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FOREST Clusters Development and Implementation Measures of a 6-Region Strategic Joint Action Plan for Knowledge-based Regional Innovation

Final Report Summary - IN2WOOD (FOREST Clusters Development and Implementation Measures of a 6-Region Strategic Joint Action Plan for Knowledge-based Regional Innovation)

Executive Summary:
What and who is IN2WOOD?
IN2WOOD is co-funded by the EU with 2.3 million Euro under the FP7 CAPACITIES Programme "Regions of Knowledge” and runs from January 2010 to June 2012. The 13 participating partners represent the wood & forest clusters in Slovakia (Baňská Bystrica), Ukraine (Carpathia), Italy (South Tyrol), Switzerland (Grisons), Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia), Austria (Styria). Watch the video under
English and German versions are available
The European forest-based sector plays an important role for the sustainable society. Shaping the future markets by strategic integration of research and technological development, therefore, is a prime European objective. The European Commission expects substantial effects for the forest-based sector by cross-linking regional clusters. IN2WOOD is co-funded within the 7th Framework Program ( Capacities), “Regions of Knowledge” (ROK). Structured by this frame, the IN2WOOD coordination activities are carried out by a “triple helix” of research, regional authority and industry (SMEs) representing the forest-based sector in each partner region. Their overall working program comprises new methods for sustainable forest management, urban timber construction and efficient use of wood energy, logistics, innovation systems and a transregional information system.
The main instrument to realize these objectives is the IN2WOOD 6-region strategic joint action plan which paves the way for the implementation of several pilot concepts in the resp. working areas. A speciality of the ROK work program is the “Mentoring” process, designed to develop a broader cooperation of clusters with different areas of expert knowledge and structural development. The six IN2WOOD regions therefore invite to participate in an open process of strategic cooperation of European Wood Clusters.

What are the main targets of IN2WOOD?
The formation of an European network of wood clusters integrating research, administration and business partners is the main issue of the IN2WOOD work plan. The partners exchange their knowledge, best practices and regional contact networks in order to shape strategic joint actions in relevant areas of forestry and wood industry. Actors representing the wood value added chain ranging from forestry to pellet production or multi-storey timber building manufacturers are integrated to develop effective and sustainable cooperation at all levels. Through the project’s mentoring process, the network has already expanded and established a number of new active contacts in South Eastern Europe.

Pilots Concepts – an integral part of IN2WOOD
Pilot concepts within Regions of Knowledge are defined as preparatory work for post-project realization: “Specified RTD input from the partnering regions shall lead to clearly focused innovative concepts including feasibility analyses and financing/funding schemes. Pilot concepts prepare joint best practice examples, which are designed to be realized by partners in a regionally well adapted way with regionally differing priorities.” The IN2WOOD approach extended the definition of pilot concepts by including mentoring partners from SEE into the network of the consortium partners. Given that matching competences and needs of both IN2WOOD partners and mentoring partners form the pre-conditions for potentially successful partnerships, four criteria, namely transnational importance, high visibility, high impact on existing value chains, and transferability were applied for the selection and prioritization of seven pilot concepts, namely
Pilot Concept: Silvicultural Systems for Storm-Damaged Forest Stands
Pilot Concept: Wood Production Systems for Marginally Productive Sites & Wastelands
Pilot Concept: Cluster Development Measures supporting Innovation and Information Systems
Pilot Concept: Urban Wood Competence Centre
Pilot Concept: Strategic Network Woody Biomass
Pilot Concept: Forest Disaster Management and Emergency Logistics
Pilot Concept: Forest-based Eco-Tourism

Networking – Cooperation – Mentoring
The mentoring process is an essential aspect of building European Regions of Knowledge networks. In a joint mentoring process more and more partners were invited to join the IN2WOOD network as mentoring regions. During the run-time of IN2WOOD the mentoring interface was expanded to 70 additional experts from 13 countries in East and Southeast Europe:
• Mentoring partners have become directly involved as external experts into IN2WOOD’s objectives to develop regionally adopted strategies and pilot concepts.
• The IN2WOOD network actively supported the matching of bi- to multi-lateral partnerships of institutions in the IN2WOOD and mentoring regions on all levels: research, forest administration and business.
• Several new transborder cooperations between IN2WOOD partners and mentoring partners have been initiated based on the results of several mentoring workshop. Although, these cooperation were linked closely to the IN2WOOD process, they are meanwhile progressing as “spin offs” outside the IN2WOOD project.

