Danube Region Wood Industry Transformation Model towards Industry 4.0 

By providing nearly 3.5 million jobs across over 400 thousand companies, helping to maintain employment and wealth generation in rural areas and contributing to the low-carbon bio-economy, the EU forest-based industry represents about 7% of EU manufacturing GDP. Forest-based industry of Europe is unequally developed, which is especially evident in less developed regions and non-EU countries. While EU forest-based industry rushes forward with great strides (especially Western Europe), non-EU countries and less developed regions in EU countries are struggling to keep the pace with fast transformation based on digitalisation and new technologies, burdened with loss of customers, lack of high value-added green wood products, high costs etc. Although the forest-based industry of whole Europe has a sustainable development perspective, the common transnational challenges in its developing pathway indicate the presence of gaps which this project will tackle and these are mostly due to the lack of I4.0 implementation in wood industry of Europe, especially in less developed regions of the EU and non-EU countries. To minimise mentioned gaps, the overall DRWO4.0 objective was set: the DR wood industry improvement through the contribution to its transformation towards I4.0 transformation. This will be achieved by joint development of the applicable, modifiable and replicable forest- based Industry 4.0 transformation model (SO3, Output 3.1&3.2; Result 1), based on: a) Interdisciplinary baseline assessment for mapping the stakeholders, assessment of their capacities and provision of comparative analysis of DR countries’ wood industry readiness towards I4. 0 (SO1, Output 1.1), b) Pilot Environments (PEs) establishment (SO1) in order to engage heterogenous stakeholders to provide necessary input for the DR wood industry transformation based on transnational and cross-border cooperation and c) capacity building (SO2) in order to increase the PEs’ impact among DR stakeholders for potential uptake of DRWO4.0 outputs. The transformation model is a solution suitable for all Danube region (DR) stakeholders as a transformation algorithm towards I4.0 and for policy makers primarily, supporting them to take into account a new approach that needs to be considered in future strategies development and decision- making processes. In order to provide interdisciplinary, multisectoral and cross-sectoral connection, DRWO4.0 links interested stakeholders according to the quadruple helix approach which supports the linkage between science, policy, industry, and society necessary for knowledge transfer, innovative solutions driving and enhancement of regional and national competitiveness with a special focus on SMEs (that will be important uptakers of the solution), national, regional and sectoral policy authority institutions that will be in position to uptake data and recommendations contained in the Transformation Action plan (Output 1.1), as well as in guidelines for the application of the transformation model (Output 3.2). All mentioned activities and outputs contribute to the DRWO4.0 results as follows: a) one solution will be taken up by organisations (PPs, ASPs, other interested stakeholders), b) at least 40 organisations will increase their institutional capacity through cross-border cooperation and transnational approach (PPs+ASPs+other stakeholders from PEs), c) developed Action plan will be taken up by PPs organisations and included in their business strategy and potentially taken up by regional policy authorities of the DR countries. DRWO4.0 induces changes in the DR transnationally and will be of special importance for less developed countries and regions to overcome the mentioned challenges and their aftermaths. DRWO4.0’s transnational approach ensures the insight into different development levels of forest- based I4.0 in more and less developed countries, and into best practice examples of the DR I4.0. In this way, the model gives a new approach based on interdisciplinarity (connecting forest-based industry with IT, design, creative industry, mechatronics, etc.) and multisectoral approach (connecting education, science, research, industry and policy.

DRWO4.0 Kick Off

On 9th and 10th April 2024 project Danube Region Wood Industry Transformation Model towards Industry 4.0 - DRWO4.0 Kick Off conference was organised by Competence Centre Ltd for research and development in Ljubljana. The host of conference was Slovenian Wood Industry Cluster.

Main goal of DRWO4.0 project is Danube region wood-based industry improvement through its transformation towards Industry 4.0. 

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Project overview

Start date:

01 January 2024

Status: ongoing

End date:

31 December 2025



80.00 % funded by
Interreg Funds





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