Bioregions trainee

Bioregions trainee

The Bioregions Facility aims to be a knowledge center of innovation for the regional forest bioeconomy. FIRE-RES project is developing open innovation approaches to speed up innovation uptake to mitigate wildfire risk. The trainee will support activities related to exploitation of innovation in the forest bioeconomy from the Bioregions Facility and in wildfires from the FIRE-RES project, as well as awareness raising activities.

Your tasks will include:

  • Support the organisation of online matchmaking events such as “Forestry Speed Datings”, as well as in-person innovation / pitching days.
  • Support the implementation of activities aimed at speeding up innovation, facilitating the replication, access to market and upscaling of novel solutions in forestry and forest value chains.
  • Support the development of communications activities and content on innovation topics.
  • Other activities as agreed during the traineeship period.

Traineeship conditions:

  • Duty station at EFI HQ in Joensuu, Finland
  • Paid monthly traineeship allowance
  • Duration of traineeship is for a period of 6 months
  • Starting date: April-May 2024

For more information about the post, please contact Siebe Briers, Expert: siebe.briers@efi.int.

Closing date for applications is: 15th March 2024.

Job requirements

  • Academic background in forestry, natural resources, wood industry or similar
  • Interest in innovation
  • Hands-on, proactive, independent
  • Ability to work with Microsoft Office
  • Experience in organising events is an asset

Image by Mongta Studio – stock.adobe.com

  • Deadline: 15 March 2024
  • Type: Traineeship
  • Locatiton: Joensuu, Finland

BOOST4BIOEAST: New HORIZON EUROPE project to boost bioeconomy in Central Eastern European and Baltic countries 

On the 31 of January 2024, the BOOST4BIOEAST project, Boosting the bioeconomy transformation for the BioEast regions, officially kicked off its activities in an online meeting, which will be supporting the BIOEAST Initiative in the next three years. 

The BOOST4BIOEAST project – coordinated by the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi)- aims to empower national stakeholders in the Central Eastern European and Baltic countries for the development of national bioeconomy action plans and to build long-lasting structures and spaces of dialogue for national and macro-regional cooperation.

The 30 partners of the project cover all BIOEAST countries, and countries from Western Europe (Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Spain) have been included to stimulate dialogue and knowledge exchange throughout different regions. The project follows the footsteps of its predecessor, the BIOEASTsUP H2020 project, building upon its outcomes that laid the foundation for macro-regional networking among bioeconomy experts and policymakers through the development of its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) and 11 Bioeconomy Concept Papers. 

BOOST4BIOEAST Hubs and their role in boosting bioeconomy 

 At the core of the project, there is the need to establish or improve national bioeconomy expert communities(BIOEAST HUBs) as focal points of capacity building and catalysts for stakeholder engagement at the national level for decision-making through participatory processes.

The BIOEAST HUBs will be linked to public administrations, ensuring a direct and efficient link to policymaking that highlights the relevance of the solutions identified by the HUBs’ actions. In the next three years, the HUBs will be engaged in the development of national bioeconomy action plans validated by public administrations and in fostering national bioeconomy innovation ecosystems through cross-sectoral collaboration, capacity building and facilitating access to knowledge and networks to all bioeconomy stakeholders.

Furthermore, at the macro-regional level, they will contribute to the specific strategic areas of the BIOEAST Thematic Working Groups in updating the BIOEAST SRIA of 2022 (developed in the BIOEASTsUP project). 

Enriching knowledge of bioeconomy with a multidimensional assessment and the knowledge platform

BOOST4BIOEAST will undertake a wide mapping of biomass availability, usage, bioeconomy competencies, educational needs, and innovation systems with the goal of promoting knowledge on bioeconomy in the macro-region. Moreover, a BIOEAST Knowledge Platform will be set up to act as a central point to find knowledge materials and relevant information on the bioeconomy.

The Platform will be open and tailor-made to the needs of BIOEAST countries, allowing a wide range of its bioeconomy actors to access, share and store materials in national languages, therefore stimulating active contributions and knowledge sharing in and across each member state. 

Stimulating bioeconomy research and innovation

Given the great importance that innovation and education have in promoting and reinforcing bioeconomy activities, the project also sets the ambitious objective to bring together public and private funders with entrepreneurs and young professionals to provide exposure to business opportunities through a macro-regional Open Innovation Challenge (OIC) and pitching events.

The project will also expand the activities of the Network of Bioeconomy Universities in the BIOEAST (BIOEAST UniNet) to support stronger collaboration between universities and educational institutions of the macro-region in order to integrate bioeconomy into their educational profile.