Apart from public events like mentoring workshops and conferences on the major International Fairs Klagenfurt 2010, LIGNA Hannover 2011, and DEUBAU Essen, 2012, the IN2WOOD partners deepened their strategic partnerships with institutions from East and Southeast Europe through bilateral study trips and focused expert meetings.

For further information have a look at www.in2wood.eu >> Networking, or contact the IN2WOOD coordinator
Mr. Roland Oberwimmer
Holzcluster Steiermark GmbH
oberwimmer@holzcluster-steiermark.at
Tel.: +43(0)3577/22 225-316
Project Context and Objectives:
IN2WOOD - Forest Clusters Development and Implementation Measures of a 6-Region Strategic Joint Action Plan for Knowledge-based Regional Innovation - is a project of the Regions of Knowledge initiative (RoK) funded under the 7th Framework Programme Capacities of the European Commission, which deals with the challenges of sustainable European forest management and the 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 - have joined forces to elaborate a Joint Action Plan (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 (SMEs) representing the forest-based sector in each partner region.
As a Coordination Action, it aims at improving the trans-national 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.
Key players in the RTD environment of six forest regions stretching across Central and Eastern Europe have become partners in the IN2WOOD project. IN2WOOD represents regional forest sectors that account as a whole for 5 million ha of forests, 25,000 enterprises and over 400,000 employees. The regions' socio-economic situation characterizes huge variances and different contexts of forestry and wood-based production in the consortium.

The project aims at five strategic fields of major significance for the future forest sector development, referred to as General Objectives (GOs):

GO.1 WOOD PRODUCTION - Enhancing wood production by developing new forest management systems considering ecosystem functions of the resource ‘forest’
GO.2 INNOVATION SYSTEMS - Strengthening innovation systems for sustainable and energy-efficient use of wood resources
GO.3 COMPETENCE AWARENESS - Developing competence awareness for wood as modern and urban construction material and energy supply and overcome target group specific prejudices
GO.4 LOGISTICS - Optimizing logistics workflows using geo-information and IT systems
GO.5 INFORMATION SYSTEMS - Building up a framework for a forest-sector information system for inter- and intra-regional networking and knowledge transfer

IN2WOOD targets the state of the research-driven regional forest clusters to develop future opportunities for RTD collaboration. The project is structured into six distinct Work Packages:

