Regions: ENP Eastern Partnership countries
RERAM reaches out to Eastern Partnership countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy programme (ENP EaP). Building on experience from wood cluster regions in Germany (NRW), Austria (Styria) and Poland (Wielkopolska), the project targets complementary regions in the ENP countries Ukraine (Carpathia), Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Figure. European forest map, RERAM regions and partner locations (Click to enlarge)
The project builds on previous collaborations between NRW, Styria and Carpathia, which now reach out to further complementary partner regions.
- NRW, Styria and Wielkopolska represent hotspot concentrations of the European woodworking industries. As forerunner regions in forest-based sector development, cluster organization and resource efficiency management in wood industries, they intend to demonstrate and pass on their experience to the ENP partners.
- The Polish partner region, having passed through the transformation from a Post-Soviet country to an EU member state, contributes this special experience to the group and plays the role of an intermediate between Eastern and Western Europe.
- Carpathia and Moldova are Eastern neighbour countries directly bordering the EU. Carpathia holds the largest forest resources and wood industries of Ukraine. Raw material exports are high while internal value adding of forest products is low.
- In the Caucasus region, Georgia holds the largest forest resources. Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are facing similar problems in overexploitation of forest resources and fragmented wood industries.
- All Eastern partnership regions commonly face challenges of uncontrolled logging, high demand for woodfuel from forests by local population, old and unproductive machinery in wood processing, lacking awareness and knowledge capacity about the problem, a large shadow market linked to weak institutions and thriving corruption in the sector. Efforts to introduce and enforce sustainable resource management practices require further initiative and new approaches.
RERAM fosters mutually beneficial public-private-partnerships between EU member states and ENP countries through the market uptake of research results. It contributes to the achievement of a Common Knowledge and Innovation space between the EU and ENP Eastern Countries through enhancing cooperation between research and innovation actors on both sides. It thus increases the potential of STI cooperation between the EU and ENP countries under the Horizon 2020 and to contribute to the definition of bi-regional programmes on innovation.