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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Enhancing the cascade use of wood by integrating an intensified mobilisation of forest resources

Objectives of the commitment

This RMC responds to Action area I.5 and II.10 of the EIP/SIP on Raw Materials. Novel models define a cascade-use-of-wood concept and intensification of wood mobilisation –including recycling solutions- for ensuring an enhanced sustainable supply of raw materials to the European forest-based industry, thus creating more job opportunities and revenues in Europe. This RMC will define and pilot “zero waste” solutions proving proposals for increasing wood mobilization, and maximising reutilisation of wood. The cascade-use-wood-tool will be developed based on LCA, logistical, regional, and environmental and profitability criteria. Its accuracy level will guarantee that wood resources are used most efficiently and the climate change mitigation potential is maximised. Reducing the gap between supply and demand of wood (short - to medium-term), this RMC will investigate and propose solutions for increasing the potential supply of wood from European forests in a holistic approach while securing environmental and social demands on the ecosystems.

Description of the activities

The revised Strategic Research Agenda of the European forest-based sector address with its Strategic Theme 2: Responsible management of forest resources, the sub-themes multi-purpose management of forests; forest ecology and ecosystem services; enhanced biomass production; secured wood supply; forest operations and logistics; and cascade use, reuse and recycling. Manifold business models, incentive schemas are developed and RTDI projects are carried out in order to enhance the supply and utilisation of wood. The majority of these projects are funded on national or regional level. Wood and wood-waste are the main sources for renewable energy. According to the National Renewable Energy Action Plans, biomass used for heating, cooling and electricity would supply about 42% of the 20% renewable energy target for 2020. This amount of wood used for energy purposes in the EU would be equivalent to today's total wood harvest. There will be a conflict of interest for Europe due to the lack of sufficient raw material supply to be used for both, forest-based industries and renewable energy use. A new comprehensive and well balanced approach is needed, e.g. the raw material for wood pellets are various by-products of sawmill and wood working industries. Consequently, mobilizing the existing forest resources widely will enhance the cascade concept. This RMC is elaborated by a strong European Research community and industrial network aiming at carrying out jointly major RTDI activities:
Analysing, studying existing best practices and technologies for mobilizing forest resources taking existing EU and Member State policies and legislations on this principle into consideration and piloting the proposed models on a corporate level.
Defining a holistic concept of cascade-use-of-wood, including re-use and recycling solutions. Developing clear and efficient assessment models and tools for assessing the cascading impacts. These holistic, dynamic, simplified (simulation) tools can deliver recommendations and guidelines for policy-makers and value chain stakeholders and will allow them to analyse most of the feasible cascade value chains based on forests. Adapting the developed solutions on a national level while taking regional differences into consideration (from resource to end of life of a product). Aiming at incorporate recovery, recycling and reusing throughout the construction dismantling phases, innovative transports and collection systems will be an integral part of a new waste management philosophy. Testing flexible novel sustainable forestry technologies and management practices with respect to climate change, industry needs and multi-functional societal demands in all European countries. Development of efficient supply chain concepts integrating harvesting, forwarding, transportation, logistics and trading for reducing and eliminating resource mobilisation bottlenecks while satisfying the needs of both the woody biomass suppliers and users like the woodworking industries (sawmilling, panel and board production, pulp for paper, bioenergy, …). New strategies for organisational innovations for forest operations in specific contexts (local, regional aspects) while focussing on infrastructure and proximity of downstream industries and improved valorisation approaches that provide best performance via the development of a fully integrated system (downstream use) are needed.
Defining the potential use for different roundwood qualities (softwood/hardwood) and grades (sawing, veneering, etc) including selecting and allocating methodologies. Compiling existing and/or new data to enhance the characterisation of domestic wood species with respect to mechanical properties. These efforts and results support forest-based investments and in particular, their raw material supply.

Key words: climate change, forest management, quantity, quality, time, delivery, logistics, harvesting technologies, grading – sorting, re-use, recycling, building with wood, living with wood, wood-based materials, biorefinery, societal demands, socio-economic aspects.

