This paper presents a conceptual approach and methodological procedure for the development and assessment of forest governance innovations. We illustrate this with preliminary findings from the analysis of six policy and business innovations across Europe. These are new actor alliances and payment schemes promoting economically viable forest ecosystem service (FES) provisions. The analysis combines several methodological approaches starting with mapping of biophysical and institutional context conditions, stakeholders and governance analysis, and scenario-based innovation assessment and development. Our preliminary findings highlight the suitability of our conceptual and methodological procedure for forest governance innovation analysis and assessment. One outcome is that most EU forested lands guarantee high supplies of at least one service, often ensuring multiple FES simultaneously, predominantly in mountainous regions. But the institutional analysis of national and subnational forest legislation, bioeconomy and biodiversity policy strategies reveals that these policies only address governance innovations relative to very few FES. Our findings further reflect the diversity of governance innovations that emerge on local levels across Europe. Some innovation regions are attempting to better operationalize payments for ecosystem service provisions, while others tackle the development of new forest-related products, value-chains or cultural ecosystem services. Applying a multi-method and multi-actor visioning and assessment approach has fruitfully orchestrated a constructive debate among stakeholders on the chances and challenges of forest governance innovations to allow for their uptake in forest policy, business and practice.