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Hardwoods are good - supporting entrepreneurs of the forestry hardwood chain in the South Baltic Region (Hardwoods are good)
Start date: Feb 7, 2010, End date: Feb 6, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The overall idea of the project is to enhance cross-border relations between Forestry Hardwood Chain (FHC) entrepreneurs in the South Baltic area by establishing a network focused on raising competence in FHC between SMEs, entrepreneurial support organisations and forest agencies in the South Baltic area.The project envisages activities in three thematic areas:1. Developing the basis for South Baltic region exchange in order to assist entrepreneurs of the forestry-wood chain: The activities concentrate on the assessment of existing market, working conditions and training needs. 2. Innovation and training for entrepreneurs of the hardwood chain: Activities include to prepare and test a standardised certification model of competence assessment for the SMEs in FHC in South Baltic area, to exchange best practices and to develop models for supporting structures for innovations in FHC, as well as to establish a pilot tool for digital standardisation of assessing the quality of wood products based upon visual assessment.3. Creating cross-border networks to benefit entrepreneurs of the forestry-wood chain: The project activities focus on activating the entrepreneurs and forest agencies to create a network that supports FHC entrepreneurs and that deals with topics such as promotion of small sortiments, entrepreneurial involvement in non-wood forest benefits, promotion of forest entrepreneurs in Rural Development Plans, female entrepreneurs of the forestry-wood chain.The main project result will be a network supporting entrepreneurs in the FHC. Project partners have agreed to maintain it for at least five years through physical and virtual meeting. Achievements: The project arranged one kick-off/working meeting in Gdansk with forest entrepreneurs/SMEs present. At the kick-off study visits were made at local Polish hardwood entrepreneurs. At the working meeting in Sweden in December partners and associated organisation met to discuss and to present work done so far and to set up activities.The project has successfully worked with dissemination activities. Not less than 48 articles, five radio recordings and two television recordings have been published. Information about ”Hardwoods are good” is available as a project leaflet presented on the project´s webpage: The web page was updated frequently and contains relevant information. The European Network of Forest Entrepreneurs (ENFE) has included information about “Hardwoods are good” in their information letter to SMEs. Until now contact has been made with more than six hundred SMEs in the form of an external newsletter. SMEs and project partners visited the second workshop in Lithuania in October 2011. A SWOT-analyze of the hardwood business in the region was developed by ENFE. Project members contributed with data to catch actual country specific as international conditions. High Competence Network, HCN, delivered a report about how hardwood is used for bioenergy. Web links to forest statistics was gathered at the project web page.HCN together with The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, and Nässjö Wood Foundation developed an international wood classification system to compare hardwood timber. The system, built upon visual pictures of logs and a multilingual grading language lexicon, was further developed and tested through a web based conversion function and assessment of photos showing different hardwood log qualities. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, developed a tool for confirmation of qualification in hardwood logging. The tool is built upon a checklist on company and individual workers level.ENFE compiled a report about support systems for developing SMEs in the hardwood value chains in the South Baltic Region.Six network focus themes were established and published on the website. Approx. 180 hardwood companies in the Swedish programme area have been mapped.The forest Owner Association of Lithuania has reported two questionnaires. One about competence demands of forest owners and the second about factors which would promote forest entrepreneurs involvement in Rural Development Programme in the South Baltic Region. Hardwood is good is now a part of the flagship project 9.7 “Sustainable forest management in the Baltic Sea Region EFINORD”.The project has written a report about SMEs working conditions.In September 2012 HCN arranged the final workshop at the MeLa fair, Rostock, Germany. Lectures were combined with study tours to different companies in the hardwood chain. At the workshop there was an exhibition of non wooden products made of hardwood and a competition of the best PR-product made of hardwood.In January 2013 the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Gdansk arranged the closing workshop. Higher bosses, including the director general of the Swedish Forest Agency, and other important organisations were invited. The aim was to present the results of the Hardwoods are good project. At the meeting Anders Ölund, Sweden was awarded with the first price of the South Baltic Hardwood Award.At the conference in Gdansk the network agreement was signed by organisations participating in the conference, in total 42 network members from five countries. Among these 32 are considered as entrepreneurs. Other members are represantatives from authority, research and support organations.
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  • 79.8%   1 016 074,67
  • 2007 - 2013 South Baltic (PL-SE-DK-LT-DE)
  • Project on KEEP Platform
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