WP.1 PROJECT MANAGEMENT - The project management administrates and coordinates the partner's involvement into the project's tasks and activities.
WP.2 ANALYSES - The aim of IN2WOOD's initial phase is to carry out a substantial analysis of the state of play of the research-driven clusters of the regions' forest sector. The focus lies on identifying strengths and weaknesses in the state of knowledge, targeting the regions' potentials and priorities and carving out RTD complementarities.
WP.3 STRATEGIES - The overall objective is the elaboration of the Joint Action Plan (JAP). The aim is to develop a collection of regionally adopted, coordinated sets of strategies and derived actions per the GOs from all regions, with a focus on the co-related partner regions. The JAP, delivered at mid-term of the project, presents an interregional strategy document specifying the consortium's steps towards future collaboration and RTD-activities in these five GOs and explaining the interregional networking strategies for specific task-related knowledge transfer.
WP.4 PILOT CONCEPTS - Measures towards the implementation of the JAP will be taken in phase II in the form of pilot concepts, which define specific partnerships, plans and funding schemes for innovative follow-up projects. Linking of different partners' institutional and personal networks will be used to sharpen their profile of complementarities and conclude synergetic project ideas.
WP.5 MENTORING - Fostering stronger networking, knowledge exchange and cluster formation among stakeholders within and between the partner regions, IN2WOOD's Mentoring Interface targets important forest regions in South Eastern Europe, where the consortium will build upon existing bilateral cooperation between regions, strengthen their complementarities and initiate new partnerships.
WP.6 DISSEMINATION - The consortium engages in activities for wider dissemination of the project's purpose and outcomes by using platforms and events pointing at a wider public within and beyond the forest sector. The main goal is to effectively communicate the forest sector's key strength and opportunities for sustainable development to a range of decision-makers in industry and policy.
Project Results:
The following overview describes IN2WOOD's impact and output work package level. Whenever appropriate references to more detailed deliverables are provided:
WP.2 Analyses: The initial work package (months 1-7) aimed at a substantial analysis of the state of play of the research-driven clusters in the six regions. It identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the state of knowledge and targeted the regions' potentials and priorities of complementary R&D needs.

Tangible impact:
-) Development and implementation of a common approach/methodology for a transnational analysis in the forest-based sector
-) Regional reports and SWOT analyses: for all IN2WOOD regions comprehensive regional reports and SWOTs on the defined 5 GOs were elaborated the first time allowing a comparison of the current status of the forest-based sector along several dimensions. The outputs of WP2 provide an excellent starting point for continuing with in-depth regional and cross-regional analyses and also constitute a first compendium of facts and figures ranging from forest resources to secondary wood processing on regional level in English
-) Overview of available best practices in the regions involved
-) Matching and mapping of competencies, demands and needs, best practices, and capacities of the six IN2WOOD regions
-) Significant experience gain in transnational cooperation
-) The “Thinking out of the regional box”-experience during transnational workshops boosted the awareness for the added value of cross-border activities resulting in the joint agreement and higher prioritization of actions aiming on the harmonization of qualification and training programmes, joint lobbying and information exchange

Output:
*) Six regional analyses interim reports D2.1-D2.5 including SWOTs, matching and mapping matrices of the IN2WOOD regions
WP.3 Strategies:In the second step (months 8-18), the WP.2 cross-regional matching of topics was refined and strategic activities were drafted. Based on a reciprocal evaluation of regionally specific R&D priorities the collection concludes a coordinated set of future joint strategies and actions (Joint Action Plan).

Tangible impact:
-) Comprehensive directory of regional strategies and derived actions supporting sectoral development in the six IN2WOOD regions
-) Elaboration of a Joint Action Plan consisting of a set of eighteen concrete actions taking into account the inclusion of mentoring partners and the establishment of strategic partnerships
-) The discussions in the internal working groups for each GO as well as the results of the mentoring workshops (Klagenfurt/AUT, 2010; LIGNA/GER, 2011) constitute a cornerstone for deepening strategic relationships within and beyond the IN2WOOD consortium and improved significantly to the overall quality of the regional strategies and the regional standing of the partners involved
-) The regional reports as well as the JAP constitute a valuable pool of project sketches ready to be developed into full proposals both on regional and transnational level

Output:
*) Six regional strategy reports D3.1-D3.5
*) Joint Action Plan D3.6
*) Mentoring partner matching and mapping based on the two mentoring workshops, Joint Action Plan D3.6 Annex

