The aim of the WoodWisdom-Net project was to create a common research platform by developing sustained collaboration between the European forestry sector and forest-based industry, the wood material research community and funding organisations and integrating research resources in different countries. Promoting the development of innovative forest-based products, processes and services, the collaboration was aimed to benefit Europe's citizens and strengthen the competitiveness of Europe's forest sector and forest-based industry.
The final goal of the WoodWisdom-Net consortium was to prepare and implement a cooperation agreement and launch a joint call of a transnational programme. The experience gained in planning and implementation of the Finnish-Swedish co-funded Wood Material Science Programme, which started in the beginning of 2003, gave a good basis to build up a long-term European research area in wood material science. Structuring of the activities was grouped into two categories: information collection and cooperation objectives.
The first ERA-NET on wood material science and engineering, WoodWisdom-Net, started in 2004 with 12 partners from five countries and was later in 2006 expanded with six new partners (3 countries).
Mapping and scoping activities
The ERA-NET WoodWisdomNet had several tasks designated for mapping and scoping activities such as:
- Information exchange on research programmes (and research activities);
- Exchange of information on political and institutional environment and implementation approaches of research programmes;
- Development of networking and cooperation structure for programme makers and programme managers (information of programmes, projects, partners and other activities) in Europe;
- Identification of potentially relevant new partner countries to be involved in WoodWisdom-Net in the future;
- Documentation on common goals and activities within the national activities involved in the ERA-NET;
- Creating an overview on legal barriers that hinder transnational cooperation and guidelines and recommendations for future activities.
The main outcomes of the mapping and scoping activities are published in the following reports:
- Report 1-2005 - Overview of Evaluation Practises and Guidelines for Common Research Activities
- Report 1-2006 - Overview on Barriers That Hinder Transnational Cooperation and Models for Future Cooperation
- Report 2-2006 - National and Transnational Research Programmes of the WoodWisdom-Net Partners
- Report 1-2008 - Best Practises of Research Programmes of the WoodWisdom-Net Partners in the Field of Wood and Forestry Research
- Report 2-2008 - Foresight Report – Overview of Foresight Studies in WoodWisdom-Net Countries
- Report 3-2008 - Report on WoodWisdom- Net Self-evaluation
The project also created a specific joint online database/document pool (Research Landscape Tool) on national research programmes/projects. The Research Landscape Tool was designed to support the objectives of the development of networking and cooperation structure for programme makers and programme managers (information of programmes, projects, partners and other activities) in Europe, and to collect relevant stakeholder information.
First call 2006
The first joint call for proposals within the WoodWisdom-Net Research
At the start of November 2006 the participating organisations launched the first two-step Joint Transnational Call for Proposals. The call was devoted to basic research with sub call A addressed "Wood production and properties" as applied to industrial Research Technology and Development (RTD). Sub call B addressed "New wood-based products, efficient processes and sustainable forestry". In the first phase 70 proposals from consortia with over 400 participating organisations in total were submitted. In the 2nd phase 40 consortia were invited to submit a full proposal and finally, 17 proposals were accepted for funding (see below), the call having a total funding of over EUR 20 million. The share of public national funding was 70%, industrial funding 15% and research centres own funding totalling 15%. It was very pleasing to note that a further seven countries (not ERA-NET partners) participated in the programme by providing funds to individual project participants.
List of selected projects sorted by main research area:
FIBRES - Wood Fibre Properties and Processing
- BioPack - Design of biocomposites based on nanocellulose and hemicelluloses for future packaging materials. Coordinator: STFI-Packforsk AB (Sweden). Participating countries: Sweden, Finland, France
- DesignCell - Designed Cellulosic Nanostructures. Coordinator: STFI-Packforsk AB (Sweden). Participating countries: Sweden, Finland, France
- FibreSurf - New Biotechnical tools for wood fibre modification and analyses. Coordinator: Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) - Div. of Wood Biotech., School of Biotechnology (Sweden). Participating countries: Sweden, Finland, United Kingdom
- FUNFIREBIC - Functional fibre reinforced biocomposites. Coordinator: Oy All-Plast Ab (Finland). Participating countries: Finland, Germany, Sweden
- HemiPop - Engineering structure and properties of poplar hemicelluloses. Coordinator: University of Helsinki (Finland). Participating countries: Finland, Sweden, France
- PROBARK - A sustainable process for production of green chemicals from softwood bark. Coordinator: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Finland). Participating countries: Finland, Germany, Sweden
- ReCell - Refined cellulose derivatives for high-value biomedical products. Coordinator: Royal Institute of Technology, Fibre- and Polymer Technology (Sweden). Participating countries: Sweden, Germany, Finland
- WoodFibre3D - Structure-property relations of wood fibres: 3D characterization and modelling. Coordinator: SINTEF Materials and Chemistry (Norway). Participating countries: Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark
WOOD - Wood Materials and Engineering
- FireInTimber - Fire resistance of Innovative Timber structures. Coordinator: SP Trätek/ Wood Technology (Sweden). Participating countries: Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Norway, United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland, Estonia
- GRADEWOOD - Grading of timber for engineering wood products. Coordinator: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Finland). Participating countries: Finland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Slovenia.
- Improved Moisture - Improved glued wood – modelling and mitigation of moisture-induced stresses. Coordinator: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Finland). Participating countries: Finland, Sweden, Germany, Austria, China
- TES-Energy Facade – Timber-based element systems for improving the energy efficiency of the building Envelope. Coordinator: Technische Universität München - TUM, Timber Architecture (Germany). Participating countries: Germany, Finland, Norway
- WinFur - Use of furfurylated wood for the production of high-performance windows made of European Timbers. Coordinator: University of Göttingen - Institute of Wood Biology and Wood Technology (Germany). Participating countries: Germany, Norway, Sweden
- WoodExter - Service life and performance of exterior wood above ground. Coordinator: SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden (Sweden). Participating countries: Sweden, United Kingdom, Finland, France, Austria, Norway, Germany, Belgium
FORESTRY - Wood Resources and Logistics
- IRIS - New technologies to Optimize the wood information basis for forest industries - developing an integrated information system. Coordinator: Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB). Participating countries: Norway, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Ireland
- WOODVALUE - Value creation in wood supply chains. Coordinator: The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) - Parkano Research Unit. Participating countries: Finland, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Italy
- WOVEN - Wood formation under varying environmental conditions. Coordinator: The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla). Participating countries: Finland, Norway, Sweden