University of Primorska hosted a gathering of top-tier European Forest Based Sector researchers and research managers in Koper, to map out the future of the InnovaWood association. The main emphasis of the discussions of the attending high-ranking researchers and managers was on the development of the association’s future business model and on the in-depth introduction of the European research and innovation (political) landscape, including the enhanced understanding of policy documents and calls for proposals’ texts.
Recently, there was a change in the leadership of the network, as a new President was elected and a new Secretary-general appointed. With such change, it became inevitable that a process for the fine-tuning of the future direction of the association will begin. The Koper meeting of the Executive Board was used for the acceleration of the process with the members discussing the possible renewal of the InnovaWood’s business model. Said the new Secretary-general, Uwe Kies, “In a perfect setting of a historic building with great centuries-old wooden ceiling and matching rest of the interior design, in an academic excellence setting of the University of Primorska, it was not difficult to have constructive discussions and to make decisive strides towards better defining the future of InnovaWood.”
Added the new President, Prof. Dr. Mark Irle, “I was also glad to see a large number of participants at the Interactive specialised workshop. It is always nice to see that the value proposition of the network is of interest to our stakeholders. We will strive in the future to further improve it and to keep bringing value to our members.” The workshop was led by Dr. Andreas Kleinschmit von Lengefeld, who transferred some of his great experience as a former director of the European Forest Based Technology Platform and current director of innovation at l'Institut Technologique Forêt Cellulose Bois-construction Ameublement (FCBA). Through the prism of a regular reviewer of H2020 project applications, he also presented to participants the process of European research, development, and innovation policy development, the transformation of said policies (and others interacting with them) into Work Programmes, and ultimately into texts that accompany calls for proposals. The European landscape of entities providing input to these processes was presented, and a thorough presentation of the preparation process of a successful application was given.
Said the Acting Director of the InnoRenew CoE and associate professor at the University of Primorska, Dr. Andreja Kutnar, “the event will greatly benefit the hosts, InnoRenew CoE and the UP.” Being on the forefront of the European forest based research, we are highly interested in steering it in directions that we see relevant. On the other hand, practical knowledge in project proposal writing, combined with great networking that InnovaWood provides, is essential to both institutions I represent. We have a very ambitious agenda of developing both institutions, and therefore acquiring finances from the European public calls for proposals is paramount.” Dr. Kutnar also expressed her satisfaction that the University of Primorska and InnoRenew CoE enabled an excellent event, the Charm of Wood exhibition of hardwood products in Koper, to take place simultaneously. It was therefore possible to combine the research-oriented meeting with a pleasant practical experience of an exhibition viewing for a complete forest based sector scientific experience.