Forest-based industries have the potential to become an engine for a sustainable and competitive bioeconomy in the Danube area. However, on a macro-regional level, the competitiveness of the forest-based sector suffers from significant disparities in quadruple helix collaboration, low levels of knowledge-based activities, weak innovation culture especially in the South-Eastern regions, low levels of internationalisation of SMEs, insufficient transnational coordination at cluster and institutional level, and difficulties in commercialising research results. Furthermore, they are affected by climate change, competition for wood resources, changing consumer demands, growing complexity of manufacturing processes and a lack of renewed qualified workforce.
Building on the results of the Interreg SEE project ID:WOOD, FORESDA’s main objective is to support the transformation of traditional forest-based industries into sustainable manufacturing areas by an innovative cross-sectoral and transnational approach:
• Developing and supporting cross-sectoral collaborative networks and innovation projects as idea generation engines,
• Implementing cross-sectoral pilot innovation environments as physical and virtual collaboration spaces,
• Building up necessary supportive capacities in clusters, intermediaries, research organisations and policy makers.
The main results will be:
• increased effectiveness of collaborative research and innovation activities, leading to the emergence of new cross-sectoral value chains primarily in the areas smart and sustainable construction and furniture, innovative bio-based products and materials and energy efficiency;
• enhanced innovation management capacities in relevant intermediary organisations such as clusters.;
• a durable transnational approach and strategy for the development of the forest-based sector.
The results delivered will be highly replicable and provide valuable inputs for policy makers on regional, national and European level.