Name / Title

Clusterinitiative Forst & Holz Oberlausitz (CFH)
(Initiative Forestry & Timber Cluster in Upper Lusatia)

Case Study Region

Dresden region (Direktionsbezirk Dresden), Upper Lusatia and Lower Silesia (Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien) 

Geographical coverage

The model region of the Clusterinitiative Forst & Holz Oberlausitz (CFH) includes the districts Bautzen and Görlitz. A share of 34.5
percent of the total area of both districts (4.497 km2 / 449.700 ha) is forested. 63 percent of these forest areas (155.000 ha) are privately owned. In most cases, forest owners possess only small woodlands. The number of forest owners in the model region amounts to about 25 000.


Cooperative research project between regional institutions and companies


Main activity / focus


CFH is organised as a cooperative research project between regional institutions and companies. It aims at strengthening the position of the economic branches dealing with forestry, wood processing, and renewable energy production within the Direktionsbezirk Dresden (in particular the two districts Bautzen and Görlitz). The cluster initiative will integrate the involved economic actors and political decision-makers and discover the potential for regional economic cycles within the involved economic branches.

Target beneficiaries / market

Forest owners, research institutions, local/regional enterprises from forestry sector, construction sector and timber industries such as saw mills, paper mills or furniture manufacturers.

Year established

Activities of the cluster initiative have been financed since June 1st, 2008.

Current Funding source(s)

Ministerium für Umwelt und Landwirtschaft (SMUL)
(Saxon State Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture)


The project consortium consists of the following partners:

  • Ostdeutsche Gesellschaft für Forstplanung(OGF) (Association for Forestry Planning) (Lead Partner);
  • TSS-Forstplanung(TSS Forestry Consultancy);
  • University of Applied Sciences Zittau-Görlitz;
  • SBZ Steinbeisberatungszentrum(Steinbeis Foundation for Economic Promotion and Knowledge Transfer);
  • CompanyBioenergie Oberlausitz GmbH;
  • Waldschutz- und Nutzergemeinschaft Brauna w.V.(Community of Forest Protectors and Users Brauna);
  • Waldbauverein Großdubrau w.V.(Association for Forestry Großdubrau).






On behalf of the Saxon State Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture a network/cluster regarding forestry and timber industry was initiated in Upper Lusatia. In this way, the development of an important rural economic sector should be supported and strengthened. Already today the sector ‘Forestry&Timber’ is important in Saxony:

  • Volume of sales: EUR 4.2 billion per annum (= 5 percent of Saxon GDP);
  • 33 000 employees in more than 3 000 companies in Saxony.

In summer of 2008 a project team – managed by the Ostdeutsche Gesellschaft für Forstplanung (OGF) (Association for Forestry Planning) and TSS Forestry Consultancy – was established. Main aim of the initiative is the integration of regional companies into a network that initiates co-operations and develops projects. By doing this, synergies can be achieved and generated to improve the competitiveness and productivity of all companies within the network. Envisaged activities are:

  • supply of a timber company with wood from regional forests,
  • joint research activities regarding relevant topics,
  • implementation of new technologies in regional economic practice,
  • support of economic co-operation on regional level,
  • development of financial solutions (subsidies, capital-raising),
  • initiation of steady regional economic cycles.

The main activities of the cluster initiative concern the intensification of network relations in the economic branches of forestry, wood processing and renewable energy production. At the beginning, the initiative started to analyse the actual components and flows of goods of the wood industry cluster within the region, also applying a SWOT analysis of the different economic branches which are to be involved. One result was that the individual economic actors did not know about each others presence and activities in the region. Though, a set of public relation activities was started in order to distribute knowledge internally within the wood industry cluster. Based on the regional SWOT analysis, the CFH developed concepts for five potential regional economic cycles:

  1. Bioenergieregion Oberlausitz (renewable energy region using regional wood for energy production)
  2. Ecological, healthy and sustainable house building
  3. Innovative wood products
  4. Semi-finished and finished goods from regional saw mills
  5. Establishment of the R&D network ‘forestry, wood, paper’ at the Technical University Dresden

These clusters should be moderated and the internal networking should be supported by the CFH, according to examples from Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. In addition, the initiative is reporting its gathered knowledge in handbooks to make it transferable to other regions. Also a formal cluster management will be established. As a concrete measure a series of weekend seminars is planned in order to inform forest owners about the possibilities of their forests’ economic exploitation. These seminars address first of all the many private forest owners who only possess small areas.


Contact details


Clusterinitiative Forst & Holz Sachsen
Ostdeutsche Gesellschaft für Forstplanung mbH
Zur hohen Dubrau 57
D-02906 Hohendubrau
Phone: +49 (0) 35204 60536