RESEARCH AND POLICY SUPPORT BUSINESS PLAN

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1 RESEARCH AND POLICY SUPPORT BUSINESS PLAN Summary EUROPEAN FOREST INSTITUTE Yliopistokatu Joensuu Tel

2 Tactics consists on knowing what to do when and where there is something to do. Strategy consists on knowing what to do when there is nothing to do Anatoli Karpov Contents 1. Framework Value propositions EFI Business model in a nutshell Research: short-term goals Research units and structures Research Programmes Regional Offices Policy Support: short-term goals Policy Support Units and related initiatives Programme on Foresight and Policy Support Brussels Liaison Office FLEGT-REDD Unit ThinkForest Coordination of Research and Policy Support activities Framework In 2010, EFI expanded its mission by including the new strategic function Policy Support. By this step, EFI has become a unique organization in Europe with two strategic functions: Research (already existing) and Policy Support. The business plan is a direct response to the need: a) to operationalise the newly established Policy Support function b) to develop a coherent Research and Policy Support framework that takes advantage of the nature of EFI as a membership organization c) to ensure an interdisciplinary environment as well as the integration of the two strategic functions, and the efficient coordination of EFI Units, resources and capacities. The Business plan will allow the implementation of the goals set in the new EFI Strategy, ensuring that the two functions are mutually reinforcing and that EFI members are efficiently integrated in the different activities conducted by EFI Units. 2

3 2. Value propositions EFI through its network of Associate Members is in a unique position to provide collective science-based insights at European and regional level to support informed policy making. In this context, the EFI Research function, with the involvement of EFI Associate Members, aims to Conduct and promote interdisciplinary and cross-sector research to address policyrelevant issues at pan-european or regional level Analyze and upscale information on forest resources, products and services on a pan- European level Support the coordination, strengthening and networking of forest research capacities aiming to overcome the fragmentation of European forest research Advocate for forest research within the forest sector as well as within other scientific domains. Characteristic to EFI research is its large network of Associate Member organizations and Regional Offices, as well as the two European research Programmes on (i) Sustainability and Climate Change and (ii) Forest for Society. Specific EFI Research and Information products are European research projects, comparative studies, European databases and thematic maps, as well decision-support tools for European and regional level forest policy decision making. EFI research receives feedback and provides direct inputs to the Policy Support function, which aims to assist European political decision-makers, stakeholders, policy institutions and research organizations to: Identify emerging policy-relevant information needs to better promote policy relevant research Improve the understanding of policy makers on strategic and cross-sector forest policy issues based on existing collective scientific knowledge and expertise Enhance science-policy dialogue across all stages of the policy process for designing, formulating, monitoring and evaluating forest-related policies, programmes, instruments and strategies as well as governance development Facilitate policy implementation in collaboration with economic, social and environmental partners and constituents from public and corporate sectors as well as civil society Help EFI member organizations to transmit their research results to policy makers and relevant stakeholders at regional and European level. Characteristic to EFI Policy Support is its close dialogue with EFI Member Countries and European political institutions through targeted Facilities (e.g., EU FLEGT and EU REDD Facilities), a specific European Programme on Foresight and Policy Support as well as the ThinkForest forum (see details under Policy Support strategic function). Specific EFI Policy Support services/products are policy-oriented studies that bring the latest scientific knowledge and expertise to policy and decision makers. Such studies can use scientific reviews (such as What science can tell us series) as a basis, and result in policy briefs and targeted events for policy makers. 3

4 3. EFI Business model in a nutshell EFI s business model is increasingly complex to describe as it has traits from different business model patterns. 1. EFI resembles a multi-sided platform business model pattern, which is characterized by having two overall distinct but interdependent groups of customers (research organizations and policy institutions from EU and EFI Member Countries). The platform creates value by facilitating interactions between the different groups. EFI creates specific products to capture value and maximize knowledge uptake by both sides (policy briefs, events, etc). See Figure 1 for more details on the EFI two sided science-policy platform business model. The two sides of the EFI platform: Research and Policy Support are described in detail in the next pages. However, the EFI business model is characterized by the integration of the two functions. 2. EFI also generates its own research knowledge which is co-produced with Associate Members. EFI in that sense resembles an open business model as it creates and captures values by systematically collaborating with strategic partners (Associate Members and other key partners). This might happen from the outside-in by exploiting external ideas/knowledge within EFI or from inside-out by providing EFI member organizations with ideas or assets (software, data) developed within the organization. 3. EFI has in the last five years developed a new business unit (FLEGT-REDD Facilities) which represents more than half of its revenues, while maintaining and continuously transforming the former business model (from a research network organization to a two-sided science-policy platform). The FLEGT-REDD Unit is developing a different model as it delivers policy implementation services to the EU and national political institutions. This is the main reason a specific business plan for FLEGT-REDD is separately developed. 4