Moreover, the project will continue to rely on the already existing macro-regional expert-policy networks, the seven Thematic Working Groups (Agroecology & Sustainable Yields, Bioenergy & New Value-Added Materials, Food Systems, Forestry Value Chain, Freshwater-based Economy, Advanced Biobased Materials and Bioeconomy Education), set up by the BIOEASTsUP project to work on priority research topics on the macro-regional level to facilitate more inclusive decision-making and to develop sustainability strategies for TWGs and national HUBs to secure their long-term functioning. 

The Annual Bioeast Bioeconomy Conference

To kick-start the community-building and establishment of the national expert networks, the BOOST4BIOEAST project and the BIOEAST Initiative will organize the Annual BIOEAST Bioeconomy Conference on 6-7 March 2024 in Budapest, Hungary. The theme of the event will be “The Role of National HUBs in National and Macro-regional Bioeconomy Policies and R&I Priorities in the BIOEAST countries”.

The conference aims to bring together a wide range of stakeholders from the BIOEAST countries, coming from all bioeconomy-related fields and with varied professional and academic backgrounds. The Conference will promote information about the latest updates from the BIOEAST Initiative in the context of ongoing European and upcoming EU presidency priorities to provide practical knowledge in order to kick-start and facilitate collaboration and present opportunities in joint programming initiatives. 

More information and the registration for the conference are available here.

Contact information

For further information, please contact Project Coordinator Korinna Varga at korinna.varga@biokutatas.hu

I.D.E.E. Information Day: demonstrations and innovations on generating heat from wood

On 27 and 28 January 2024, the 31st Annual Information Day of the Information and Demonstration Centre on Renewable Energy Network (I.D.E.E.) took place at the Centre Wood in Olsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, where participants learned about efficient heating solutions from wood in the form of pellets, logs or wood chips.

In addition, experts in the field delivered lectures on the topic; presentations showcasing different heating systems and solutions by manufacturers were followed by practical demonstrations, such as those by Wald und Holz NRW, illustrating the preparation of firewood from logs.

Photo by Zigmunds – stock.adobe.com

Innovation for place-based transformations

Climate change, such as more intense and frequent wildfires, floods, and droughts underscores the urgency of addressing these challenges. In addition, biodiversity loss, deforestation, gender and income inequality are increasing the complex situation. These complex issues need to be addressed now. But how to address them?

The answer lies in adopting new tools, mindsets and approaches are required. This report focuses on different strategies and different organisations, sectors, and actors, transcending boundaries. 

The “Innovation for place-based transformations” publication contains three core sections: “Actionbook to build partnership for fair green and digital transitions”, “Collection of practices” and “Tools for action”.

Content: Innovation for place-based transformations

Author(s): Bianchi Guia; Matti Cristian; Pontikakis Dimitrios; Reimeris Ramojus; Haegeman Karel Herman; Miedzinski Michal; Sillero Illanes Carmen; Mifsud Solange; Sasso Simone; Bol Erica; Marques Santos Anabela; Andreoni Antonio; Janssen Matthijs; Saublens Christian; Stefanov Ruslan; Tolias Yannis

Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union

Year: 2024

Catalan Government creates climate credit system for CO2 absorption

The government of Catalonia will approve the creation of a system to certify, trace and market locally issued climate credits that will allow the offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions within the region for the benefit of rural areas. 

The first credits to be issued and marketed will be related to forests and forestry. They will be based on a holistic conception of forest management, considering multiple ecosystem services and facilitating investments in forest nature-based solutions to compensate for the carbon and water footprints of companies, local entities, and other organisations.  

The Catalan Government published a press release on 1 December 2023 explaining their plans to develop carbon credits for agricultural land and costal and marine habitats. In the future, climate credits generated in agriculture, soil management, and the restoration of coastal and marine habitats will be included in the system.

Read the full article in Catalan here

Featured image Minister Mascort, attending to the media at COP28 / Govern.cat

Jury’s selection announced: 50 innovative wildfire solutions enter the next phase of the FIRE-RES Open Innovation Challenge 

Today, 24 January 2024, the FIRE-RES consortium announces its Open Innovation Challenge (OIC) list of selected innovations. These innovations will receive tailored in-kind acceleration support and mentorship to develop into fully implemented products and processes that help address the risks posed by wildfires in Europe and beyond.

50 solutions – from early idea innovations to in-market solutions, from data-driven technology and advanced firefighting equipment to educational methodologies and community engagement processes, from different parts of Europe, South America, and the U.S., and covering risks before, during and after wildfire events – have been selected to participate in the FIRE-RES Innovation Acceleration Programme. In addition to access to training materials and events as well as contacts brokerage opportunities, the selected solutions will be invited to enter a competitive application process for financial support for demonstration or piloting activities and the opportunity to test their solution in the realistic environments of one of the project’s Living Labs.  

