Mobilizing Untapped Reserves of Timber
Europe has 159 million hectares of forests and woodland. Sustainable use, especially in privately owned woods, falls short of its potential. That is why the EU research project SIMWOOD has been striving to contribute to a more efficient usage of the available supply of wood. By doing so, it aims to respond to the ever-increasing demand for this resource in terms of material and energy usage and thus strengthen Europe's forestry and wood industry.
The project partners attach particular importance to improving the mobilization of wood resources by an integrated approach. In this context, they are evaluating the impact on other forest functions and strive to incorporate existing local interest groups. Through pilot projects, SIMWOOD is testing in close cooperation with local stakeholders necessary adjustment measures.
For this, SIMWOOD is developing an online information system, with which researchers are analyzing the impact of new solutions and approaches and improving them as needed. This shall allow forest owners, foresters and SMEs to have access to information and recommendations relating, for instance, to forest management or harvesting techniques for their region in the future. With the SIMWOOD Information System, decision-makers in the forest sector and scientists are able to assess the effect of national and EU programmes for wood mobilization and keep an eye on developments.
Project Objectives and Work Fields
The idea behind SIMWOOD is to make unused wood supplies in Europe accessible and thus address the increasing demand. Here attention is placed mainly on privately owned woods which are increasingly fragmented and consequently often fallow. The increasing urbanization of forest owners also has a negative impact on the management of woodlands.
The following topics form the focal points of SIMWOOD:
- The increasing demand for this resource is addressed by means of wood mobilization, thus supporting a stable growth of Europe's forestry and wood industry.
- Existing local interest groups and decision-makers are incorporated in the wood mobilization process while taking other wood functions into account.
- Existing socio-economic, technical and ecological barriers and solutions for mobilizing wood resources are assessed with regard to the objectives set in the respective regions.
- Adjustment measures are put to the test through pilot projects in 14 model regions in Europe. In this context, local stakeholders as well as small to medium-sized enterprises are involved in the process in order to attain maximum suitability for practical use.
- Preparation of customized, transferable solutions for every region.
- The development of an online information system, with which project partners are able to analyze and improve the impact of solutions. Moreover, the SIMWOOD Information System is available online to the general public. The system will continue to be updated even after the end of the project.
The results of the project are aimed at the following target groups:
- Private forest owners
- Decision-makers in the forest sector
- Forestry and wood industry
- Local interest groups
- Scientists specializing in forestry and wood management
- Interested members of the general public
BayFOR as Partner
BayFOR already provided the consortium with intensive support during the application phase and during contract negotiations with the EU. During the project, it assumes the administrative project management and public relations activities.
The EU supports the project as part of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development with about EUR 6 million, of which approx. EUR 856,000 are earmarked for partners from Bavaria. The project duration is four years – from November 1, 2013 to October 31, 2017.
There are altogether 27 project partners coming from Belgium, Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia and Spain. Among them are two European institutions, 13 national research institutes and 12 small or medium-sized enterprises.
Roland Schreiber, Bavarian State Institute of Forestry (LWF)
Participating partner institutions:
LWF - Bavarian State Institute of Forestry
JRC - Joint Research Centre- European Commission, Belgium
EFI - European Forest Institute, Finland
UCD - University College Dublin, National University of Ireland
FCRA - Forestry Commission Research Agency, Great Britain
FCBA - Institut Technologique Foret Cellulose Bois-Construction Ameublement, France
ALTERRA - Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek – The Netherlands
KWF - Kuratorium für Waldarbeit und Forsttechnik e.V., Germany
UVA - Universidad de Valladolid, Spain
CREAF - Centro de Recerca Ecologica i Aplicaciones Forestales, Spain
IPB - Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Portugal
ISA - Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Portugal
LNU - Linnéaeus Uuniversity, Sweden
GIS - Slovenian Forestry Institute, Slovenia
ZGS - Zavod za gozdove Slovenije, Slovenia
BTG - Biomass Technology Group BV, The Netherlands
Agresta S. Coop., Spain
ECM - Ingeniería Ambiental, Spain
FBE - Forêts et Bois de L‘est, France
WWP - Wexford Wood Producers Ltd, Ireland
FEL - Forest Enterprises Limited, Ireland
ARBOREA - Associação Agro-Florestal e Ambiental da Terra Fria Transmontana, Portugal
ForestFin, Florestas e Afins, Soc. Unipessoal, Lda., Portugal
ESS - Energikontor Sydost AB, Sweden
SWA - Small Woods Association, Great Britain
RDI - Northwoods c/o Rural Development Initiatives Limited, Great Britain
BayFOR - Bavarian Research Alliance, Germany
Further information can be found on:
Press release "Sustainable, innovative forest use for Europe"
SIMWOOD Newsletter Issue 1 - January 2015
SIMWOOD Newsletter Issue 2 - July 2015
SIMWOOD Newsletter Issue 3 - December 2015
SIMWOOD Newsletter Issue 4 - April 2016
SIMWOOD Newsletter Issue 5 - Juni 2016
SIMWOOD Newsletter Issue 6 - November 2016
SIMWOOD Newsletter Issue 7 - February 2017
SIMWOOD Newsletter Issue 8 - October 2017
Press release 12 January 2016
Bavarian State Institute of Forestry (LWF)
Phone: +49 (0)8161 715123