On September 14, an information congress on the smart circular economy took place at the Burgenland University of Applied Sciences, focusing on the wood value chain.

Dr. Martin Riegler from Wood K plus presented the research projects“Champi4.0ns” and“tracewood“, in which Wood K plus is involved, to the TECHHOUSE team. The focus was on the current state of knowledge and the degree of digitalization of the traceability of wood, whereby these were compared with the expected technologies of the research projects.

The participating companies showed great interest in the research projects and the promising approaches and in a general discussion, the partners, durations and funding providers of the research projects were presented and further possible uses of these technologies were discussed.

TECHHOUSE had previously been in contact with the SME Beetle ForTech and presented their approach to the traceability of wood. Of particular interest was the topic of assigning harvested logs to a specific GPS point and thus owner, which met with great interest in Burgenland due to the special structure of forest ownership. Due to the old Hungarian inheritance law, areas in Burgenland were split up into many sub-areas, resulting in numerous parcels, some of which were only 4 m wide. This special structure requires an efficient approach, especially when using harvesters and tractors to create routes in the stand.

The establishment of a forest cooperative with the owners has not yet been successful, which prompted DI Herbert Stummer from the Burgenland Chamber of Agriculture, in his function as Managing Director of ProHolz Burgenland, to show a strong interest in the technologies presented. These could make a significant contribution to solving the challenges associated with wood traceability in Burgenland.

Overall, the smart circular economy in conjunction with innovative technologies such as “Champi4.0ns” and “tracewood” offers the opportunity to make the timber industry more efficient and sustainable. The successful bringing together of research projects, companies and SMEs in an information congress shows the potential of such initiatives to create concrete benefits for the industry.