processing;
- Improvement of the qualitative parameters of energy wood and supply chain performance;
- Improvement of wood-based energy production and environmental parameters of processes;
- At regional and national levels, improving energy security of fuel and energy supply.

Regional development and the environment:
- Optimising the use of regional natural resources (wood) allowing long-term development of economic activities;
- Improving value added production and employment;
- Separating collection and recovery of old wood based products by recycling will provide jobs opportunities especially for low skilled workforce (marginal communities) and improve the quality of the environment and improve the quality of the environment.

IMPORTANCE FOR SOCIETY:

The long-term vision of the project is to stimulate sustainable development of the forest-based sector based on the synergy of excellent science and practice following the principles of Green Economy. The Centre of Excellence (CE) to be established will be an excellent bearer of innovation and know-how transfer into the area of wood production, processing and recycling. The greatest importance for society can be summarized as follows:
1. To strategically transform Forest-based industry (FBI) of the region towards the innovation growth based on knowledge economy (in terms of RIS 3 SK vision) and the implementation of the principles of Green Economy.
2. To increase research and innovation efficiency of FBI and to contribute to overcoming of disparities between low and high performance countries in the research and innovation area.
3. To deepen the long-term cooperation of the CE with the companies in the chain of wood production, processing and utilisation during the implementation of their developmental and innovation activities aimed at: multi-purpose management of forests; enhanced biomass production; secured wood supply, forest operations and logistics; cascade use, reuse and recycling systems of wood and energy production from wood; special paper production; functional fiber formation and paper surface development.
4. To develop a long-term horizon for cooperation of the CE with international partners

A direct link of the CE to the following political documents and legal regulations of the European Union shows that the CE and its scope is up-to-date, and its significance for society is justified:
Europe 2020 Strategy - The project will promote the goal of the joint strategy: transition to modern community with the economic growth that will be considerate to environment and not so dependent on energy sources - 20/20/20 reduction of energy consumption by 20 %, increase of energy share from renewable sources by 20 %, and reduction of emmitted greenhouse gases by 20 %.

A new EU Forest Strategy - CE LignoSilva contributes to fulfil 5 out of 8 priorities of the strategy:
- Supporting our rural communities;
- Fostering the competitiveness and sustainability of the EU’s forest-based industries, bio-energy and the wider green economy;
- Adaptation of forests to climate change & forests mitigating climate change;
- Protecting forests and enhancing ecosystem services;
- New and innovative forestry and added-value products.

National programme and Action plan to use wood potential (NPUWP) approved by the Government of the SR (August 2013 and February 2014) and Waste Management Programme (WMP) of the Slovak republic to 2020.
LignoSilva contributes to meeting the following strategic goals of NPUWP and WMP:
- To meet the increasing demands of wood supply in changing natural and society conditions by active sustainable forest management;
- To increase added value of the forestry and wood processing sector;
- To achieve the increased use of wood biomass as well as the by-products produced during wood processing for energy purposes;
- Significant increase in repeated recovery / recycling of old wood based products to new wood based materials / composites and wood products in accordance with the Directive of the EP and EU Council No 2008/98 / EC,

OVERALL OBJECTIVES:

The main objective of the project is to set up the LignoSilva – Centre of Excellence of Forest-based industry within Visegrad group countries with operating Central Europe Platform for bioeconomy (V4-CEP).
The objectives will be reached by concentrating the research capacity of the forestry and the wood, pulp and paper processing industry in Slovakia by involving two major Slovakian organizations ― the National Forest Centre in Zvolen and Pulp and Paper Research Institute in Bratislava in cooperation with European Forest Institute, which is an international organisation conducting research and providing policy support on issues related to forests and finally with assistance of the PROJEKTkompetenz, development and consultancy company. The LignoSilva Centre of Excellence will:
- be a key actor that strategically transforms the forest-based sector of the region towards the innovation growth
- be an independent Centre of Excellence of European significance in the field of forestry, forest products and the bio-economy
- create long-term synergies through cooperation with leading European research organisations and networks.
- speed up V4-Central Europe’s role in the development of the Green Economy and base growth of its forest-based industries on science and innovation.
- increase the efficiency of research and innovation within the Forest-based Industry in the V4-Central European region and to utilise the knowledge and know-how for the benefit of the European R&I Area.
- offer R&D and innovation services to private and public organisations, small and medium enterprises as well as large industrial partners.
This will be achieved through a multi-dimensional approach, addressing the legislative and legal frameworks, continuous development of a strategic vision for forest-based sectoral development, and ensuring a viable business environment based on a sustainable production of wood and fibre material.
LignoSilva will be built on three interrelated pillars: (1) Coordination and Support Actions; (2) Infrastructure development program; (3) Research and Innovation program.

