Major European forest research infrastructures opening up

Jan 20, 2012

Major forest infrastructures will be opened up to researchers from the public and private sectors across Europe. For the first time key infrastructures within the European forest-based sector, including databases, state-of-the- art analytical tools and predictive models will be integrated and made available via a user-friendly, central access portal.

The four-year Trees4Future project aims to integrate major forestry resources and infrastructures, to provide the European forest-based and wider research community with easy and comprehensive access to currently scattered sources of information and expertise. This will make a significant contribution to helping the European forest- based sector respond, in a sustainable manner, to increasing demands for wood products and services in a context of changing climatic conditions and addressing the grand societal challenges.

The project will create a centralized access point via its web portal to major European databases in the area of forest genetics and forest ecology, and start to develop common protocols and reference standards for traits and species. Calls for transnational access will be made, so that researchers can take advantage of the joint expertise, services and data of the 28 partners in the project.

The first meeting of the project partners was held in Orléans, France on 17-19 January 2012. The coordinator Luc Pâques said: “This project is a great opportunity. We need to be ambitious as well as courageous – we are aiming to provide access to research infrastructures and services, and work together to share expertise, build new innovative tools, and integrate resources into a long-term framework. This will be a great benefit to the scientific community , and - through improved research e.g. on adaptation of forests to the effects of climate change – to the whole society.”

The total budget of the Trees4Future project is approximately 9 million EUR and it is co-funded by the EU’s 7th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.