Growing towards the Future -
Joint innovation for successful forest-based business in Europe
FTP conference held in Slovenia, 19-21 May 2008

Photo: Janez Gregori

In a time of globalisation and societal change, the European forest-based sector needs to be innovative. This requires emphasis on research and development and strong links between science and business. The 5th conference of the Forest-Based Sector Technology Platform (FTP) discussed the meaning of research and innovation for forest-based business. The event presented success stories of how research and innovation are implemented in daily business practice.

Networking and forest-based business in focus
The 5th FTP conference offered an excellent networking opportunity to those working in Europe's forest-based business. It attracted over 200 participants from across Europe, as well as some experts from North America. Delegates represented forest-based industry, forest owners, the research community, as well as policy-making and funding bodies.

The 5th FTP conference was held in Slovenia, president of the European Union during the first half of 2008. The venue was the beautifully situated alpine town of Kranjska Gora.

Innovation in a rapidly changing world
A host of speakers from business, research and European institutions offered their insights in how to make innovation in forest-based business work. In his closing speech, Janez Poto─Źnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research, stressed the enormous challenges that sectors such as the forest-based sector are facing in a rapidly changing world. European Technology Platforms such as FTP provide essential tools for bringing industry and the research community together in addressing issues such as climate change and an increasing competition for raw materials and other resources. Real innovation, where research findings are transformed into new products, services and ways of doing business, should be central to these efforts. This was also stressed in panel debates with key stakeholders from the sector with a focus on how to realise innovation in forest-based business.