WP.4 Pilot Concepts: Measures towards the implementation of the JAP were taken in phase II (months 19-30) in the form of pilot concepts, which were synergetic project ideas defining complementary partnerships, plans and funding schemes for innovative follow-up projects.
IN2WOOD extended the definition of pilot concepts by including mentoring partners from SEE into the network of the consortium partners. Given that matching competences and needs of both IN2WOOD partners and mentoring partners form the pre-conditions for potentially successful partnerships, those indicators were used for the selection and prioritization of regional strategic actions and their inclusion in the Joint Action Plan (JAP).
The JAP with its eighteen joint actions formed the base for the ripening of seven actions into WP4 pilot concepts and feeding them into realistic implementation planning including financing mechanisms. The selection was done on the basis of four criteria: transnational importance, high visibility, high impact on existing value chains, and transferability. The following seven pilot concepts were elaborated within IN2WOOD:

PC1 Silvicultural Systems for Storm-Damaged Forest Stands, Deliverable D4.1
PC2 Wood Production Systems for Marginally Productive Sites & Wastelands, Deliverable D4.2
PC3 Cluster Development Measures supporting Innovation and Information Systems, Deliverable D4.3
PC4 Urban Wood Competence Centre, Deliverable D4.4
PC5 Strategic Network Woody Biomass, Deliverable D4.5
PC6 Forest Disaster Management and Emergency Logistics, Deliverable D4.6
PC7 Forest-based Eco-Tourism, Deliverable D4.7

Tangible Impact
-) Elaboration of seven pilot concepts reflecting joint research and development needs
-) Broad awareness for the already existing competence in timber construction among IN2WOOD partners, and a strong consensus for the need of cooperation in qualification, trainings, and research in this area → working towards a network of regional competence centers to spur the share of timber constructions in several European regions
-) Improved recognition of the IN2WOOD partners and their activities in their respective regions
-) Improved recognition of the importance of biomass utilization and timber construction among stakeholders from SEE in terms of employment, ecological and economic value
-) Start of a new study plan „Cluster approach and cluster analysis in the forest sector“ at the National Forest University Lviv/UA (UNFU)
-) 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
-) Strong impetus for proposal submission with focus on SEE due to improved knowledge of funding schemes
-) Trigger for a number of new European proposals of IN2WOOD and mentoring partners (see section on Follow-up Initiatives and Projects). Several partners from SEE were encouraged to enter transnational projects for the first time
-) Trigger for joint initiatives between state forests from North Rhine-Westphalia, Slovakia, and Serbia
-) Start of spin off initiatives beyond IN2WOOD (Afforestation project on mine spoils in North Rhine-Westphalia and Serbia, Technical assistance for forest-based tourism between North Rhine-Westphalia and Western Ukraine, support for the newly founded Furniture and Wood Processing Cluster DOMV/UA)
-) 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)

Output:
*) Seven detailed pilot concepts D4.1-4.7
*) Funding Scheme for the implementation of JAP and Pilot Concepts D4.8
*) Summary on the IN2WOOD Impact on regional RTD-Collaboration
*) Initiation of projects outside IN2WOOD based on own financial sources e.g. mine spoil project as a public-private partnership. See IN2WOOD website www.in2wood.eu D5.4 Mentoring Process Report
*) Submission of several transnational proposals (FP7, ETC/INTERREG). See section on Follow-Up Initiatives and Projects, D5.4 Mentoring Process Report

WP.5 Mentoring: 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.

Tangible impact:
-) Approx. 150 established personal contacts to triple helix partners from 13 SEE countries.
-) Large database with approx. 70 profiles of experts and organizations from 13 SEE countries
-) Collection of sectoral data of 13 SEE countries
-) High gain in visibility and credibility of the LP and the IN2WOOD consortium resulting in an improved access to stakeholders from SEE concerning consortium building, invitation to consortia, information demand, responsiveness, readiness to cooperate, etc.
-) Organization of major events fostering partnering and joint activities include the Klagenfurt workshop (Aug 26-28, 2010), the LIGNA workshop (June 1, 2011), biomass workshops in Aachen/GER and Belgrade/SRB, inter-linking with the RoK projects BIOCLUS and RokFor, several bi- and multilateral study trips
-) Kick-off to joint initiatives and project proposals beyond IN2WOOD
-) Mentoring partners have become directly involved as external experts into IN2WOOD’s strategy process and pilot concept development.
-) Support for the establishment of new bilateral partnerships with mentoring partners
-) Overcoming disciplinary and geographical boundaries by bringing people from different sectors, sub-branches, domains together who would not usually communicate. Lesson learned was that boundaries between domains (research, business, and authorities) appeared to be more difficult to overcome than geographical boundaries.
-) Linkages to other European projects and consortia emerged from mentoring
-) Regional cooperation among partners and stakeholder groups has improved including a better recognition by regional decision makers

