15 May 2013 | General, FPS
Innovation, Young Researchers and Industry: brought together by the COST Domain for Forestry, their Products and Services (FPS)

The COST FPS Domain has teamed up with the Forest-based Technology Platform and organised a conference to facilitate networking between young researchers and the forest-based industry.

COST’s ‘Young Researchers direct the way to Innovation in the Forest-based sector’ took place in Barcelona, Spain, on 11 to 14 March 2013, in parallel with the 8th FTP Conference organised by the Forest-based Technology Platform. The event followed up from the successful Early-Stage Researchers’ Forum at the 7th FTP Conference.

Building bridges in the forest-based sector

This event is an example of the networking benefits provided by COST – providing young researchers with innovative ideas and with the opportunity to share them with senior researchers and industry. This initiative proved to be highly popular with young researchers: COST received an unprecedented 186 proposals to present at this event. A panel of five experts selected 20 oral presentations and 56 poster presentations representing 22 COST countries. This forum summarised the key role of collaboration between industry and the research community in the forest-based sector, and COST’s optimal collaborations with FTP, The European Forest Institute (EFI) , the European Fibre and Paper Research Organisation (EFPRO) and Innovawood (representing the Forest, Wood-based and Furniture industries).                       

Competitive and Innovative Ideas

Jenni Rahikainen, from Finland, and Gianluca Tondi, from Austria, were elected ‘Best COST-FTP YRF Presentations’ by the audience, and had the opportunity to present their research in a panel session on 13 March at the FTP-c8 Conference. Josefin Illergård, from Sweden, received the prize for the ‘Best COST-FTP YRF Poster’.

Fostering Inclusiveness in Research

This event strongly supported the participation of young researchers from countries that do not generally feature prominently in EU-funded programmes. This is initiative falls in the framework of COST’s latest Action Plan to especially contribute, through networking and by supporting young promising teams in the field of Research and Innovation, to wider pan-European participation, while reinforcing cooperation with Near Neighbour Countries. With this strategy, COST aims to increase inclusiveness in COST activities while fostering scientific excellence throughout Europe.  One of the pillars of this COST strategy is namely the support to young talents and next generation leaders.

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