Luxembourg’s Wood Cluster members recently toured the brand new production facility at Bois Brever Sawmill as part of their “Meet a Member” programme designed to promote collaboration and propel new business possibilities.
“Meet a Member” is a core initiative for the Luxembourg Wood Cluster, managed by Philippe Genot, Luxinnovation. It brings together various players in the diverse Luxembourg wood cycle, in order to generate innovative collaborations and business opportunities. This was exactly why 40 cluster members and some interested parties from France and Belgium, along with Laurent Federspiel, Director Sector Development & Cluster Initiative and Georges Schaaf, Head of Sector Development, CleanTech travelled to Huldange in the north of Luxembourg for a tour of the new production site of finger-jointed solid structural timber at Bois Brever Sawmill in Huldange.
Corinne Brever, Administrative Director of Bois Brever, conducted the tour and offered the networking event afterwards. Corinne is smart, knowledgeable and confident as she carries on in the family tradition. From father to son, from father to daughter, since its inception the company, which specialises in timber production, has been constantly adapting and today their production capacity is of the order of 50,000 cubic meters of spruce wood per year, using the latest generation equipment on a surface of 4.5 hectares. The new production site is a valuable – but also a big – investment for the company in order to respond best to the increasing demand for high quality finger-jointed construction timber.
The Luxembourg added-value wood chain: Together, we can go further
The Luxembourg Cluster Initiative holds at its core the belief of “Companies for Companies”. The idea being that if all the players in an industry work as a group they will go further, and the entire sector will become more competitive as the cluster members generate new ideas for business and new applications for their products and services.
“This can work well in the Luxembourg wood industry,” says Philippe Genot, “because there are untapped possibilities during each transformation of the wood which creates added value. The economic weight of the wood industry is therefore far from being negligible and deserves special attention.”
Invited on the tour were a handful of potential clients (wood building companies) in order to have an idea of the quality of the products of the new line and there were some wood producers present in order to see how they could sell their wood to Bois Brever.
Philippe says that, “A tour like this is important to link the actors in the regional wood value chain, which is one of the main points of our strategy. Of course, it brings potential business development for the company. We try and do the networking in a relaxed way so the members can take the time to get to know one another better.”
Philippe continues that another reason they organised this particular visit is because, “Bois Brever can also be seen as a sort of “best practice” company. They pass the direction/management from one generation to another in a very efficient way and yet they innovate in order to adapt to the market. Many local sawmills have disappeared in the last years because they could not manage the generation question or could not innovate. Therefore, there are lessons to be taken away from this company. “
There are currently about 1,500 wood sector companies employing about 11,000 people in the Grand Duchy and their activities generate a wide range of green employment or “green jobs”, although one recognised risk is the need for this diversity of know-how to be protected and developed further. This does not only mean workshops and tours but also attracting young people to the sector so that it has the necessary skilled and passionate human resources to propel it forward.
Interested in knowing more about the Luxembourg Wood Cluster or becoming a member? Contact:
Luxinnovation contributes to the economic development of Luxembourg by fostering innovation, fuelling international growth and attracting foreign direct investment supported by: Ministry of the Economy, Ministry for Higher Education and Research, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg Chamber of Skilled Crafts and FEDIL – The Voice of Luxembourg’s Industry.