The enlargement of the European Union will lead to a substantial expansion of the forestry/ wood sector. There will be a significant increase in the number of candidate countries (+10), the land mass (+34%), the population (+105 million inhabitants), the t otal forest area (+25%), the number of private forest owners (+4 million). The main problems facing the forest industries relate to the fragmented industry structure with very many SMEs and its nearly 4 million employees, and the need to improve the level of competitiveness (innovation, technology, resources and know-how). Along with that, environmental protection and production technology need to be improved. Main aim: Matching industry needs and research capabilities through an integrated strategy for inn ovation in the European forestry wood chain (FWC). Objectives: 1. To link research to innovation through increased and more efficient linkages between knowledge and skill producers with the industries in the FWC. 2. To increase international cooperation in the FWC through fostering innovation, relevant sciences and knowledge dissemination with particular consideration of the nature and needs of SMEs in the EU-25. Tools: 1) Contact databases of: ? knowledge and skills provider community (EU-25) ? industriall y performing community (EU-25). 2) Extensive (EU-25) capability and needs register of: ? provider community's capability ? industrial community's needs 3) Match analysis "capabilities vs. needs" in the FWC of the enlarged EU 4) Gap analysis "capabilities v s. needs" in the FWC of the enlarged EU 5) Development of integrated innovation strategies for: ? RTD and innovation / Environment and Sustainability / Training and Education /Knowledge Transfer /FWC 6) To ensure more active linkages between industry and p rovider communities by creating enhanced communication and dissemination tools (newsletters, European conferences and demonstration workshops, Portal and Website#'
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