Description of the expected impacts

Responding to Action area I.5 and II.10 of the EIP/SIP on Raw Materials, the present integrative and cross-disciplinary research and innovation activities study the best practises and innovative solutions to face the ever increasing demand for biomass for existing and future value added processes. The industry driven research and innovation work secures a direct exploitation and piloting the RTDI results into forestry and forest-based industries. Novel integrated energy- and resource efficient primary and secondary production models emphasize an advanced European mobilisation and cascade use of forest-biomass enabling to add value from resources (logs, -wood) via consumer products (sawn timber, paper, packaging, panel, boards, construction elements, consumer products,..) to end of life use (energy) and hence creating new job opportunities and higher revenues. The current ongoing and planned initiatives on EU member states level will be integrated to create a European knowledge-base for facilitating the communication between the raw materials community and the society at large. The active involvement of small and medium enterprises at the heart of the European forest-based sector, enhances innovations while strengthening the competitiveness. The RTDI based holistic models and concepts along the value added forestry-wood chain generate a unique knowledge-base in Europe that will allow selecting and allocating the appropriate raw material for each end use including cascading, recycling and re-use. Forest resource is seen as a bulk commodity, while in reality it represents a inhomogeneous biological material with individual quality and property attributes depending on geographical origin, growing conditions, etc. Tailor made harvesting, logistic and storage concepts as well as first and secondary transformation processes have to be connected to these conditions for securing best economical and environmental performance of the forest-based sector.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: Institut Technologique FCBACountry: FranceEntity profile: OtherRole within the commitment:

FCBA will act as the overall coordinator of this commitment. FCBA covers a wide range of clients in the forest-based sector an has a long-lasting experience in coordination of large and small scale collaborative projects. FCBA RTDI is structured into eight key areas: Forestry incl. tree genetic improvement and breeding; Harvesting and wood supply chain, Wood quality and processing; Building with wood; Living with multi-materials furniture; Ligno cellulosic chemistry and biorefinery; Environment & Health; Economics & Society.

Other partners

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.

Name of the organisation: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V. Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Fraunhofer will lead the CFRP and GFRP recycling research.
Fraunhofer will perform corrosion tests on the developed materials.
Fraunhofer will work with CIDAUT on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project. Fraunhofer is the Quality Manager of the Consortium and will oversee deliverables and general reporting are produced with the best possible quality following agreed review standards.

Fundacion Cidaut

Name of the organisation: Fundacion Cidaut Country: Spain Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: CIDAUT will lead the research activities on materials recycling and compounding, implementing lab scale demonstrators of each process at its premises and, later, supporting end-users upscale the processes.
CIDAUT will perform mechanical tests, microstructural analyses, injection moulding capability studies on the developed materails, and will work with Fraunhofer on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project.

RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV)

Name of the organisation: RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV) Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: RWTH will implement the novel 3D Generative Preforming process (3D Fibre Spraying) that enables to create high-value long fibre-reinforced 3D preforms for thermoplastic and thermoset composites at low process costs (different kinds of yarn as a raw material, low tooling costs due to low cavity pressures). This cost effective technology allows to align the sprayed fibres in order to produce high-performance, engineered anisotropic products.

Universita' di Cagliari

Name of the organisation: Universita' di Cagliari Country: Italy Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: University of Cagliari is one of the leading European organization in the resin design and coupling with thermoplastic and thermose materials. University of Cagliari will support in the definition of the composite materials, both from CFRP/GFRP, ABS and Rare Earth composite material.


Name of the organisation: Relight Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: RELIGHT will work with ITRB to provide the research partners with residues for the recycled ABS supply and the REE recovery processes, including their HydroWEEE process as part of the processes to be studied and analyzed.

Piaggio Aerospace

Name of the organisation: Piaggio Aerospace Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - large company
Role within the commitment: Piaggio Aerospace is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Piaggio will assist in the compounds selection, provide Fraunhofer with specific corrosion requirements on business jet size aircraft, and will assess that the developed materials performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.

Blackshape Aircrafts

Name of the organisation: Blackshape Aircrafts Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: Blackshape Aircrafts is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Blackshape will support to fulfill the requirements of the aeronautics industry on ultra light jet, light jet and trainer for Syllabus, and will assess that the developed alloys performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.

KU Leuven

Name of the organisation: KU Leuven Country: Belgium Entity profile: Academia
Role within the commitment: KUL will collaborate on the balance problem studies and will lead the rare earth recovery research with the solvometallurgical and ionometallurgical processes.
KUL will also contribute to the final compounding selection.
KUL is the Dissemination Manager of the project, promoting that all partners are active on the project Dissemination.


Name of the organisation: FIDAMC Country: Spain Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: FIDAMC is going to lead the Work Package on Compression Moulding with CFRP-enhanced materials. As part of the AIRBUS Group, FIDAMC will also be able to provide the input material.
FIDAMC successfully developed a 3D Printer of own design to serve the Aerospace Industry and will be supporting Smart Lab 3D Industries in its 3D printer design.


Name of the organisation: COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER Country: Canada Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Composite Innovation Center is one of the world leading organization in the field of Composite materials, both from carbon fiber and vegetal-based fibers.
Composite Innovation center has successfully implemented, at lab-scale, recycling processes for CFRP and GFRP.

Existing EU Contribution: Yes

Period to implement the commitment: from 01-05-2014 to 01-04-2018