The jury consisted of representatives from the consortium (ForestWISE, INESC TEC, CTFC, and EFI). Practitioners from a number of FIRE-RES Living Labs acted as advisors to the jury.

A wide variety of solutions go forward to receive acceleration support 

As expected, a large proportion of the solutions centre around technology for the purpose of gathering data, processing it into information, facilitating access to knowledge and enabling learning over time.  

Another common type of solution involves focusing on firefighting equipment with a view to improving materials, effectiveness and safety, leveraging new engineering possibilities, and increasing compatibility and connectivity across geographical contexts.

Innovative formats and ideas for training frontline operators form another group among the selected innovations.

Finally, a good number of the selected innovations target communities in fire-prone locations and beyond. These aim for improved preparation, response and recovery in the future. It is, therefore, not surprising that some of them focus on engaging young people in particular.  

Stay in touch with FIRE-RES 

For regular updates as the Open Innovation Challenge progresses, sign up for the FIRE-RES Newsletter here

If you have questions about the FIRE-RES Innovation Acceleration Programme, please contact oic@fire-res.eu

Follow us on social media: X, LinkedIn and Facebook

The project leading to this application has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037419.

FIRE-RES Open Innovation Challenge supporters

Francisco M. Martínez Sanz

Co-founder and technical director

Forest Engineer with more than 24 years of experience Francisco Martínez Sanz worked on a very diverse number of forestry and environmental projects, mainly oriented to forest landscape restoration and biomass until he founded in 2013 GRUPO SYLVESTRIS with Eng. Enrique Enciso. SYLVESTRIS was launched with a highlighted social vision and soonly became the leader in the development and execution of CO2 absorption projects registered on the Spanish Office of Climate Change (OECC) Registry.
Eng. Francisco Martínez has personally managed on the field the works of more than 1,000 ha, and planned the reforestation about 7,000 ha in more than 30 different locations in Spain but in Portugal, France, Italy, Honduras and Lebanon too. Currently he is working on SYLVESTRIS growth by implementing new technologies and social innovations to face the increasing of the offsetting demand from companies that are planning to be carbon neutral.
His career as a social entrepreneur has been awarded by some of the most prestigious programs supporting social impact in Spain, what promoted REPSOL (Spanish Oil&Gas company) Foundation and HISPASAT (Spanish satellites company) entered into SYLVESTRIS shareholding.

Related session

Forestry Speed Dating 3rd Series

10:45–11:05 | Grupo Sylvestris presentation and Q&A

Francisco Purroy Balda

Director of Land Life in Spain and Portugal.

Director of Land Life in Spain and Portugal and ambassador for trees.org. Francisco is dedicated to combatting the climate emergency. Coming from a family of biologists, a passion for ecology and nature conservation is intrinsic in his DNA.
His mission is to restore degraded land by planting native mixed forests, creating a green belt that protects the Iberian Peninsula and restores biodiversity with their projects.

Related session

Forestry Speed Dating 3rd Series

10:25–10:45 | Land Life presentation and Q&A

Rolf Schmitz

Co-founder and Chief BizDev Officer, CollectiveCrunch

Rolf has an engineering degree and an MBA; he has done business development in high-tech throughout his career. At CollectiveCrunch, he has won and onboarded customers from Spain, Chile, Columbia and the USA. As a sideline, Rolf also runs the marketing at CollectiveCrunch.

Related session

Forestry Speed Dating 3rd Series

10:05–10:25 | CollectiveCrunch presentation and Q&A

Draft Program helps you to launch your business

Draft Program helps you to launch your business

From the Draft Program® you’ll get funding and entrepreneurship coaching to help you to launch your business and become a successful service- and product developer. In the first phase, the funding is EUR 1,000 and in the second phase EUR 3,000.

All residents of Kuopio and students, staff and alumni of Karelia, Riveria, Savo Vocational College, Savonia and UEF can apply for the program.

Image by alotofpeople – stock.adobe.com

  • Deadline: 15 January 2024
  • Type: Funding
  • Locatiton: Joensuu, North Savo

Doctoral Researcher in Sustainability of Wooden Construction

Doctoral Researcher in Sustainability of Wooden Construction

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Helsinki invites applications for the position of a Doctoral researcher in Sustainability of Wooden Construction (puurakentamisen kokonaiskestävyys). The Doctoral researcher will work at the Department of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at University of Helsinki and the doctoral studies will be carried out within the doctoral program AGFOREE (Doctoral Programme for the sustainable use of renewable natural resources).

