Establishing high-level contacts and launching start-up discussions for future cooperation, potential bilateral calls for research projects and network building were among others the main objectives that brought a delegation of representatives from the Indian government, pulp and paper association and research institute on a study tour of Europe. The trip was organised as part of a project “Development and adoption of enhancing productivity in the paper and pulp sector” run by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) with the support of the Indian Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP).
On its final stop in Brussels, FTP hosted the delegation at the European Forestry House on Wednesday 10 November with a view to creating conditions for future research cooperation and partnerships. During the meeting, the long-distance guests were introduced to the latest developments of the European forest-based sector as well as the relevant EU policy framework.
The morning was kicked off by FTP Managing Director Johan Elvnert who gave an overview of available EU funding sources provided for the sector within the framework programme Horizon 2020. Topics such as water resources, recycling and scarcity of biomass supply, amongst others, are of key relevance to the Indian pulp and paper sector.
This was followed by a presentation by Bernard de Galembert, Innovation and Bioeconomy Director of the Confederation of European Paper Industires (CEPI), who updated the Indian colleagues on CEPI’s Brussels advocacy priorities, including the ongoing revision of Roadmap 2050. To complete the European perspective, de Galembert explained the structure and policies advanced by the European Bioeconomy Alliance, a Brussels-based advocacy group of European organisations active in the bioeconomy.
Finally, the guest speakers of the European Parliament, Parliamentary Research Administrator Frédéric Gouardères, and the European Commission, Principal Administrator Jeremy Wall from DG GROWTH, gave a short introduction to prevailing EU regulatory framework and current policies that affect the European forest-based industries.
The main objectives of the UNIDO project, with the support of the Indian Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), id to introduce new and more advanced technologies, provide up-to-date skills to staff and transfer knowledge and expertise to the Indian pulp and paper sector.
Prior to the visit to Brussels, the delegation toured in Norway and Sweden meeting key Scandinavian stakeholders. The trip was assisted by the support of Philip Reme, Managing Director of the Norwegian Paper and Fibre Research institute (PFI).