Project partners from eight countries met in Barcelona, Spain, for the Kick-Off meeting and first general assembly of the new EC-funded INCREDIBLE project, Innovation Networks of Cork, Resin and Edibles in the Mediterranean basin.
The project will exchange knowledge on non-wood forest products and collaborate on developing innovative business models and inclusive economic strategies for rural regions.
Innovation Networks of Cork, Resin and Edibles in the Mediterranean basin (INCREDIBLE) is a 3-year Coordination and Support Action, coordinated by EFIMED, which will address the gap between existing research and innovation knowledge on service systems for Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFP) in the Mediterranean.
INCREDIBLE will develop Innovation Networks (iNets) in five significant areas for Mediterranean NWFPs: cork; nuts and berries; resins; mushrooms and truffles; and aromatic and medicinal plants. Each iNet will gather and share best practices related to NWFP production, transformation and trade channels, from both practical and science-based perspectives.
The Kick-Off meeting started with hopes and aspirations from all partners, followed by presentations from work package leaders on the objectives of the project and the tasks ahead. Dynamic group sessions were facilitated by Steven Libbrecht, ESSET, focussing on identification of target groups and the added value that could provided by each work package. There was also a first meeting on the Community of Practice, which will bring together facilitators from each of the five iNets to exchange experiences and knowledge, for maximum cross-sectoral, inter-regional learning.
The Kick-Off meeting was proceeded by the second in the series of EFI Bioeconomy Dialogues, hosted in partnership with the Sant Pau Sustainable Forest Hub, on Innovation and entrepreneurship in cork, resin, edibles and other forest products. The Dialogue proved an inspriational starting point for the project meeting, which concluded with partners feeling positively challenged and optimistic about the work ahead.