At the end of January, the transnational ERA-NET ForestValue reached its first deadline for joint Calls that support research and innovation within the European forest-based sector.
Despite the successful implementation of WoodWisdom-Net, FORESTERRA and Sumforest, it still took some effort to convince the EU Member States and the Commission to open a Call for a new ERA-NET Cofund Action under Horizon 2020, Work Programme 2016-2017.
Just at the critical moment, FTP was able to help convince the European Commission and Member States to allocate their funding wisely. The history of excellence and strategic impact of the previous ERA-NETs proved to be a good selling point. ForestValue had its official start on 1 October 2017, presenting a clear mission: “transformation from a resource-intensive to a knowledge-intensive, resource-efficient and resilient sector”. By the deadline in January, 114 proposals had been received, mainly dealing with innovative production and processing technologies, products, concepts and services.
After evaluations of the pre-proposals are completed at the end of May, about 50 consortia will be invited to submit full proposals by 14 August. Ultimately, roughly 20 projects will be funded, to start in 2019. The total public funding is € 25 million, including € 5 million of EU funding.