SUSTAINABLE NETWORKS FOR THE ENERGETIC USE OF LIGNUCELLULOSIC BIOMASS IN SOUTH EAST EUROPE
Biomass constitutes a sector of the highest energy potentials both, in South East Europe and in the EU27. It covers more than half of the renewable energy sources for heat applications, and as heat covers more than half of the final energy consumption in Europe, biomass obviously is a key domain to meet the ambitious 2020 targets of the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC). The project FOROPA aims at promoting and strengthening clusters and networks for an improved use of lignocellulosic biomass in the SEE area. Existing national and regional capacities will be coordinated and enhanced in order to increasingly utilize the available biomass potentials of forests, short rotation plantations and wood waste. FOROPA will analyse innovation needs in the biomass sector, investigate the transferability of Biomass Supply Chain Operational Reference Processes within the SEE territories, and define and demonstrate a series of pilot applications based on the needs of the project participants. Applications and solutions will be demonstrated under new conditions such as different terrain, climate, soil and other structural conditions. The transnational cooperation between triple helix actors involves a wide range of stakeholders from industry, research and public authorities and will result in innovation mechanisms to increase biomass potentials and to establish improved supply chains. As international competition builds up, so does the pressure to attain excellence. The improved and sufficient collaboration of FOROPA regions contributes to overcome these barriers and achieve a critical mass of actors and knowledge to enhance the SEE competitiveness and growth. The collaboration offers a fertile combination of clusters and networks, intensive linkages with top-level knowledge institutions, increased synergies among innovation actors, entrepreneurial dynamism and improved framework conditions for innovation and excellence in this field. Transnational exchange and regional anchoring of technological and organizational knowhow will boost innovation activities and entrepreneurship in the SEE-area through identification, demonstration and promotion of Information & Communication Technology applications in the biomass sector. Further, the human potential factor in the SEE-area will be enhanced by setting up qualification, education and training plans for target groups relevant for biomass production and utilization. FOROPA is co-financed by the EU-South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme. The consortium consists of 12 partners from Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Greece, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ukraine, and two observer-partners from Switzerland. It involves clusters, innovation networks, national and regional authorities, associations and interest groups, one NGO, and research institutes. The project duration is 24 months.