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Media release September 14, 2012  
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New innovative solutions for forest biomass supply in the EU


The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) is coordinating a research and development project ‘Innovative and effective technology and logistics for forest residual biomass supply in the EU – INFRES’. This project is being funded by the EU’s 7th framework programme. INFRES aims at high production efficiency and precise deliveries with respect to woody feedstock intended for the industrial generation of heat and power and for the biorefining sector.

The European Union’s renewable energy programme faces the challenge of mobilising existing forest biomass in a cost-efficient and sustainable way. INFRES has the goal of accelerating technological development and creating paths towards meeting the EU´s renewables targets, by producing research based knowledge, technology solutions and service innovations for forest residue feedstock supply.

Research projects alone are insufficient to support development towards fulfilling the objectives set for 2020. As a result, EU research funding has recently been targeted at innovation and demonstration projects. In addition, INFRES is focused on the development of machines for logging and the processing of energy biomass, together with transportation solutions and ICT systems for managing the entire supply chain.

The aim is to improve the competitiveness of forest energy, by reducing fossil energy consumption and material loss within supply chains. New hybrid technology is being demonstrated within machines and new improved cargo-space solutions are under testing in chip trucks. Flexible fleet management systems are being developed to run harvesting, chipping and transport operations. In addition, the functionality and environmental effects of developed technologies are being evaluated as a part of the entire forest energy supply chain.

The project consortium has 23 partners, including nine leading forest energy research organisations, accompanied by 14 SMEs throughout the supply chain. Manufacturers of harvesting technology, chippers, feedstock supply enterprises, forest harvesting and transport providers, truck technology firms and ICT service providers for fleet and storage management, number among the SMEs involved. The duration of the project is 3 years, with a total budget of around € 4.2 million.

Further information

  • Professor Antti Asikainen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, antti.asikainen(a)metla.fi , tel. +358 50 3913250
  • Researcher Johanna Routa, Finnish Forest Research Institute, johanna.routa(a)metla.fi , tel. +358 40 801 5045
  • Principal scientist Eija Alakangas, VTT, eija.alakangas(a)vtt.fi, tel. +358 400 542 454
  • ForestEnergy2020 Research Programme

Forest - Knowledge - Know-how - Well-being

 

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