14 December 2009
6th FTP Conference Stockholm
By iwadmin @ 16:34 :: 2940 Views :: Public News

The 6th FTP conference was attended by some 270 participants from all over Europe, including a significant number of people from industry. The conference was opened by the Swedish Minister for Forestry, Eskil Erlandsson, who acknowledged the importance of the sector both in Sweden and in Europe as a whole. He emphasised the need for research and development in order to maintain and increase competitiveness on a global scale. The Keynote address was given by Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of the Board of SEB Bank. In his address, Mr Wallenberg highlighted the significant challenges that face the forest-based sector in relation to the investment in research, as well as highlighting shortcomings with regard to the focus of research activities. The speaker emphasised that in comparison to other sectors we have much work to do. Mr Wallenberg stressed the need for research based on customer needs as well as on technological developments. Over the course of the conference there was a wide range of presentations, showcasing the latest results from a variety of recent and ongoing research projects in the sector. The topics spanned discussions of innovative products such as ‘Processes for transportation fuel from forest industry by-products’ (by Rikard Gebart, ETC) to the uses of new technologies in the forest-based sector, as presented in a discussion of the ‘Application of airborne remote sensing for forest data collection’ (by Gatis Erins, Foran Baltic). More details on the individual topics will be made available on the FTP website in the coming weeks. In addition to the many interesting presentations, there were also a number of side events featured in the conference programme, including a demonstration of the ToSIA tool developed as part of the EFORWOOD project and a Researchers’ Forum. The demonstration of the EFORWOOD Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment (ToSIA) was attended by some 40 people over the two sessions. Participants commented on the value that the extensive data collection work carried out in the project will provide to the sector. It was also acknowledged by participants that the full benefits of the tool for industry, policy makers and other researchers will take time to develop. The proposal for an ongoing ToSIA Management and User Group after the project ends was welcomed as a very good initiative. Live demonstrations of the tool were also provided during the scheduled breaks in the conference. Interested participants were encouraged to view the project website at www.eforwood.org.