5 Key partners Key activities Value propositions Customer relationships Customer segments Associate Members and other knowledge providers (JRC, IIASA, etc). International policy support organizations (UNECE, FAO, CIFOR) Platforms/Networks promoting policy discussions and access to knowledge (ECBD) Research and networking Policy briefs, collective & comparative studies Facilitating science-policy interactions Policy implementation support Key Resources Research network Science-Policy platform Scientists Software/Databases Policy experts Networking and coordination services to structure/advocate forest research area European level research knowledge and information to address policy/scientific needs Facilitating knowledge uptake by policy makers and maximising impact of research Institutional assistance (projects) Dedicated Personal assistance (studies, facilities, etc) Co-creation (Associate Members) Channels Web-based applications Electronic news Annual meetings Directors/Heads visits to donors RESEARCH Associate Members Research funding agencies POLICY SUPPORT EFI Member Countries EU Commission EU Parliament (subsidise segment) Cost structure Research generation (Researchers) (Programmes) Research synthesis, reviews based on network knowledge (FPS) Platform management, servicing provisioning and platform promotion (Communication, FPS, Regional infrastructures) Policy support services (Facilities) Figure 1 EFI two-sided science-policy platform business model Revenue streams Research and information projects Fees for memberships (Associate Members) Platform services: Networking and Science-policy facilitation services (ThinkForest) Policy studies (tenders, country requests) Facilities (Policy implementation oriented like FLEGT-REDD) 5

6 4. Research: short-term goals 1. Consolidating/Increasing research activities at European and regional level. EFI enhances its interdisciplinary research activities, its participation and coordination of research projects and the number of research networking activities (events, scientific collective reviews, etc.) involving Associate Members. By 2016, (i) Research and Information funding increases by 20% by 2016 (as compared to 2013); (ii) EFI Research Programmes coordinate, continuously, at least one European research project; (iii) All existing ROs organize regular research networking activities involving around 50% of Associate Members in their region. 2. Improving the internal cohesion of research and information activities. By the end of 2016, the EFI Programmes, with the support of the Research and Policy Support Coordination (=REPSCO) Unit, have demonstrated their potential in cross-unit coordination bringing together the expertise of most Regional Offices through projects, events and publications. At the same time, Regional Offices have been able to develop a clear research profile within the topics covered by EFI Programmes. 3. Enhancing information products/services. The Observatory on European Forests has in place by 2016 a clear portfolio of information products and services of relevance at the European level. Programmes and Regional Offices in cooperation with OEF improve the quality and quantity of information products and services. EFI tools and models (existing like TOSIA, EFISCEN and EFI-GTM and new ones) are increasingly used by the different Units in their projects and analyses. 4. Increasing capacity building activities involving Associate Members. EFI consolidates a set of visible capacity building activities (summer/winter schools, young scientists mobility measures) to support the emergence of a new generation of forest scientists among EFI Associate Members. 5. Structuring the European forest research area. EFI plays a leading and proactive role in advocating and developing European strategic scientific instruments, like ERA-Nets and JPIs, as well as in designing and implementing strategic forest research agendas (e.g., the FTP SRA) bringing onboard EFI Associate Members perspectives and opening new avenues for funding for them. 6. Building scientific cooperation between the EU and Russia. EFI initiates a set of activities to emerge as natural bridge between EU and Russia with regard to forest research; promoting a Project Centre on a relevant topic, organizing regular scientific events (1-2 per year) as well as supporting a new generation of Russian scientists to be better connected to European institutions (via Summer Schools, Project Centre and specific projects and mobility measures). 6

