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Media release March 18, 2010  
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Modernization of forest biomass operations research – powered by the EU


The COST framework of the European Union has recently decided to support the modernization of forest biomass operations research in Europe to strengthen the continent’s role as the world leader in the utilization of forest biomass for energy.

Forest biomass is a major contributor for meeting the ambitious 20/20/20 targets of the EU. However, the cost-effective and sustainable procurement of forest biomass remains a challenge for countries around the globe. To tackle that challenge the COST Action “Development and Harmonization of new operational research and assessment procedures for sustainable forest biomass supply” was initiated in October 2009.

The overall objective of the Action is to harmonize forest energy terminology and methodologies of forest operations research and biomass availability calculations thereby building the scientific capacity within forest energy research and supporting the technology transfer of the forest biomass procurement chain and sustainable forest management.

More specific objectives of the COST Action can be summarized as follows:

  • Establish a common terminology and standard units
  • Harmonization of standard measurements, sampling methods and estimation of the different biomass components
  • Development of best practice guidelines for a work study protocol with regards to forest biomass procurement chains
  • Establish a simple format for cost calculations (costs/hour) for procurement machinery
  • Harmonization of commonly used methodologies in forest operations research

The Action aims to establish common understanding with regards to the use of forest biomass for energy through the application of common terminology that is expected to be adopted as a reference by research organizations, the industry and the entire forest cluster. This synthesis will promote the anticipated increase in the use of forest biomass for energy production as laid out in the EU strategies and policies.

As a result, in the long run, the Action will contribute significantly to the development of the biomass sector as well as improve its competitiveness, through better communication. Finally, the Action contributes to provide a more solid basis for the decision making on national and EU levels regarding biomass supply in the future. The Action will provide an original synthesis of multidisciplinary research efforts and an innovative European wide reference for forest biomass for energy terminology, sampling methods, standard measurements, and research methodologies. Most important of all the Action will ensure that scientists around the globe will speak, measure, sample and research in comparable ways.

Currently 25 EU countries as well as Canada, USA, New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Australia and South Africa have joined the Action and more are expected in the future.

Activities

The Action allows scientists from Europe and other countries around the globe to organize joint meetings to achieve the goals of the Action. Furthermore, the exchange and mobility of scientists among Action participants is supported by “Short Term Scientific Missions”. The Action will also organize an annual Training School aimed at young scientists and Ph.D. students to gain knowledge on specific topics. The Training Schools are organized by top scientists in the relevant field and will provide a great opportunity for young scientists to learn from the best experts and establish networks that will advance their horizon and careers.

Finally, the current process to publish peer reviewed scientific results, an essential part of the science field, is taking too long and is not meeting the demands of the modern data society. Today research results are needed instantly and the long delay of up to two years of peer reviewed articles is causing serious delays in the implementation of research results. Therefore, the Action anticipates establishing an electronic peer reviewed online journal which meets the demands of today's fast pace data society. The peer reviewed online journal will significantly speed up the process of peer reviewed publishing and improve availability of the latest research results to all involved stakeholders.

Additional information:

  • or contact the Action Chair Dominik Röser, ph. +358 10 211 3266, dominik.roser @ metla.fi
Updated: 18.03.2010 /KBym   |  Copyright Metla  |  Feedback