proholz GmbHLaunch of European Network for Sustainable Forest Management
A transnational competence network of clusters in the forestry and timber value chain is working on future strategies for wood mobilisation in private forests. A Baden-Württemberg delegation trip to Croatia initiated the foundation of the network.
Under the leadership of Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, partners from Austria, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain and Switzerland established a new network in 2018. The EU-funded project ROSEWOOD promoted sustainable wood mobilisation and new approaches to forest management. Regional competence centres were established in the participating countries to accompany the exchange of good practices and innovations. The activities promote economic and sustainable development in forestry and provide directional support for the EU's bioeconomy strategy.
The founding process began with a delegation trip by the Baden-Württemberg Minister for the Environment, Franz Untersteller. Since 2012, the Steinbeis Europa Zentrum (SEZ) has established eleven Danube Transfer Centres (DTC) as part of the European Strategy for the Danube Region, which make a significant contribution to strengthening regional and international technology transfer. During Untersteller's visit to Croatia, he established contact with the Vukovar County Economic Development Agency HRAST and the Environmental and Waste Management Agency EKO-SUSTAV. Both organisations planned to set up a wood competence centre to increase the value added and export of products from local woods. SEZ organised a Croatian delegation trip to Baden-Württemberg to intensify the exchange. SEZ identified proHolzBW GmbH in Ostfildern and the carpentry training centre in Biberach as possible cooperation partners, both were visited.
ProHolzBW showed interest in cooperation in the form of an EU project. The initially bilateral exchange between HRAST, EKO-SUSTAV and proHolzBW was supplemented by other partners and developed into a broad network of international cluster organisations. Through Steinbeis, the DTC network and the Enterprise Europe Network, it was possible to engage partners from the above-mentioned countries and to give the network its own operational structure under the umbrella of ROSEWOOD.
„"We benefited greatly from the conception workshop of Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, which prepared us for the grant application. The ROSEWOOD consortium is a door opener for us to European cooperation that also goes beyond the project."“Jan Bulmer, Cluster Manager ProHolz GmbH in 2018