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Innovation activities of Austrian and Slovenian companies in the wood-value chain

While the Austrian wood sector survived the impact of the economic crisis without major damage, revenues of Slovenian companies in the wood-value chain have been decreasing since 2008 when many large companies were closed. In this bilateral project, we will compare innovation activities of Slovenian and Austrian companies in the sector based on available secondary data. Specifically, we will compare the introduction of product, process, organizational, and marketing innovations; innovation activities and expenditures; public financial support for innovation activities; sources of information and cooperation for product and process innovations; and factors hindering innovation activities. A comparative analysis will enable us to better explain the reasons for lagging of Slovenian companies. Another success factor in the sector is the ownership and management structure of companies. This research question will be addressed by both quantitative and qualitative methods. We will carry out in-depth interviews with selected companies in Austria and Slovenia that will focus on comparison of ownership and management structures. The analysis of selected case studies will help us understand the relationship between these structures and success of the company. One of the research cases will be a study of beekeepers from the innovation adoption and diffusion perspective that will focus on development of future scenarios in the context of economic, environmental, and social challenges. This will include the study of innovation driven by climate change. In addition to cost-benefit analysis, sustainability impact assessment and other quantitative simulation models will be developed. One of the methods used will be life cycle assessment analysis.

 InnoRenew CoE main activities in the project

InnoRenew CoE will prepare a data management plan and offer methodological and statistical support for data collection and analysis for the whole project. Research activities will include: a review of the literature on innovation in the forest sector; a qualitative study of Austrian and Slovenian companies in the forest sector; and a life cycle assessment study.