The Collaborative Laboratory ForestWISE will be born tomorrow at the center of the country

ForestWISE – Collaborative Laboratory for Integrated Forest and Fire Management aims to develop research, innovation and technology transfer activities aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the Portuguese forestry sector and reducing the negative consequences of rural fires. It is in this sense that this CoLAB responds to point IV (2) of the Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 157-A/2017, by combining the efforts of universities, public sector and industry in a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to fire, the valuation of the forest and the sustainable development of the forest-based industry.

ForestWISE is composed of 17 associates and 4 adherent partners. The business partners are The Navigator Company, Sonae Arauco, Altri, Europac, Amorim, EDP Distribuição, REN and Microsoft. The universities and research institutes are INESC TEC (promoter of the initiative), Higher Institute of Agronomy – University of Lisbon, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, University of Coimbra, University of Évora and University of Aveiro. Other public bodies are the Mission Structure / AGIF – Agency for the Integrated Management of Rural Fire, IPMA – Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere and INIAV – National Institute of Agrarian and Veterinary Research.

Partners are key users of the results of CoLAB and active members in the definition of research priorities, namely the AIFF – Forest Sector Competitiveness Association, ICNF – Institute for Nature Conservation and Forestry, ANPC – Authority National Civil Protection and the GNR – National Republican Guard.

The activities of CoLAB are subordinated to a strategic agenda, in agreement with the Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 159/2017, structured in five great vectors. Three basic research lines: a) forest management and forestry, b) cohesive management of forest fires, supported by c) cross-cutting technologies for fire and forest; and two transversal ones: d) natural resources governance and e) technology transfer, implementation management and collaboration with educational programs. This agenda will respond to national priorities and the needs of members.

The technical team of CoLAB will consist of permanent technical staff and members of the members with a partial dedication to CoLAB. At the start of the CoLAB, a total of 20 elements (of which 7 doctorates are expected), a number that will gradually increase to a total of 50 elements at the end of the fifth year (13 doctorates), when the state of equilibrium. The team will make use of existing infrastructures and equipment in the associates, as well as new infrastructures that will be available at the CoLAB headquarters in the Central region and in other delegations to be installed in the North of the Country.

Note to the editor:
Text of point IV(2) of Council of Ministers Resolution 157-A/2017 to which ForestWISE responds: “Promote applied scientific research not a part of SGIFR, defining priority areas for applied research projects, benefiting from the creation of a Collaborative Laboratory, which will operate in a very close articulation with AGIF, promoted by companies and forest related entities, integrating the diverse agents of Civil protection committed to the defense of the forest against incidents and associating with higher education institutions and laboratories of the State as a scientific work in the development of these areas”.

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