Output:
*) Mentoring Feedback and Transfer System D5.1
*) Mentoring Joint Database D5.2
*) Mentoring Plan and Strategy D5.3
*) Mentoring Process D5.4

WP.6 Dissemination: To communicate the forest sector's key strength and opportunities for sustainable development to a range of decision-makers in industry and policy, the project’s outcomes are disseminated via events, platforms and publications pointing at a wider public in and beyond the forest sector.

Tangible impact:
-) Partners gained visibility and credibility in and beyond their region
-) Comprehensive collection of articles on IN2WOOD under www.in2wood.eu
-) 2 video shots supported by regional stakeholders: IN2WOOD video support by SFG [Styrian Promotion Agency], links http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ucs-58QtTUo&feature=plcp and www.in2wood.eu and video on the afforestation project in NRW and SRB supported by regional broadcasting agency Lazarovac, links http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nSIi2PnltA&feature=plcp and www.in2wood.eu
-) IN2WOOD conferences at LIGNA 2011 and at High Tatra 2012. Directory of all presentations available publicly under www.in2wood.eu
-) Booths on the two largest wood fairs in Europe (Klagenfurt/AUT 2010, LIGNA/GER 2011) and the second largest construction fair (DEUBAU/GER 2012)
-) Broad media coverage in the IN2WOOD regions and mentoring regions (see D6.2 6.4)
-) IN2WOOD has become a well-known and recognized label within the forest sector in SEE since its project start. Currently, intensive discussions on the further use of the label are ongoing between IN2WOOD members and a mentoring partners
-) Scientific article in the Journal of Forestry Science

Output:
*) Very comprehensive reports on Dissemination activities D6.2-D6.4
*) Web page that is guaranteed to be online for at least three years after project end
*) Extensive collection of articles on IN2WOOD activities under www.in2wood.eu
*) Directory of presentations given by IN2WOOD and mentoring partners during the dissemination activities under www.in2wood.eu
*) Appearance and booths on 3 major fairs related to the forest-based sector
*) Scientific article in the Journal of Forest Science: Kolvalčik, M.1; Mühlberg, Ch.2; Pahl, I.2; Pretterhofer, E.3; Oberwimmer, R.3; Felix, Ch.4; Gabathuler, M.4; Kies, U.5; Soloviy, I.6 (2012): SWOT strategies for forestry logistics in six European regions, Journal of Forest Science; under review, date of submission March 7, 2012.
*) Widely recognized IN2WOOD label

Potential Impact:
for the impact and out of IN2WOOD, pls refer to the description of S & T results.

