CoLAB ForestWISE presents the integrated RN21 project that brings together the main players in the resin sector in Portugal

Contributing to the enhancement and resilience of the forest, the bioeconomy, carbon neutrality, territorial cohesion, modernization and the production of more sustainable Natural Resin are the main ambitions of this integrated and transformative project for the entire sector in Portugal.

The first public presentation of the RN21 Integrated Project brought together a panel of experts from business, industry, academia and resin territories to discuss the resin sector in Portugal and also in Spain. The event was attended by the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro, the Secretary of State for the Economy, Pedro Cilínio, and various public entities who met the main protagonists of this integrated project.

In the opening session, Carlos Fonseca, CTO of CoLAB ForestWISE mentioned that “RN21 is a turning point for the resin sector in Portugal, as it aims to enhance the entire value chain through initiatives that support sustainable forest management, reducing the risk of fire, boosting the development of the rural world and contributing to territorial cohesion by investing in national natural resin”, adding that “it is a source of immense satisfaction for CoLAB ForestWISE to lead an integrative and transformative project of this magnitude, which will have an impact on one of our country’s most traditional sectors”.

Duarte Cordeiro, Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, pointed out that “RN21 brings together 37 entities and aims to modernize and revitalize this traditional sector, boosting its application in the market”. He added that “for Portugal, to be an example in the bioeconomy, we have to work together, like the RN21 consortium, which will have a multiplying and contagious effect on the sector, with the impact we hope for in the Portuguese forest”.

The first panel of the round table, made up of António Salgueiro, from the Agency for the Integrated Management of Rural Fires, Mariana Ferreira, from Luresa Resinas and Susana Carneiro, from the Pinus Center, talked about resin as an engine for a more resilient forest.

The second panel focused on the challenges, impacts and opportunities of the bioeconomy in the natural resin sector in Portugal and featured Luís Rochartre, representative of the Chief Sustainability Officer program at Católica Porto Business School, Pedro Koehler, CEO of Colquímica Adhesives and Carla Silva, Director of the Chemistry and Technology Department at the Portuguese Textile and Clothing Industry Technology Centre (CITEVE).

The event was closed by Pedro Cilínio, Secretary of State for the Economy, who highlighted the importance of the union between the various members of the consortium, since “none could overcome the challenges that the resin sector presents individually”. He also said that “this project is an unprecedented effort in a sector that has important business opportunities to exploit, since resin can replace some fossil-based products on which the economy has depended for many years”, and that “the activity of this consortium will contribute to more balanced forest management and to promoting rural development and territorial cohesion”.

Led by CoLAB ForestWISE, RN21 brings together, for the first time, the entire value chain of the Natural Resin sector in Portugal, in an integrated and mobilizing Consortium of research and innovation that promotes the modernization and revitalization of one of the most traditional sectors of the national economy, valuing Natural Resin as a “bio” product and boosting the great possibilities of its application in the market.

With an investment of more than 26 million euros and a grant of 17.5 million euros, the project includes 37 entities, combining public and private investment, creating favorable conditions for collaboration between companies and R&D&I partners, leveraging the ecological and digital transition.
The event took place today, October 10, at the facilities of one of the consortium’s partners, United Resins, a company in the second resin processing industry, located in Figueira da Foz.