Bioeconomy ERA-NET Actions - European Research Area Networks of the 6th and 7th Framework Programmes (European Commission, 2014)

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A new ERA-NET scheme, SUMFOREST (Tackling the challenges in sustainable and multifunctional forestry through enhanced research coordination for policy decisions) began at the start of 2014. It aims to reduce existing fragmentation and maximise the impact of research activities on SFM and multifunctional forestry in Europe.

SUMFOREST will be instrumental in building a European forest research area which promotes European-scale research as basis for sound forest management and policy-making. SUMFOREST will also establish cooperation with Russia and other eastern countries, with the aim of identifying common research priorities and initiatives.

The SUMFOREST project (2014-2017) is coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management of Austria.


The first ERA-NET on wood material science and engineering, WoodWisdom-Net started in 2004 with 12 partners from 5 countries and later, in 2006, expanded with 6 new partners (3 countries). The project was initiated as a part of the European Commission's Framework Programme 6 ERA-NET scheme which is to support the cooperation and coordination of research activities carried out at national or regional level. As the main result, the 1st Call of Joint Transnational WoodWisdom-Net Research Programme (2006-11) with 17 projects of a total volume of over 20 M€ was launched. The first phase of the WoodWisdom-Net ERA-NET project came to its end on Dec 21, 2008.

The follow-up ERA-NET project WoodWisdom-Net 2 - "Networking and Integration of National Programmes in the Area of Wood Material Science and Engineering in the Forest-Based Value Chains" was started in March 2009 (duration 36 months) and was run under the European Commission's FP7 ERA-NET scheme. The consortium included 19 partners from 12 countries. The overall objective of WW-Net 2 was to promote the transformation of the European F-BI from a resource-intensive to a value-added knowledge-intensive, innovative and globally competitive industry based on the sustainable use of renewable raw materials. The goal was to further develop the WoodWisdom-Net Research Programme by launching two joint calls for projects in 2009 (Joint Call 2) and 2010 (Joint Call 3). Both calls were successfully implemented as planned. The ERA-NET project WW-Net 2 was closed at the end of February 2012.

Today, WoodWisdom-Net continues under the ERA-NET Plus scheme. The 4th Call for joint European research projects was announced in February 2013. The indicative total available budget amounts to 24.000.000,00 € (national public funding including EC top-up funding of 8 M€). The total call volume with industrial co-funding is estimated to be up to ca. 30 M€. The overall scope of the planned WW-Net+ is to support the total transformation of the European F-BI and sustainable forest management to enable it to increase resource efficiency and develop a totally new products scope, while adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change. The WW-Net+ consortium consists of 20 eligible partners - ministries, funding agencies and programme management organisations - which are key players in the implementation of national or regional research activities in the field of wood and material science and engineering as well as forestry. Currently the programme provides funding to 22 ongoing transnational research projects.