Forestry is to become more digital so the forest can be utilized in a more efficient and sustainable manner. This is SCA’s position and other players in the forest industry who are now launching the joint research program Mistra Digital Forest.

Accessibility to major digital information flows is rapidly increasing and is creating new opportunities. By linking together the information flows, the forest industry can improve the efficiency and the added value of the forest at the same time as contributing to greater sustainability through more considerate forest operations. The Mistra Digital Forest research program will therefore focus on the digitalization of the entire forest value chain.

“We consider this a very exciting and interesting project that is looking to the future. We can now become even more efficient in the way we use the forest and contribute to a more sustainable society,” says Magnus Bergman, head of technology and operational development at SCA, and continues:

“We already work with many digital solutions, but this project offers the potential to form a closer link between the requirements of our sawmills and our method of calculating the optimal way of using the timber. The digital information gives us more opportunity to simplify work processes and provides better support to our machine operators.

Smart decision support

The program will include a study of how new opportunities to collate and process data can facilitate the development of smart planning and decision support for forest operations. With the right planning support, the forest raw material and machines can be used more efficiently and with greater precision. The research program will also study how digitalization can simplify the flow of residues from forest operations and the sawmill and pulp industry to processing at biorefineries and create digital solutions for forest sustainability assessments and improved social dialogue.

“The program will provide an important leap in the digitalization of forest operations and the forest industry. This will boost the industry’s competitiveness and is an important step in the transition to a sustainable circular bioeconomy,” says Torgny Persson, Research and Innovation Director at the Swedish Forest Industries Federation.

Mistra Digital Forest will run for four years and is largely funded by the Mistra Research Foundation. The Swedish Forest Industries Federation will lead the work.

Photo: Michael Engman

Published 2/6/2019