2017 was a record year for EU research and innovation in the European forest-based sector; 61 projects funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 were launched. The projects are progressive and extremely diverse, with 18 projects related to the forestry sector, 22 related to the woodworking sector and 21 related to the pulp and paper processing industry. The goals set by the projects, vary from developing new methods for forest inventories, creating smart paper packaging and producing renewable biomass from lignocellulose, to fighting fires with the use of remote-controlled aircraft.
Compared with previous years, EU funding has increased from € 137 million in 2015 and € 155 million in 2016, to over € 180 million in 2017, which is a new record for research and innovation in the forest-based sector. The countries involved in these EU-funded projects include Spain, Finland, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Italy, France and the Netherlands, who are each represented in more than 10 international project teams. FTP supporting companies, Holmen, Metsä Group, Mondi, Sappi Europe, SCA Forest Products, Södra, Stora Enso, Sveaskog and UPM Kymmene Corporation, have enrolled in 22 projects throughout the duration of Horizon 2020. In 2017 Metsä Fibre and Södra participated in three new projects.
FTP continues to highlight the importance of research and innovation in the forest- based sector, “We advocate for this on a broad European level and we can now reap the benefits", says Johan Elvnert, Managing Director of FTP. “The record amount of EU-funding also gives us a lot of inspiration to continue FTP’s work in the run-up to Horizon Europe.”
All projects are publicly available in FTPs Project Database where detailed information is accessible through the “Research Projects” application.