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Presentation of the Research and Innovation 2025 plan for the Forest-based Sector

Led by Messrs. d’Amécourt, Chairman of the Institute of Forest Development (IDF), Lemas, Director General of the Caisse des Dépôts Group, Houllier, President of Allenvi and INRA, and Sève, President of the French Technology Institute for the Forest-based and Furniture sectors (FCBA), the Research and Innovation 2025 Plan for the Forest-based Sector was presented on 9 May 2016 to the five government ministers responsible for Research, Forestry, Ecology, Territories and Rural Affairs and the Economy.  This report formulates 13 strategic proposals, together with recommendations on how they should be funded.

Press conference following the official presentation of the Research and Innovation 2025 Plan for the Forest-based Sector to the French Minister for Agriculture on 9 May 2016. © INRA, MAITRE  Christophe
Updated on 06/13/2016
Published on 05/09/2016

French forests are the third largest in Europe in terms of their area, representing a turnover worth €60 billion and 440,000 direct or indirect jobs.  Their diverse nature means they supply a large number of products and ecological services.  As a carbon sink, they thus contribute to reducing our CO2 emissions by 20%, but they are in the front line of dealing with the effects of climate change.  As the 14th most important strategic sector in France, they remain vulnerable, with a marked trade deficit of around €1 billion per year for timber alone, and nearly €5.5 billion per year if the imported materials used by the furniture, paper and board sectors are added.  The aim of the assignment given by the five Ministers was to propose the foundations for an action plan: "Research and Innovation 2025 Plan for the Forest-based Sector", which could renovate a sector considered as a "pillar of green growth in France", "central to major challenges facing society" and playing "an essential role in climatic, ecological and energy transitions".  By means of a global, interministerial and interprofessional strategy, the aim is to develop the forest-based sector around the common objective of participating in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the commitments made during the COP21 conference in Paris.

The mission, carried out by four personalities - Messrs d’Amécourt, Lemas, Houllier and Sève - combined the work of the national forest-based sector plan and the strategic committee for the timber sector, and involved individual or collective discussions with the different actors concerned.  It resulted in a series of 13 research-development-innovation projects, grouped under three complementary priorities: to improve performance in the sector by means of systemic approaches (5 projects, 10 actions), to develop new uses for wood in a future bioeconomic context (4 projects, 9 actions), and to adapt forests and prepare forest resources for the future (4 projects, 10 actions). It then analysed and mapped existing or potential sources of funding for research-development-innovation, ending with proposals for innovative funding instruments.

about

the 13 projects

Area 1: Improve performance in the sector by means of systemic approaches

  • Ensure greater mobilisation of the economic, human and social sciences in order to serve performance in the sector
  • Endow France with systems innovations for the forest-based sector
  • Characterise and improve performance in the forest-based sector
  • Encourage digital transition to improve mobilisation and logistics in the forest-based sector
  • Modernise and redesign training and education for the forest-based sector

Area 2: Develop new uses for wood in a future bioeconomic context

  • Modernise and adapt industrial facilities for first and second stage processing
  • Enhance the added value of this national resource
  • Develop new timber construction methods
  • Develop new markets, processes and products

Area 3: Adapt forests and prepare forest resources for the future

  • Improve the resilience to climate change of French forests and ensure their renovation
  • Improve production in a sustainable manner and stimulate precision forestry
  • Promote the intelligent monitoring and management of forests
  • Assure the monitoring of forest biodiversity and determine the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services.

An assignment entrusted by five Ministers to four personalities

The mission statement for the "Research and Innovation 2025 Plan for the Forest-based Sector: strategic projects and innovative funding instruments" was issued on 22 December 2015, and was signed by:

  • Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister for Education, Higher Education and Research and Thierry Mandon, Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research
  • Stéphane Le Foll, Minister for Agriculture, the Food Industry and Forestry
  • Ségolène Royal, Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy
  • Emmanuel Macron, Minister for the Economy, Industry and the Digital Economy
  • Sylvia Pinel, Minister for Housing, Territorial Equality and Rural Affairs.

It was sent to:

  • Antoine d’Amécourt, Chairman of the Institute of Forest Development (IDF). He also chairs the National Centre for Forest Owners (CNPF) and the National Federation of Private Forests.
  • François Houllier, President of the National Alliance for Environmental Research (food, water, climate, territories), AllEnvi.  He is also President of INRA.
  • Pierre-René Lemas, Director General of the Caisse des Dépôts. He also chairs the Board of BPI France.
  • Jean-Claude Sève, President of the French Technology Institute for the Forest-based and Furniture sectors (FCBA).