IN2WOOD TIMELINE, MENTORING AND DISSEMINATION Activities (see also description of S & T results under WP5 Mentoring and WP6 Dissemination):
Date Location Activities
Feb 2010 Zeltweg, AT, Kick-off meeting of the consortium
May 2010 Zvolen, SK, Consortium Workshop on SWOT Analyses
June 2010 Zvolen, SK, First contact between representatives of state forests of NRW and Banska Bystrica, several follow-up meetings
Aug 26 2010 Klagenfurt, AT, Klagenfurt Wood Fair: booth and 1st European Wood Cluster Mentoring Workshop
Sep 2010 - , WP.2 Analyses phase completed, start of WP.3 Strategies
Dec 2010 Olsberg/GER, Consortium Meeting including first contact to the ranger training center in NRW and the IN2WOOD video shooting
Jan 2011 Belgrade/SRB, First meeting on afforestation of mine spoils
March 2011 - , Completion of WP.3 Strategies, Synthesis of regional strategies into a Joint Action Plan
April 2011 Gelsenkirchen/GER, Multilateral mentoring study trip on afforestation of mine spoils
May 2011 Hannover, GER, LIGNA Wood Fair 2011: booth, 2nd European Wood Cluster Mentoring Workshop, International Conference on "Sustainable Forestry and Wood Industry - Drivers for Intelligent, Sustainable and Integrative Growth in Europe"
June 2011 - Joint Action Plan completed, start of WP.4 Pilot Concepts
Aug 2011 Belgrade, SRB, Follow-up mentoring study trip on afforestation of mine spoils
Oct 2011 Uzhhorod & Lviv, UA, Consortium meeting including several round tables and study trips with regional stakeholders
Sep 2011 Aachen, GER, 3rd Mentoring Workshop: Woody Biomass Network
Nov 2011 Alpl, AUT, Linking RoK projects: meeting of BIOCLUS, RokFor and IN2WOOD members
Dec 2011 Lviv, UA, Mentoring study trip, Timber constructions in UA
Jan 2012 Essen, GER, DEUBAU Construction Fair 2012: booth, presentation of IN2WOOD by Mr. Gach, chairman of HCS
Feb 2012 Landquart, CH & Prad, IT, Working Meeting IN2WOOD, media conference with regional stakeholders, study tour on biomass and timber construction to South Tyrol
Mar 2012 Belgrade, SRB, 4th Mentoring Workshop: Follow-up meeting on Woody Biomass Network
April 2012 Lazarovac, SRB, Mentoring study visit, kick-off for the plantation start at RB Kolubara
May 2012 High Tatra, SK, IN2WOOD final conference
May 2012 Prad/IT, Biomass Study tour to South Tyrol
June 2012 Cologne, GER, Working Meeting of HCS, TIS, IDEE, LBWUH on WP4, WP5, WP6


FOLLOW-UP INITIATIVES AND PROJECTS TRIGGERED BY IN2WOOD (only successful or ongoing Initiatives/proposals are listed)
1. Afforestation of mine spoils in Gelsenkirchen/GER and RB Kolubara/SRB (partners from NRW, Styria, Serbia), participation of Slovakian experts under negotiation – Funding: public – private partnership
2. Twinning of Hiking Trails in Sauerland/NRW and Transcarpathia/UA (partners from NRW and Carpathia) – Technical assistance for a transferable ranger system and a regional marketing concept for forest-based tourism and related outdoor activities - Funding: own sources
3. Signed Agreement for further collaboration project between state forests of NRW and SK
4. Support for the establishment of DOMV - the 1st Furniture and Wood Processing Cluster in Western Ukraine
5. ID:Wood - Clustering Knowledge, Innovation and Design in the SEE Wood Sector, funded under ETC SEE
6. FOROPA – Sustainable Networks for Energetic Use of Lignocellulosic Biomass in SEE, approved under certain conditions, final approval pending)
7. Smart Log Chain, passed, funded under SI-AT INTERREG (1st stage, invited to 2nd stage)
8. Revitalization of Beskid Forest, funded under PL-SK-UA INTERREG
9. Outlook 2012: 2-3 proposals in response to the open calls are under preparation, respective deadlines are Nov/Dec 2012

Further exploitation of results:
*) the IN2WOOD label has become a well-known and recognized label within the forest sector in SEE since project start. Currently, intensive discussions are ongoing between IN2WOOD members and mentoring partners on the re-use of the label for another transnational initiative, e.g. the formation of a forest-based metacluster
List of Websites:
www.in2wood.eu

NOTE: The IN2WOOD website is maintained by the lead partner Holzcluster Steiermark GmbH and is guaranteed to be online for at least three years after project end.