The new products, processes, services and technologies created to enhance the Portuguese forest by the collaborative project rePLANT will be presented on 23 March, in Mata do Braçal, in Lousã. Focusing on innovation for the forestry sector, the demonstration action will reveal the result of nearly three years of work by 20 entities in the implementation of strategies for integrated forest and fire management.
Innovative machinery integrated with digital technologies, more resilient and productive pine species and provenances, and mobile applications for measuring standing and stacked wood are some of the innovations that the project will showcase.
RePLANT is a collaborative project, organized into three main areas of action: Forest and Fire Management, Risk Management and Circular Economy and Value Chains, with an investment of 5.6 million euros, supported by Compete/Portugal 2020, through the POCI and Lisbon 2020 programmes.
“We have dedicated the last three years to the future of the forest and found solutions that will contribute to its sustainable development and to the sector’s activity. These are the results of the best technical and scientific knowledge worked by business and non-business entities who worked on highly technological demonstrations” explains Carlos Fonseca, CoLAB ForestWISE’s CTO, who coordinates the project with The Navigator Company.
“This is the first of several events to be held over the year, aimed at showcasing the results achieved by the rePLANT mobilising project, which will have a positive impact on the entire chain, namely on service providers and forestry producers,” he adds.
New partial tillage implement
rePLANT resulted in a new machine for partial soil mobilization, the ARG which, besides combining several operations simultaneously, integrates digital technologies that make it more versatile and robust in forestry operations, reducing costs and environmental impact and improving conditions for plant development. The potential of incorporating digital tools in this type of machinery, namely LiDAR sensors, which allow real time sharing information, such as the machine performance and the automatic dosage of fertilizer, depending on soil characteristics, will also be presented in this action.
The results of trials of different species and provenances of pine used in improvement programmes in other countries, such as Australia, Portugal, France and Spain, more productive and resistant to climate change, relevant to increasing the profitability of forest producers and, consequently, the investment in this species, will also be presented.
Smartphone applications were also tested for measuring woodpiles and forest inventory and technologies accessible to all, which allow, in an easy, fast and less expensive way, the collection of important data, for example, for the purchase of wood and for proper management and planning of the forest property.
Project involves more than 70 researchers and specialised technicians
With an investment of 5.6 million euros, supported by Compete/Portugal 2020, through the POCI and Lisbon 2020 programmes, rePLANT will impact the entire productive and business ecosystem in the sector and improve the safety of people living in forest areas, fire prevention and fire fighting systems, reduce threats to biodiversity, increase the resilience of the forest and infrastructures and the sector’s competitiveness.
rePLANT brings together 20 entities: CoLAB ForestWISE, The Navigator Company, REN, Sonae Arauco, Altri Florestal, Amorim Florestal, DS Smith, E-REDES, Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Tecnologia e Ciência, Universidade de Coimbra, Instituto Superior de Agronomia from Universidade de Lisboa, Whereness, EDP Labelec, Trigger Systems, Frazivel, Tesselo, Florecha, I, Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária I.P., the School of Engineering of Porto University and the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro.
The collaborative project is structured into three main areas of action – the first, dedicated to Forest and Fire Management (led by Sonae Arauco and the Instituto Superior de Agronomia, from the University of Lisbon); the second, about Risk Management (under the coordination of REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais and the University of Coimbra); and a third pillar, about Circular Economy and Value Chains (under the management of The Navigator Company and CoLAB ForestWISE).
In, Agricultura & Mar, 23 March 2023 (PT)