State of the network and main activities
InnovaWood’s 18th General Assembly took place on 8 July 2020 as a webinar due to the travel restrictions related to the Corona crisis. Although it could not replace a physical meeting, an interesting and varied programme was offered.
The webinar was well attended by 70 persons from 58 organisations representing 25 countries, including our members and also various interested partners from other organisations who used the opportunity to join the online event.
Panel discussion of the new Executive Board members and other InnovaWood members during the General Assembly webinar. From top left to lower right side: Uwe Kies (IW), Mark Irle (ESB), Javier Garcia Jaca (Tecnalia), Holger Militz (Göttingen University), Radmila Ustych (IW), Erik Larnoy (NIVIO), Frédéric Pichelin(BFH), Magdalena Kutnik (FCBA), Rupert Wimmer (BOKU), Henrik Härjärvi (LUKE), Mike Burnard (InnoRenew), Andreas Kleinschmit von Lengefeld (FCBA)
The InnovaWood network is growing and the past year has been really successful, as was presented in the activity report by Secretary General Uwe Kies. Highlights include:
○ Today the network represents 60 organizations from 28 countries, which comprise 26 RTOs, 26 universities, 6 clusters or promotion organizations and 4 Vocational education and training centres.
○ InnovaWood is increasingly recognised as a strong active European network. We have made many new contacts to research organisations, companies, policy actors and other networks, and we have been invited to various EU meetings and stakeholder groups in Brussels.
○ We continue to support our members with several improved information tools (EU Funding navigator, Event Calendar, EU Project Database) and training events for SPP members.
○ InnovaWood has supported and participated in many European project proposals. Four new projects were launched in 2019, in which InnovaWood takes part mainly as communication partner.
○ We launched several joint initiatives together with our members over last years.
InnovaWood's membership map as of July 2020
New elected members of the Executive Board
For practical and legal reasons, InnovaWood, an association founded according to Belgian law, is obliged to hold an annual General Assembly. As larger physical meetings were impossible during this prolonged period of confinement, a special Royal decree was passed by the Belgian Ministry of Justice which permits associations to approve decisions or hold voting by electronic communication means or in writing.
To ensure a continuous renewal of members participating in the Executive Board, the term for board members is set to two years, after which they can be re-elected or shall be replaced by another person. The General Assembly confirmed the nominated new members of the Executive Board. Out of 58 full members with voting rights, 42 attended the virtual event (quorum). With a total of 30 positive votes (50% of members, 68% of quorum) per electronic communication, the proposed GA Resolutions 2020 were approved:
○ Resolution #1 The Minutes of the last General Assembly meeting 2019 are accepted.
○ Resolution #2: The Activity and Financial Report 2019 and Proposed Budget 2020 are accepted.
○ Resolution #3: Mark Irle (ESB) as President of InnovaWood and Erik Larnøy (NIBIO) as Vice-President were re-appointed for another term of one year.
○ Resolution #4: The General Assembly agrees to appoint the following members for a term of one year to the Executive Board (Council): Magdalena Kutnik (FCBA), Mike Burnard (InnoRenew), Frédéric Pichelin (BFH) and Javier Garcia Jaca (Technalia).
○ Resolution #5: The General Assembly agrees to dissolve the Management Board and Thematic Groups for an unlimited period.
The Executive Board wishes to thank especially the leaving board members for their active role during the past years: Andreas Kleinschmit von Lengefeld (FCBA), Andreja Kutnar (InnoRenew), Francesco Balducci (COSMOB), and Patrick Pammer (Wood K plus).
InnovaWood's newly elected Executive Board 2020/2021
New members 2019/2020
European hardwoods initiative (EHIA)
Today, softwood tree species represent the main raw material source of the forest-bases sector, but due to climate change and disturbances, their growth is diminishing. A variety of hardwood species will become much more important in the future, which requires more research especially in the field of new applications and products.
In an inspiring presentation, Frédéric Pichelin (BFH Bern University of Applied Sciences), Holger Militz (University of Göttingen, Dept. Wood Biology & Wood Products), and Uwe Kies (InnovaWood) jointly gave an overview of the main challenges and a range of research and innovation activities in the field of novel hardwoods uses and markets (see the video clip below).
InnovaWood Module Bank
The Module Bank is an e-learning platform for wood science and technology, developed jointly by several universities that aim to share MSc-level courses among their orgnaisations. InnovaWood’s president Mark Irle (ESB) presented the current progress of the Module Bank. Six universities have signed the agreement and are actively developing their modules.
Early-stage researchers community
Early stage researchers in wood science have a need to get better connected to the ongoing research community. InnovaWood aims to create a platform where young researchers can present their work and build up their network. A first online workshop was hosted as a special side event on 7 July 2020 (see the video clips below).
InnovaWood's R&D projects
During the last year InnovaWood was supporting its members in preparing quite a number of project proposals. and the overview of some new or ongoing projects where InnovaWood is now active in the following new and ongoing projects, mainly in the role of communication and dissemination partner.
Basajaun – Sustainable wood construction supply chains. Horizons 2020 IA no. 862942 focusing on innovative wood construction. Presentation by Javier Garcia Jaca, project coordinator. Coord. by Tecnalia, Bilbao/Spain
WoodCircus – The forest-based sector in the Circular Economy. Horizons 2020 CSA no. 820892 addressing recycling and circular economy aspects in the wood sector. Coord. by VTT, Finland. Presentation by Mike Burnard, InnoRenew CoE, Koper/Slovenia.
Rosewood4.0 – Forestry and wood mobilisiation goes digital. Horizons 2020 CSA no. 862681 focusing on digital tools to forest mobilizations. Coord. by Steinbeis, Germany. Presentation by Uwe Kies, InnovaWood.
Eqwood – Innovation advisor for the furniture industry. Erasmus+ SSA project no. 591939 developing a curriculum for innovation advisor in the furniture industry. Coord. by Federlegno, Italy. Presentation by Radmila Ustych, InnovaWood
AHoD. All Hands On Deck. European work heritage in shipwright for present and future. Erasmus+ 065201. Coord. University of Murcia, Spain.
SUnRISE. Encouraging training skills in the furniture and woodworking industries through an innovative simulation-based gamification approach. Erasmus+ 065631. Coord. PULS, Poland.
Watch the EU project presentations below, and follow InnovaWood’s projects progress on LinkedIn.
Outlook and main priorities
The new Executive Board will continue to develop different initiatives that were started, and will guide and support the Secretariat during the realization. The main priorities for the coming years include:
○ To hire additional staff and build up InnovaWood's communication competence
○ To ensure a smooth accomplishment of the different project activities
○ To furhter establish the Joint Actions including the Module Bank, the Hardwoods initiative and the Early stage researchers network
○ To continue and improve the members communication services, notably to enhance the visibility of the membership also in newsletters and social media.
The next General Assembly shall be held, if posisble, as a physical meeting in Porto, in 2021. However, the COVID-19 situation will be closely monitored, before any new announcements will be made. Meanwhile, revisit the various presentations held at the General Assembly (see video clips below) and follow us on the social media channels.
Link to this page: http://bit.ly/iwga2020
Last update: 16/08/2020