LignoSilva will be a Centre of Excellence that integrates research, development and innovation potential of the forest based industry that rationally links the chain of wood production, processing and utilization. The Centre of Excellence will bring innovation within five interlinked priority areas:
1. Forest resources and sustainable wood production
2 Biomass and bioenergy
3. Paper-pulp technologies
4. Recycling and cascading system of wood and wood products use
5. Cross-cutting area for capacity building and innovation management transferring CE outputs into the Forest-based industry approaching SMEs through a new training, advisory and mentoring centre.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Overview of main activities, events and deliverables and their exploitation and dissemination:

D1.1 Minutes from kick-off, progress and final meeting
Status: fulfilled.
Kick-off meeting organized on 8-10th June 2015 in Banská Štiavnica (SK).
Progress meeting organized on 23-27th November 2015 in Joensuu (Fi). Study Tour: November 25, 2016, Joensuu.
Experts´ group meeting and project meeting on 23-25th February 2016 in Bratislava.
Final meeting organized on 12-13th May 2016 in Bratislava (SK). Meeting minutes
uploaded to Participant portal with the annexes (scanned participant lists).

D1.2 Administration and financial report for the Commission
Status: fulfilled.
Report submitted to participant portal.

D1.3 Project dissemination products leaflets and brochures elaborated and
disseminated
Status: fulfilled.
Press release, related articles, social media:
http://naszvolen.sme.sk/c/7638593/ziskali-grant-na-projekt-trvalo-udrzatelnej-obnovy-dreva.html
http://www.teraz.sk/ekonomika/narodne-lesnicke-centrum-grant-eu/119667-clanok.html
http://drevmag.com/index.php/sk/informacny-servis/4136-lignosilva-prepoji-retazec-produkcie-spracovania-a-vyuzitia-dreva
http://www.efi.int/portal/news___events/news/?bid=2072
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=897538960299706&id=146786162041660
https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-418565643.html
http://science.dennikn.sk/clanky-a-rozhovory/vedna-politika-2/5536-slovenske-projekty-su-v-prvom-kole-boja-o-velke-peniaze
http://www.forestplatform.org/files/FTP_Newsletter_Issue_19_May-June_2015_.pdf
Web page created: http://lignosilva.nlcsk.org/
Leaflets and brochures elaborated and disseminated:
http://lignosilva.nlcsk.org/files/EFI_Lignosilva-esite_A5_16_05_04_B_net.pdf
http://lignosilva.nlcsk.org/files/LignoSilva_brochure.pdf

D1.4 Science business summit
Status: fulfilled.
Summit organized on May 11th 2016 in Bratislava (SK).
Proceedings of presentation published.

D2.1 Analyse of Forest-based sector
Status: fulfilled.
Uploaded to Participant portal.

D2.2 Proposal of innovation priorities of LignoSilva
Status: fulfilled.
Uploaded to Participant portal.

D3.1 Analysis of the current situation of the project partners
Status: fulfilled.
Uploaded to Participant portal.

D3.2 Identification of needs of investments and capacity building to facilitate the
development of a business plan
Status: fulfilled.
Uploaded to Participant portal.

D3.3 Proposal of professional, technical and personal structure development of CE
Status: fulfilled.
Uploaded to Participant portal.

D4.1 System of management and organizational structure of CE
Status: fulfilled.
Uploaded to Participant portal.

D4.2 Proposal of the Partnership agreement
Status: fulfilled.
Uploaded to Participant portal.

