Underpinning the vital role of the forest-based sector in the Circular Bio-economy
Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between FCBA and VTT
10 July 2019 | Helsinki, Finland
Institute of Technology FCBA and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim to strengthen research cooperation and exchange of ideas between the two institutes in the field of circular bioeconomy.
While FCBA and VTT have been working together for a number of years, notably by joint participation in European research projects such as WoodCircus, the memorandum further strengthens the cooperation. « We’re here today because we believe in Europe », pronounced Jussi Manninen, Executive Vice President of VTT, before signing the memorandum. FCBA General Director Christophe Mathieu echoed the importance of believing in joint European endeavours and in bioeconomy principles and, with the Finnish Presidency of the European Union, highlighted the French-Finnish cooperation as an engine for developing sustainable approach in Europe.
The memorandum was signed on the occasion of the French-Finnish bilateral workshop « Circular Bioeconomy in Finland and France: a tool for innovation based growth and well-being », organized in cooperation by FCBA and VTT on July 10th in Helsinki, Finland. The workshop was an official side-event of a high-level conference connected with the Finnish Presidency of the European Union. The French Ministry of Agriculture was represented by Mrs Clémence Meyruey, Deputy head of the Bioeconomy Office, and Mrs Claire Morlot, European Affairs Adviser, whereas Dr Jaana Husu-Kallio participated to the workshop as the representative of the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
To learn more about the French-Finnish workshop, consult the programme.
From left to right: Jussi Manninen, Jaana Husu-Kallio, Anne-Christine Ritschkoff, Christophe Mathieu, Andreas Kleinschmit von Lengefeld
WoodCircus Project Meeting
8 July 2019 | Espoo, Finland
The WoodCircus Project Meeting gathered a total of 25 partners in the premises of the project coordinator VTT in Espoo, Finland on Monday 8th of July 2019. Alongside with project task updates and general assembly decisions, the main focus of the day was on an in-depth discussion on the results, gaps or needs identified during the fact finding process.
Fact finding and good practice mapping are one of the first tasks already well advanced and documented within the WoodCircus framework. In order to establish a complete review of the State of the Art, data mining activities, showcase identification and stakeholder interviews are still in progress. Different side stream value chain configurations have already been identified, the consortium partners had a vivid exchange of insights concerning the main findings of the value chain analysis.
Most of the identified issues are market-based: there are important variations in consumer acceptance of waste wood products or recycled materials which results in low demand of recycled wood and, eventually, in a lack of production. This is one of the reasons why sawdust, bark, or construction and demolition waste markets are generally unstable and not necessarily highly profitable. At the moment, waste wood decontamination processes can be costly. Natural phenomena such as insects or storms have recently caused an oversupply of virgin wood which cuts back the demand of waste wood even further. On the other hand, cutting through red tape would support positively the market development by permitting more rapid adaptation to changing situations. Overall, the sector would profit from establishing a set of forecasts for the future demand of virgin and recycled wood and different scenarios of market development for different countries. The WoodCircus consortium decided to aim to formulate a such set of configurations for either real or potential scenarios.
WoodCircus at the Wood Industry Summit at LIGNA, Hannover
27 May 2019 | Resource efficiency in forestry and timber industry, Wald und Holz NRW
One of the 16 WoodCircus partners, Nova-institut (DE), participated to the Summit performing fact finding interviews and meeting people from various organizations working on the topics of wood recycling, resource efficiency and cascade use of wood.
Photos: A wooden construction element with recycled paper as insulation material and the WoodCircus project flyer in the foreground | Chips from different wood based panels for recycling | Mr Ekkerhard WIECHEL (Effizienz Agentur NRW) opening the black box of the material flow analysis
First Fact Finding Workshop
30 January – 1st February 2019 | Warsaw, Poland
The WoodCircus project kick-off meeting was held in Warsaw, Poland, between the 30th of January and the 1st of February 2019. A first fact finding workshop was held to gather preliminary information on recycling, waste wood management and side stream valorisation activities from both technical and regulatory point of view in the EU13 countries (EU13 referring to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republique, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia as countries who have joined the EU after 2004).
The workshop participants, including project representatives and stakeholders, established a preliminary overview of the current situation of wood-based value chain management in the EU13 countries. The starting point is perceived as highly fragmented and heterogenous, differences lying especially in regulations and level of technical advancement between the EU13 countries or regions. Low awareness of circular bioeconomy and consumers’ unfavorable perceptions of wood-based products, besides modest visibility and acknowledgement are stated as common problems of the forestry sector. Whereas some of the existing regulations are still in the implementation phase, the data collection, classification, standardization and labelling activities would profit from more transparency and less red tape.
It would be crucial to promote mutual understanding between different stakeholders (industry – end users – policy makers – RTDI) as well as B2B collaboration in order to raise awareness, create market demand and increase forestry sector’s visibility and social approval of wood-based products. The sector would profit from a more systematic and strategic approach, competence transfer and policy incentives when it comes to value chain optimization and implementing bioeconomy principles.
Interested in joining the WoodCircus network? Please use the contact form to get in touch with us or contact directly the WoodCircus Ringmaster :
Anne-Christine Ritschkoff, VTT