Part I of Tandem Forest Values was a success and the committee initiated a follow-up, this time with a focus towards research-based collaborative projects between Sweden and Finland. 40 million swedish kronor have been allocated for Part II where half of the funds come from Sweden and Finland respectively.
One or two researchers in both countries build a consortium which in turn seeks funding för a joint project
in the following research areas: forest resources, wood-based value chains and wood construction. The project has to build upon, or lead to an active cooperation between research groups at universities or research institutes in Sweden and Finland in any of the overarching areas.
The possibility of applying for funds was announced in June of 2019 and by September 45 applications had been .The appointed cooperation projects will be presented in the middle of December of 2019.
Bilateral forest research
With increased demand for forests also increases the complexity of the considerations on how best to use forest resources and what new forest industrial products and processes need to be developed.
This in itself increases the need for interdisciplinary knowledge and research. Research is already underway in the forestry sector in Sweden and Finland. Research that is funded by both government and private funds and conducted within universities and institutes.
But the global competition is fierce and alone Sweden and Finland are both two small countries. It is therefore together that Sweden and Finland, with united efforts, can position themselves and highlight the cutting-edge research that is necessary to meet the challenges of tomorrow. It is required in turn that the countries in cooperation use their research grants optimally.
In Sweden, the government will soon begin to work on a research policy 2021.
In Finland, the government has prioritized research and the importance of forests in its government program.
There should therefore exist a platform for bilateral cooperation between the countries on forest research.
Since 2017, a total of SEK 64 million has been allocated through Tandem Forest Values for joint forest research between Finland and Sweden. It gives a signal of both the interest and needs in both countries. According to the Cultural Fund for Sweden and Finland, it would therefore be natural to use the experience that has been built up with Tandem Forest Values for a more long-term bilateral forest research program. With a bilateral forest research program, Sweden and Finland internationally signal that the countries take responsibility for the forest and see it as a crucial role for the climate work and for achieving several of the UN's sustainability goals. It is obvious that the future of the forest is the future of our countries. Sweden and Finland should therefore join in forest research.