Development of improved methods aimed at achieving higher productivity in forest operation processes such as higher production of wood and lower impact on the environment (damage to trees and ground). Proposals should consider aspects including forest regeneration and preservation of soil quality and should contribute to sustainable forest management in line with the new EU Forest Strategy COM (2013) 659. Proposals could address knowledge-based resource management, automation and mechanisation of processes, soil preparation, planting, harvesting, collection and transportation. An assessment of the environmental and socio-economic performance of the developed methods on the whole value chain should be carried out. Strong weight will be put on industrial leadership to fully exploit the developed processes
It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget in the range of EUR 2-5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.
Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of wood mobilisation (from planting of the tree to the harvesting phase and extraction from the forest) is a prerequisite for increasing the productivity, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of the European forestry sector. Challenges include improving the efficiency of planting, harvesting and collection (which still largely rely on manual work), wood preparation and pre-processing, wood harvesting logistics, seasonal inaccessibility of wood resources (e.g. linked to soil disturbance), and assuring soil preservation.
- Improving efficiency in silviculture and harvesting operations.
- Improving accessibility to wood resources leading to a significant increase in productivity in forest operations over a representative period of time: a 1% annual increase in forest growth, projected on a 20 year period, would yield 22% increase with respect to the original volume, roughly equivalent to 2 years of forest growth gained.
- Increasing forest operations output while minimising environmental impacts: reducing soil disturbance, more efficiently performed thinning and/or more efficiently extracted grot (residuals).
- Reducing fuel consumption in the forest harvesting process by at least 15%.