FTP conference in Lahti, Finland, 22-23 November 2006
About 430 people found their way to Finland to discuss how to speed up innovations in the forest-based sector with the help of FTP. The main aim of the event was to translate the platform's research roadmap into innovative projects.
Speakers such as Finnish Minister of Regional and Municipal Affairs, Hannes Manninen and UPM Kymmene President and CEO Jussi Pesonen called for more innovation in the sector. Only in this way can Europe's forest cluster remain a global technology leader, they said. Christian Patermann of the European Commission's DG Research stated that initiatives such as FTP have an important role to play in speeding up innovations. The technology platform had succeeded in raising the profile of forest-based sector topics in the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme as compared to the 6th Programme. However, Patermann also stressed that it was now up to the sector to prepare good, innovative proposals. While doing this, the role of small- and medium-size enterprises should be strengthened, he added.
Meeting rooms and lobbies at the Sibelius Hall were buzzing with activity during the two conference days. Project ideas were being developed and consortia formed or strengthened. The presence of researchers, decision-makers as well as funders from across Europe made discussions effective and realistic. Thematic working sessions were held for each of the four value chains, i.e. forestry, wood products, pulp and paper products, and bio-energy, biorefinery and specialities.