Funding opportunities for research and innovation projects in the forest-based sector will remain a significant part of the next Horizon 2020 work programme (WP), for the period 2018-2020. “There will be a slight shift in particular work programme sections, but our evaluation is that FTP’s coordinated campaign with the NSGs, to increase the visibility of the sector among the Programme Committees, has paid off”, affirmed FTP Managing Director Johan Elvnert. The work programme 2018-2020 of Horizon 2020 is expected to be released in late October 2017.
Intensive efforts by both FTP and the NSGs have been made to include “building with wood” topics within the scope of the part of the WP on Industrial Technologies. After providing compelling facts and figures and explaining how the sector’s innovation in wood construction is clearly connected with EU policies, there is a promising new topic anticipated, to be featured in this WP.
In the final years of Horizon 2020, Societal Challenge 2 – Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy will have an inclusive approach, opening up topics that have been traditionally dedicated to agriculture, as well as to forestry, rural economy and the bioeconomy.
Some positive developments were noticed during the programming of Societal Challenge 5 – Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials. Programme Committee members showed a better understanding of the linkages between the sector’s activities and achieving the EU’s climate commitments, or maintaining ecosystem services. FTP’s assessment is that the commitments of the sector under the EIP Raw Materials, as well as the ongoing VERAM project, may have contributed to this result.