7 5. Research units and structures 5.1 Research Programmes With many (often small) EFI units spread out over Europe, largely based on external funding and fulfilling specific donor wishes, there is a high risk of fragmentation of EFI research activities; both in capacity as well as in topics. In order to minimize that risk, and to unlock the full potential of different EFI Research units, EFI programmes should ensure the coordination and integration of research activities across different locations under their thematic areas. EFI has two Research Thematic Programmes: Programme I: Sustainability and Climate change Programme II: Forest for Society and one Policy Support Programme, which is described under the Policy Support function: Programme III: Foresight and Policy Support Sustainability and Climate Change Forest for Society Foresight & Policy Support Figure 2 EFI European Programmes The two Research Programmes (described below) and the Policy Support Programme are mutually complementary in order to promote an interdisciplinary environment at EFI; Programme I puts emphasis in the biophysical understanding and the sustainability of forest resources and ecosystem services in a context of climate and land-use change, while Programme II focuses its activities on the socio-economic understanding of forest values, products, services and markets, and their policy and governance implications. Programme III (see Policy Support function) conducts foresight research and activities as well as collects, structures and synthesises knowledge and information from the Research Programmes, Regional Offices and member organizations in order to support policy making with robust scientific information and to provide a wider view on the emerging challenges and opportunities of the forest-based sectors. The two Research Programmes and the foresight research part of Programme III provide the research framework for EFI research activities. Regional Offices, besides their regional mandate to improve research networking and information relevant at regional level, should develop as much as possible a research profile in coherence with the Research Programmes as well as complementary to other Offices (see below). The Heads of Programmes make sure that new funding opportunities or donors needs are sought in a coordinated way at the European level. 7

8 5.2 Regional Offices Figure 3. EFI Regional Offices Figure 3 EFI Regional Offices EFI established the concept of Regional Offices in 2007 as a way to reduce the fragmentation of forest research by better involving its Associate Members in research networking activities through regional, coordinated cooperation, and to strengthen EFI s regional presence. EFI Regional Offices are important to ensure a good understanding of regional issues/differences and build up the pan-european dimension of EFI research and policy support activities. They are an effective infrastructure to collect, structure and synthesize regionally relevant information and knowledge from EFI member organizations. Regional Offices develop research networking activities to address regional scientific challenges and information needs. In addition, in their second phase they will develop/consolidate a more focused research profile coherent with the EFI Programmes and complementary to other Regional Offices. This will allow a more efficient development of interdisciplinary cross-unit research teams. 6. Policy Support: short-term goals 1. Increasing Policy Support infrastructures and financial basis. In order to serve its members, the EFI Policy Support funding increases by 30% from 2013 to 2016 (this figures does not include the FLEGT and REDD Unit funding). This includes consolidating the Foresight and Policy Support Programme and establishing a Forest Risk Facility. 2. Increasing the quantity and relevance of EFI policy support products and activities. EFI has been able to increase the number of policy studies, events, scientific reviews and policy 8

9 briefs to improve the understanding of policy makers regarding strategic forest issues, including policies, as well as anticipate emerging challenges relevant for policy makers. 3. Consolidating ThinkForest as a recognized free discussion and knowledge sharing forum. ThinkForest has been able to become a reference forum for policy makers, including members of parliament, commission services, and EFI member organizations. 4. Participating in the negotiations of the Legally binding agreement on European forest. EFI provides secretariat services to the INC process and it is part of the future LBA joint secretariat. 5. Consolidating EFI FLEGT & REDD Unit. FLEGT-REDD Unit has been consolidated in Barcelona with the stabilization of around staff members. The Unit has also institutionalized its strong donor relationship and has demand-based annual funding predictions of around 8 million Euros. 6. Increasing the visibility and impact of EFI s member organizations research work in policy support. EFI has helped to coordinate and transmit its member organizations policyrelevant research to Policy Briefs and What Science Can Tell Us publications, and to ThinkForest events and other policy forums. 7. Policy Support Units and related initiatives 7.1 Programme on Foresight and Policy Support The Foresight and Policy Support (FPS) programme consists of two types of activity areas: foresight analysis and policy support, which are also intertwined. The FPS Programme plays a strategic role in the new business model of EFI. Foresight Foresight has become widely used also in the forest sector in recent years, particularly in the face of the rapidly changing world and uncertainties: such as those related to climate change, energy questions, and globalisation. Moreover, policy and strategy processes like the European forest strategy, national forest policies, environment and bioenergy policies, or visions for the European Forest-based Sector (FTP) are essentially based on views and goals of future developments. Systematic foresight analysis and information can be a central supporting tool for these types of objectives. In the European forest sector context, EFI foresight advances research, and applications to areas such as: European forest products markets; outlook for new forest-related products and services; and implications of forest-related polices for the European forest sector. Policy Support The Policy Support Programme activities are rooted in the research expertise within EFI and member organizations research competences. The Programme aims to be a main vehicle to implement the EFI Policy Support function by providing evidence-based and policy-neutral information, analysis, and synthesis for policy making in the European forest sector issues, by: 9

