Prof. Frédéric Pichelin, Head of the Institute for Materials and Wood Technology (Switzerland), provides his seasoned views on how the wood technology sector can benefit from fundamental and applied research, plus why it needs more support from the political and scientific sectors
When it comes to wood products, Prof. Frédéric Pichelin, Head of the Institute for Materials and Wood Technology (Switzerland) see this as a fantastic opportunity to solve the problem of global warming. On the other side of the coin, we learn that the wood industry is competing with other materials like plastic, concrete and steel. As such, he argues that what is needed today is to raise the awareness of those in politics and science, when it comes to the wider picture of wood as an important resource.
The author also lavishes us with the details of The Swiss National Research Programme (NRP) 66, that was a joint effort run by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and the Swiss Innovation Agency Innosuisse (previously CTI). In essence, the project ran from 2012 to 2016) and addressed the complete life-cycle of wood, market mechanisms as well as the problem of insufficient raw wood availability.
This analysis ends on a positive note as we discover that due to the fruitful collaboration between SNF and Innosuisse, the research teams launched new industrial projects at the end of the NRP66 programme. In the field of tannin extraction and valorisation, four new projects around composite, wood-based panels, coating and industrial tannin extraction emerged.