Virtual General Assembly 2021
State of the network and main activities
InnovaWood’s 19th General Assembly took place on 8 - 9 July 2021 as a online meeting due to Corona-related travel restrictions. An interesting and useful programme was organised for the members.
The meeting was well attended by 78 persons from 54 organisations representing 23 countries, including our members (58 persons) and various interested other organisations (20 persons) who used the opportunity to learn more about our network.
Impressions of the Virtual General Assembly 2021:
InnovaWood Board members, staff, and participating members.
InnovaWood’s past year has been very successful, as the Secretary General Uwe Kies presented in his Intro and Activity Report. Highlights:
It was also discussed that any member of InnovaWood can set up ad-hoc groups and involve other members for a specific interest, e.g. for a common topic, a project proposal, or an event. The InnovaWood Secretariat is there to support such actions, provided the member(s) take the main lead for reaching their objectives.
Our membership continues to grow: 5 organisations have joined as new members during the past year, among them 3 universities, 1 RTO and 1 cluster organisation.
4 members gave short presentations during the General Assembly (click to watch in the section Member Presentations below at the page).
Joint initiatives 2021
InnovaWood Module Bank
The Module Bank is an e-learning platform for wood science and technology, developed jointly by several universities with the aim to share standalone MSc-level courses among their organisations. Oliver Jancke presented the current progress and the roadmap of the Module Bank, including a nice teaser clip.
Innovawood has started to set up the joint Moodle platform. The first set currently contains 5 modules of a total of 13 ECTS. The platform will be presented in the coming autumn period and more members are invited to join the Module Bank. During the General Assembly, 12 additional members indicated that they could provide more courses to the platform.
Wood4Bauhaus - Wood Sector Alliance for the New European Bauhaus
The Wood4Bauhaus Alliance was set up in response to the European Commission’s New European Bauhaus initiative, which was launched by the President Ursula von der Leyen in Sep 2020. The main objective is to shape a better and sustainable future with beautiful, healthy and inclusive living, working and learning spaces as part of a low carbon built environment. Uwe Kies presented the progress of the W4B-Alliance, which intends to 1. Encourage research and innovation for novel and innovative uses of wood in the built environment, 2. Foster new collaborations and co-creation between different stakeholders across disciplines, sectors, and society, and 3. Facilitate knowledge sharing and skills development especially towards future generations.
InnovaWood launched the Alliance together with the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), the European Panel Federation (EPF), the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW). It was created with support from the project consortia BASAJAUN and WoodCircus with funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme.
An online conference was organised in 8 April 2021 titled “The New European Bauhaus: How can the wood sector engage, contribute and co-create?”. Around 1200 persons have registered for the conference and the website has had over 6200 views so far.
The Alliance provided also direct input to the New European Bauhaus group. Two documents were submitted to the EC in June 2021: “Research Needs and Priorities supporting Sustainable Construction with Nature-based Materials under the European Green Deal” and “Policy recommendations to encourage nature-based materials like wood in construction and renovation of the built environment”.
InnovaWood is active in a number of EU-funded projects, mainly in the role of communication and dissemination partner. A selection of projects was presented at the GA 2021. Click to watch the proesentations and visit project websites in the section "EU projects" below at the end of the page.
Plenary and Resolutions of the GA 2021
The Plenary meeting was held on Day 2. InnovaWood, an association founded according to Belgian law, is obliged to hold an annual General Assembly. As larger physical meetings were impossible during the Corona pandemic, a special Royal decree was passed by the Belgian Ministry of Justice which permits associations to approve decisions and hold votes by electronic means.
At the GA 2020, the members elected a new Executive Board for a term of 1 year and reconfirmed Mark Irle as President. At this GA 2021, the Secretary General presented the annual Activity and Financial Report of the past year 2020/2021, and laid out the main priorities for the upcoming year.
The Executive Board proposed the following 5 resolutions to the members:
Resolution #1: The Minutes of the last General Assembly meeting 2020 are accepted.
Resolution #2: The Activity and Financial Report 2020 and Proposed Budget 2021 are accepted.
Resolution #3: The General Assembly appoints Erik Larnøy (NIBIO) as President and Mike Burnard (InnoRenew) as Vice-President for a term of two years.
Resolution #4: The General Assembly renews the appointments of the following members to the Executive Board (Council) for the term of one year : Mark Irle (ESB), Magdalena Kutnik (FCBA), Frédéric Pichelin (BFH), Javier Garcia Jaca (Tecnalia).
The InnovaWood Executive Board 2021 re-appointed by the GA. Erik Larnoy of NIBIO has been elected as President and Mike Burnard of Innorenew CoE has been elected as Vice-President.
At this point, the Executive Board and the membership wished to thank especially the outgoing President Mark Irle of ESB for his constant engagement, new ideas and positive spirit that have substantially contributed to the constructive development and growth of InnovaWood during his presidency since 2017!
Resolution #5: The General Assembly accepts the proposed terms for European and national interest organizations and companies as new members in the network under the categories of Corresponding membership, Corporate membership and Observer membership.\
Outlook and Main Priorities
The Executive Board will continue to develop the 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 further develop the Module Bank and activate the Moodle Platform for teaching for all participating InnovaWood members in September 2021.
· To further establish the Wood4Bauhaus alliance as a bridge between the InnovaWood members and the multidisciplinary New European Bauhaus movement to seize the opportunities for our sector in the challenge of developing a low carbon built environment.
· 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 possible, as a physical meeting in Porto, Portugal, in 2022. However, the COVID-19 situation will be closely monitored, before any new announcement will be made. A quick survey among participants at the GA indicated a preference to hold the meeting in Porto during the month of May.
Outlook European Funding Opportunities
A main activity of the Secretariat is to update our members about European funding programmes. In this specific session, Uwe Kies presented an overview of recent new information and several opportunities for IW members were discussed.
§ The InnovaWood Funding Navigator now includes all latest published Horizon Europe calls of high/medium/low relevance for our sector.
§ Horizon Europe’s new programme structure and important new elements such as the Missions and Partnerships were introduced.
§ Different open calls were presented to highlight how the new main challenges have to be addressed in project consortia that require a more and more transversal setup.
§ Other programme lines were also presented, including the SME Instrument, the LIFE programme, Marie-Sklodowska-Curie actions, COST.-
§ It was suggested that IW as a network could take a more proactive role to initiate consortia and target specific calls of high relevance.
§ Several members show interest to create a COST action on wood recycling.
§ The call CIRCBIO-01 and its interest for the forest-based sector was discussed in more detail. IW is already active in a first group to create a proposal.
§ IW members can send in their participant profile with references and a list of calls of interest. The Secretariat can then share this info with coordinators or proposal consultants upon request to support partnering for consortia.
Link to this page: https://bit.ly/iwga2021w
Last update: 02/08/2021