The Doctoral researcher will be appointed for a fixed-term 3-year contract (start date: March 4, 2024 or as agreed) to work in a project entitled “Hyytiälä Living Lab – Sustainable wood construction and human health’. The project will be supervised by Professor, Dean Ritva Toivonen and Postdoctoral researcher Jaakko Jussila (Department of Forest sciences, University of Helsinki), and Research professor Katja Lähtinen (Natural Resources Institute Finland, LUKE)

 
The “Hyytiälä Living Lab – sustainable wood construction and human wellbeing” -project aims at designing, building and pilot testing a physical, experimental, and multidisciplinary research environment to University of Helsinki Forest Research Station in Hyytiälä (Juupajoki, Pirkanmaa). The research project will utilize modern massive timber buildings (conference/learning and catering building and accommodation buildings constructed during 2021-2023). The project consists of several interrelated infrastructure and research projects. 

The work of the Doctoral researcher entails delivering new research knowledge on assessing overall multi-dimensional sustainability of wood construction and covering the building life-cycle (from raw material production to construction, use of building, and material recycling after the use-time of the building). Various sustainability dimensions (economic, ecological, social/cultural) and their potential interrelatedness are considered, as well as dimension-related indicators/criteria. The appointee’s research aims to understand how particularly human health and wellbeing are related to the dimensions, or how climate and biodiversity impacts, technological advancements, or financial viability of wood construction may be related to sustainability. It is also of interest to better understand potential inter-relatedness, or trade-offs, between sustainability impacts by life-cycle phases, or to whom do they accrue.

One goal for the research is to develop a framework/model that provides one basis for systematic (multi-dimensional) overall sustainability assessment of wood construction over the building life-cycle. The framework would also support assessing the impacts of improved sustainability from the point of view of various actors (incl. businesses, society and citizens). The research will utilize the new Hyytiälä Living Lab environment and the related data as the research material when relevant.

Doctoral researcher: We are looking for a highly motivated, skilled researcher with a Master’s degree, who is experienced in forest economics/environmental economics, wood construction/building technologies, or related field(s). Experience in quantitative methodologies (e.g., life-cycle analysis, statistical modeling), and knowledge on building/housing are considered assets.

A successful candidate should be able to:

  • Independently design, conduct, and report research within the scope of the project.
  • Contribute to undergraduate student supervision and teaching within the department.
  • Engage with the scientific community, and the wider public, internationally and domestically through scientific publications, conference presentations, blogs etc.

The candidate is expected to have:

Education, experience and technical skills

  • A relevant Master’s degree as described above.
  • Fluency in English, including excellent writing skills. Skills in the official languages of Finland (Finnish, Swedish) are an asset.
  • Experience in working within wood-forestry sector and construction/housing industry are considered an advantage.
  • Interest and experience in collaborating with forest/construction industry.

Personal attributes and competencies

  • Strong motivation in participating and implementing scientific research.
  • Excellent analytical research skills, active and goal-oriented approach.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Experience and willingness to work within multicultural and multidisciplinary teams.
  • High motivation and skills in working and communicating in academic-practice interface.

The appointee should either already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki by the start of the appointment or apply for the right and obtain it within the probationary period of six months of their appointment. If the candidate does not already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, it is to be applied for separately, please see: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/research/doctoral-education/the-application-process-in-a-nutshell

The starting salary of the Doctoral researcher will be based on level 2 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance. The starting salary of the Doctoral researcher will be ca. 2400-2600 euros/month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care, health insurance, unemployment and pension fund, a holiday package, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. A six-month trial period will be applied, and the workplace of the position is Helsinki. 

Image by rzoze19 – stock.adobe.com

  • Deadline: 31 January 2024
  • Type: PhD position
  • Location: University of Helsinki, Finland

1 PhD Studentship

The call will open on 31 January 2024. The link to apply will be posted in due course. Please read below for preliminary information on the call.

Deadline: 2 March 2024

Start date: 1 November 2024

The University of Turin is seeking to appoint one fully funded PhD Student for the Politics of Wildfire (FIREPOL) project. The student will be enrolled in the PhD Programme in Urban and Regional Development (URD) at the Polytechnic University of Turin.

FIREPOL is a five-year, €1.5 million project funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant, based within the Inter-university Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning (DIST) at the University and Polytechnic of Turin.

The FIREPOL project will deliver a cross-continental study of the political drivers of wildfires in the Global South. Through a multi-methods approach and a comparative perspective, FIREPOL combines and analyses newly compiled fire policy and remote sensing data with qualitative case studies and ethnographic research. The aim will be to understand and explain how a range of political factors (policies, power dynamics, social contention etc.) shape the geographical distribution and impact of wildfires, and public narratives about them.

FIREPOL will rely on a multidisciplinary team composed of researchers and admin staff with different expertise. We are currently looking for one PhD student to joint the team.

Featured image by zm_photo – stock.adobe.com