We are always seeking people to collaborate with on areas of interest and development:
– Digital tools for forestry and timber. We are interested in developing cost effective digital scanning technologies that help manage forests and move timber more efficiently through the supply chain. This could be the cost-effective use of 3D scanning of standing, felled and sawn timber; GIS mapping through supply-chains; on-line databases of resources. We have recently written a series of articles for Confor’s magazine Forestry and Timber News on these subjects, the first of which is available on-line here.
– Distributed manufacturing in the timber industry. The rapid development in digital fabrication, including robotics, is being harnessed in many industries. For some this means operating costs for small-scale manufacturers can be brought down to a competitive level, for the timber industry it could mean localised manufacturing harnessing locally grown material becomes a viable option.
– The future of rural society and landscapes in times of increasing urbanisation. What does the future hold for rurality? Whilst rural landscapes provide food, water and materials essential to meet societies needs our rural areas often feel marginalised or viewed as a theme park of the picturesque. How will our rural areas develop and what do we need to do to aid this evolution and repositioning?
– Urban forestry is a new and exciting area of development for us. Working on the Tree Re-Use project has led us to look further at the opportunities for forestry and timber within the urban environment. Growing trees and processing timber provides unique issues and opportunities such as space, quality, access to market and surprisingly large volumes. We are interested in how urban forestry can be developed to increase the tree cover in cities and to look at them not just from an amenity and environmental perspective but also as a productive resource.