Forest and wood 4.0: ROSEWOOD B2B Event connects providers of forest management apps

Digitalisation has a great impact on forest management and even the wood industry. The ROSEWOOD B2B event of the Central Hub showed what applications and solutions digitalisation can offer to practitioners in the field.

The Forest and Wood Cluster in Bavaria and the Baden-Württemberg sister initiative ProHolzBW, together with the European ROSEWOOD Network for Sustainable Wood Mobilization, invited experts and companies to present their solutions for “Digitization in the Forestry and Wood Industries”. A total of 38 representatives of the forestry industry, including start-ups, established companies, foresters and forest owners, took part in the ROSEWOOD B2B event at the Zentrum Wald-Forst-Holz Weihenstephan on 22nd November.

Daniel Ketzer from Steinbeis 2i GmbH, which coordinates the EU funded network ROSEWOOD, presented the results of the project’s analysis of the sustainable wood mobilisation potential in the Central European region, introducing into the topic of digitalisation. “The activation of private forest owners poses a challenge, especially in Central Europe. Here, digital applications and platforms, which enable a cost-effective and simple documentation of forest conditions as well as of silvicultural measures implemented, can make a major contribution,” said Ketzer at the event. For this reason, ROSEWOOD has included lighthouse initiatives such as the online platform for forest owners “Wald-wird-mobil”, its Finnish counterpart “Metsäfinn” and the French project “La forêt bouge” in the list of “Best Practices” selected by the network. A total of 17 projects can be found under the keyword digitalisation in the project’s best practice library, the ROSEWOOD Map Viewer.

The fact that digital applications for the forest and timber sector have spread over the last years was shown by the presentations and pitches of smartphone apps to support forest inventory and of other digital tools, from mobile 3D tree inventory scanners to GPS tracking of logs. “The days when foresters walked through the forest equipped with writing pad and pen are definitely over. The market for applications that enable the digital registration of the forest, even via smartphones, is growing steadily. In order to fully exploit their potential, it is now necessary to develop interfaces between the individual solutions,” said Dr. Jürgen Bauer from the Zentrum Wald-Forst-Holz Weihenstephan, explaining his view of digitalisation in the industry. “If we succeed in bringing together the entire wood value chain through digitalisation, we will indeed achieve forest management 4.0,” says Dr. Bauer.

The ROSEWOOD B2B event offered the space for the exchange of ideas and the initiation of business cooperations in order to get closer to this goal. In ROSEWOOD4.0, a follow-up project which starts in January 2020 and expands the ROSEWOOD network from 10 to 18 European countries, digitalisation will be at the centre of attention. The aim is to promote cooperation in the field of digitalisation in the European timber and forestry industry.