20 entities have joined forces in rePLANT, a project of national interest, that will bring new technologies to develop the Portuguese forest and make it safer, in an investment of around 6 million euros, involving more than 70 researchers and specialised technicians.
Using optical cameras to monitorise forest, simulating and predicting fire behaviour, developing new sustainable management models for the main Portuguese species or using robotic in forest operations are some of the many rePLANT’s initiatives. This Project will be developed until June 2023 and will join 20 institutions, among forest leading companies, universities and research centers focusing on creating value to the forest, using new technologies and creating new products and services in the forest and fire management framework.
With an investment of 5.6 million euros, supported by Compete/Portugal 2020, through the POCI and Lisboa 2020 programmes, rePLANT will have an impact on the entire productive and business ecosystem of the sector and will improve safety for people living in forest areas, improve fire prevention and fighting systems, reduce biodiversity threats and increase forest and infrastructure resilience and the sector’s competitiveness. Innovative products and services will be introduced in the sector, having a positive impact on the entire chain, including on its service providers and forest producers. Research on the species that are better adapted to climate change will be carried out and new models for sustainable forest management for the main Portuguese forest species will also be developed.
A surveillance system will be created through the setting up of optical cameras on the power lines of REN (Redes Energéticas Nacionais – Portugal’s National Energy Networks) that are located in the forest, enabling a better monitoring and controlling of fire risks and the simulation of fire behavior. rePLANT will also develop new digital forest inventory systems and regular forest monitoring, communication systems between equipment for cutting and transporting forest products (wood and biomass) and new automotive and robotic equipment to take care of cultivated forests.
“This initiative aims to respond to the challenges of valuing and defending the forest, in a sector with more than 24 thousand companies, responsible for more than 100 thousand jobs, representing about 10% of national exportation, contributing to increase biodiversity and Portuguese forest´s resilience”, says Carlos Fonseca, Forestwise’s CTO – Collaborative Laboratory for Integrated Forest & Fire Management, which will manage the project with The Navigator Company.
“In a moment when there’s an urgent need to find sustainable development models, this is the best opportunity to dedicate extra attention to the forest and its agents, looking into the future. rePLANT is accomplishing this challenge, implementing it in an intergenerational, innovative and multidisciplinary way – new approaches and new technologies are also new opportunities”, also says Carlos Fonseca.
rePLANT is structured in three work areas – the first is dedicated to forest and fire management (led by Sonae Arauco and The Agronomy Institute from University of Lisbon), the second one is about risk management (coordinated by REN and The University of Coimbra) and the third one works on Circular Economy and Value Chains (managed by The Navigator Company and Forestwise).
RePLANT is a collaborative project that gets together 20 institutions: ForestWISE, The Navigator Company, REN, Sonae Arauco, Altri Florestal, Amorim Florestal, DS Smith, EDP Distribuição, the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science, the University of Coimbra, The Agronomy Institute from University of Lisbon, Whereness, EDP Labelec, Trigger Systems, Frazivel, Tesselo, Florecha, the National Institute for Agricultural and Veterinary Research IP, the School of Engineering from the University of Oporto and the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro.
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