D5.1 Infrastructure development plan (location, construction, procurement, sharing)
Status: fulfilled.
Uploaded to Participant portal.

D5.2 Marketing strategy
Status: fulfilled.
Uploaded to Participant portal.

D5.3 Financial analysis and Risk management
Status: fulfilled.
Uploaded to Participant portal.

D5.4 Business plan
Status: fulfilled.
Uploaded to Participant portal.

Project Proposal - 2nd stage
Status: submitted to Participant portal

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

EXPECTED IMPACT

The realisation of the business plan during the long-term (CSA) action closely follows the Teaming call topic and expected impacts. It will especially help to overcome significant disparities between high and low-performing member states in the term of research, innovation and technology performance by:

- Concentrating sufficient critical mass of science and technology experts into 5 Priority Areas, 11 Innovation Priorities and related Research Programmes. The applied approach makes it possible to react flexibly to new challenges, prepare competitive projects and thus ensure long-term sustainability of the centre.

- Reinforcing the infrastructure of science and research. The applied approach for completing and sharing of laboratories at NFC Zvolen and PPRI Bratislava prefers the building of research infrastructure in its significance and uniqueness. The most important investment is an upgrade of an own unique paper pilot line which will be made available through open access to research institutions throughout Europe. Furthermore, the building of the CE infrastructure is supported as part of the production lines of industrial project partners with a direct impact on the production sector and with the aim to strengthen the commercial transfer of the acquired R & T know-how.

- Ensuring the coordinated transboundary utilisation of scientific infrastructure of the CE based on cooperation with domestic and foreign universities. In particular, the CE will support research (non-commercial) use of infrastructure within PhD theses, dissertations, and joint projects. Sharing of infrastructure is supported by online access to selected infrastructure and through Open Access and Open Research Data management.
- A properly functioning service-oriented CE administration that is able to provide the human resources needed to absorb the research and innovation potential of the new CE LignoSilva. This will be achieved through establishment of the Non-profit organisation act as LignoSilva Competence, Consultancy, Training and Mentoring centre for SMEs (COSME).

- Implementation of Demonstration cases (DC) as a core element for innovation and technology transfer. Demonstration cases are planned toward regional partner institutions, which will benefit through direct involvement in DC realisation and through knowledge exchange in workshops and conferences, and they will also contribute to capacity building by dissemination of knowledge. During LIGNOSILVA lifetime the following 12 demonstration cases will be implemented:
1. Support for sustainability of forest soils
2. Supporting forest adaptation to climate change in commercial forests
3. Forest protection service (FPS) - risk management, early warning and information web system.
4. Improving production capabilities of silvicultural systems for the purposes of wood demand satisfying for wood
5. Implementation of intelligent technologies into wood assortment and wood processing
6. Increasing the efficiency of logging and production technologies in the forest sector
7. Establishment of Central Europe Forestry Decision Support Platform
8. Improvement of the technical-economic and environmental parameters of fuel dendromass production and energy production at the enterprise level in Central Europe
9. Non-destructive online testing development for a paper production quality control
10. Increasing the rate of cascade use of wood and energy at regional level in Central European conditions
11. Models of wasted wooden mass recovery in the value chain
12. Implementation of decision support tool (ToSIA) for optimisation of innovative processes of Forest-based sector in Central-Eastern Europe region

The potential impact of the new Centre of Excellence in terms of sustained excellence is projected according the following performance and output related indicators:
– Increase of economic efficiency/profitability of forest management
– Increase of wood mobilization (regarding legal constrains)
– Increase the awareness of the risks and opportunities for improving the efficiency of forest management and timber production.
– Strengthening of cooperation between academic sector and forestry practice at transnational level.

The European Forest institute as advanced partner will contribute through its network of associate member organisations access to information on new research avenues, creativity and the development of new approaches, through invitation and association of experts, involvement of European stakeholders, and through these activities it will as well act as a source for increased mobility (inwards and outwards) of qualified scientists. Cooperation of external scientists with the centre of excellence will be mutually beneficial.

Related information

Record Number: 190436 / Last updated on: 2016-10-25
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