10 communicating science and evidence-based information in an easily understandable and policy-relevant form responding in a timely manner to policy makers information needs with scientific information identifying, understanding, synthesising and communicating new emerging policy-relevant issues to the scientific community and policy makers helping to formulate, monitor and evaluate sustainable policies and strategies for the European forest sector helping EFI and its member organizations to better communicate research results to policy making promoting, coordinating and editing the EFI Policy Brief and What Science Can Tell Us series. 7.2 Brussels Liaison Office In June 2011, the EFI Council decided to establish a Liaison Office in Brussels with the purpose of having a permanent and effective link between the European Forest Institute and the EU, the States and the international organizations represented in Belgium. the Council of the European Forest Institute formally decides to open a liaison office in Brussels. The liaison office aims to: Improve EFI s capability to identify emerging policy issues and support European policy making with regard to forests, their sustainable management and protection, and to their contribution to relevant policies and sectors (e.g. bioeconomy). Support better visibility and coherence of forest-related issues in the context of EU policies Increase the visibility of EFI and cooperation with European institutions and organizations located in Brussels in order to become the competent voice for forest-based issues at European level. 7.3 FLEGT-REDD Unit The establishment of the EU FLEGT Facility was an important milestone in EFI s history as it triggered deep changes within EFI regarding its focus and comparative advantages. The main impact was to recognize Policy Support as a strategic function. By hosting and managing the EU FLEGT and the EU REDD Facilities, EFI supports the European Union, Member States and partner countries by offering: Country support: The Unit provides technical assistance to Governments and other stakeholder groups in timber exporting countries, to support the negotiation and implementation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs). The team supports developing countries as they prepare for and implement REDD+ as well as assists them to meet their goals in building needed capacity for REDD+, with a focus on improving governance. Communication: The team aims to increase awareness on the objectives and scope of the FLEGT approach and to encourage lesson sharing across forest-relevant institutions in both FLEGT and REDD issues. 10

11 FLEGT/REDD: The team aims to assess linkages and strengthen synergies between the EU FLEGT programme and REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), the key international programme under development to combat climate change in the forestry sector. Due to the financial dimension of the FLEGT-REDD Unit a specific business plan has been developed and the present one does not include the Unit in its scope. 7.4 ThinkForest EFI hosts the secretariat of the ThinkForest Forum, which is a highly strategic initiative within the Policy Support function of EFI. ThinkForest provides an interface to flexibly and efficiently engage with EFI Member Countries through an inspiring and dynamic science-policy dialogue on strategic forest-related issues. ThinkForest serves the Policy Support Function of EFI by: Establishing mechanisms for regular and interactive communication and informationsharing between the scientific community and relevant members of the European Parliament, lead experts of the European Commission of the EU Member States and other European States, and key stakeholder group leaders. Identifying information needs related to forest policy questions and building a common understanding of the problems at hand. Helping policy makers navigate through the wealth of information on offer and providing them with the best available expertise and the latest research-based information from EFI s networks, to enable informed decision making. Supporting discussions on existing policy processes as well as on new policy instruments for application in Europe. In addition ThinkForest offers a strategic platform to EFI Research units and EFI member organizations to disseminate their scientific results with a high policy-level impact. EFI Regional Offices and EFI Programmes should be involved in developing the scientific programme of the different ThinkForest events. 8. Coordination of Research and Policy Support activities The Deputy Director, with the support of the Research and Policy Support Coordination (REPSCO) Unit is responsible for the overall coordination and integration of EFI s strategic activities: Research and Policy Support. This includes supporting the Heads of Programmes and Regional Offices in: Facilitating cross-unit cooperation through joint activities (projects, events, summer schools, etc.) and mobilizing, to the extent possible, the EFI Network. Identifying funding opportunities for Research and Policy Support Managing and developing EFI R&I and Policy Support project administration throughout the project life cycle. 11

12 Participation in EU projects aiming at structuring the European research area (ERA-Nets, JPI; etc.) as well as in coordinating EFI contribution to FTP activities (in cooperation with Brussels Liaison Officer). Promoting scientific cooperation with Russia by organizing projects, visits, meetings, workshops and identifying targeted funding opportunities. Organising: Monthly physical meetings between Deputy Director, Manager of REPSCO team and Heads of Programmes. Two-three physical meetings for Research and Policy Support Coordination involving Deputy Director, manager of REPSCO team, Liaison Officer in Brussels, as well as all Heads of programmes and ROs (strategic discussions). Monthly virtual meetings for Research and Policy Support Coordination (exchange of information and follow up of measures). The present business plan gives the short-term framework for implementing the EFI Strategy in an efficient and effective manner. EFI Units prepare annual work plans to address the Business plan goals through different activities that can be measured by performance indicators (in the annual reports). 12

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