General Assembly 2022 | 28 - 29 June in Porto, Portugal
During two full days, 40 InnovaWood members, invited speakers, the Executive Board and the Secretariat have finally met in person for the first time in three years.
The InnovaWood network had the opportunity to enjoy a stay in the beautiful city of Porto and host the 20th annual General Assembly. The event was co-hosted by InnovaWood member Polytechnic Institute of Viseu IPV. A heartfelt big thank you goes out to Luísa Maria Hora de Carvalho, Jorge Manuel Martins and their whole team for the warm welcome in Portugal!
The General Assembly kicked-off on Tuesday 28 June. In his report, Uwe Kies, Secretary General, took stock of the past year activities, projects and results and gave an outlook for the upcoming years. InnovaWood continues to grow its activities with two new staff members, four new member organizations and a number of new acquired EU projects.
Our membership continues to grow: 4 new organizations have joined InnovaWood last year. They gave short presentations during the General Assembly (scroll down the page for their presentations).
Linnaeus University, Sweden | Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia | Institute for Wood Technology Dresden, Germany | Research Group on Wood Science, France
InnovaWood team and executive Board members - from left to right: Florence Kuijl (IW), Oliver Jancke (IW), Dobrochna Augustyniak-Wysocka (PIT), Erik Larnøy (NIBIO), Javier Garcia Jaca (Tecnalia), Uwe Kies (IW), Visnja Košćak (HCS), Mark Irle (ESB), Radmila Ustych (IW).
This year, InnovaWood started a new Executive Board nomination procedure which brings more diversity, gender perspective and committment to strategic development of InnovaWood. According to the nominations and interesting presentations of new candidates, the General Assembly elected two new members of the Executive Board. InnovaWood is delighted to warmly welcome Dobrochna Augustyniak-Wysocka, Researcher at the Lukasiewicz Research Network - Poznan Institute of Technology, Poland and Visnja Košćak, Project manager for Internationalization at the Wood Cluster Styria, Austria. InnovaWood is also very thankful to the outgoing Executive Board members Magdalena Kutnik of FCBA and Frédéric Pichelin of BFH for their support of the Secretariat during the past years.
The afternoon gave way to three Wood Science and Technology Innovation talks:
- Attendees were pleased to listen first to Pedro Sousa, a high class furniture designer, introducing “From craftsmanship to mass-production: Portuguese furniture design of high value wood products”.
- Lina Lunes, researcher at the National Civil Engineering Laboratory in Lisbon addressed “The durability challenge of building with wood in Portugal“, and
- Isabel Moutinho, Communications manager at world-leading panel manufacturer Sonae Arauco, presented the “Innovation path at Sonae Arauco”.
The InnovaWood General Assembly program was designed to enable reunions, exchanges, and networking times. Long breaks were scheduled during which participants could also bring back memories from previous General Assemblies by observing and commenting on photos taken during the past editions.
The first day ended with a guided city tour and a joint dinner during a boat trip on the Douro River, while enjoying the sunset on the Atlantic Ocean. At this occasion, the InnovaWood team could finally hand over in person a meaningful gift to Mark Irle, to thank him for his active role as former President during 4 years. Mark remains an active member of the Executive Board.
Guest speakers – top line from left to right: Pedro Sousa (designer), Lina Lunes (NCEL), Isabel Moutinho (Sonae Arauco)
On the second day, the group was hosted by the AMORIM CORK company, and started the workshop sessions. Three discussion tables were the opportunity for participants to:
- Initiate a framework for exchange on circular economy research in the wood sector with Erik Larnøy from NIBIO.
- Discuss opportunities for timber construction research and innovation, chaired by Sameer Mehra and Joseph Little from TU Dublin.
- Brainstorm on InnovaWood's perspectives and member expectations, moderated by Oliver Jancke and Florence Kuijl from Innovawood.
The second part of the day offered a visit of the AMORIM CORK company. Mr Carlos de Jesus, Marketing and Communications Director, welcomed the InnovaWood group at Amorim’s premises and gave a presentation on the company’s history and explained the evolution from a sole producer of cork stoppers to a global stock company expanding in many markets with innovative cork-based products.
After lunch at a beautiful garden house owned by the Amorim family, the group had the chance to visit the world's largest cork stopper production factory, from raw material processing to large production lines. Mr Miguel Cabral, Research Director of AMORIM CORK, introduced the visitors also to their quality control laboratory, where the company has made substantial investments into advanced digital testing systems. Definitely, all participants learnt a lot about cork, its multiple applications and were impressed by the scope of activities that this single family-owned company embraces.
The InnovaWood Executive Board and the Secretariat team thanks all participants for the nice moments of sharing and exchanges that took place over the two days.
Hope to see you again in our next General Assembly 2023!
More impressions from the IW GA 2022