On the 5th and the 6th October 2015 the Wood Technology Institute in cooperation with the State Forests National Forest Holding organised the 1st international Scientific Conference entitled “Wood – Science – Economy” in the Conference Centre of the Science Centre in Poznan.
The conference’s goal was to exchange knowledge at international scale, taking into account the latest scientific achievements, as well as to identify the most promising research lines and the possibilities of practically using this knowledge in the forestry-wood sector.
The conference was addressed to representatives of the academia and business in the sector and its environment.
- wood market – economic and social perspective,
- increasing wood resources, innovations in the forestry-wood sector,
- forestry-wood sector from the environmental perspective,
- wood properties,
- consumption of wood for energy purposes, recycling,
- new technologies and lignocellulosic products,
which created an opportunity to present new lines of research, innovations, and structural changes, as well as to present general papers.
During the two days of the conference almost 100 participants listened to 36 presentations and acquainted themselves with 21 posters. The Scientific Committee of the conference consisted of 20 researchers representing world universities and scientific institutions. The conference was attended by scientific authorities from Europe (Germany, Austria, Finland, Spain, Turkey, and Ukraine), and also from eminent scientific centres in the USA. The guest of honour at the conference was prof. Jim L. Bowyer, professor of the University of Minnesota for many years, former president of the Forest Products Society and the Society of Wood Science and Technology, and a world scientific authority on wood sciences and wood technology. Amongst invited foreign guests there were inter alia prof. Matthias Dieter from Thünen Institute of International Forestry and Forest Economics,prof. Uwe Schmitt – President of the International Academy of Wood Science, and Mr Mariano Perez Campos – Director of AIDIMA Institute in Valencia.
Polish scientific institutions were represented by the Forest Research Institute, the Wood Technology Institute, the Institute of Polymer Materials Engineering and Dyes in Torun, and the following universities: Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Cracow University of Life Sciences, AGH University of Science and Technology, Silesian University of Technology, Gdansk University of Technology, and West Pomeranian University of Technology.
The conference was also attended by directors of five Regional Directorates of the State Forests and two representatives of the State Forests Directorate General. The honorary patronage was taken by the Ministry Science and Higher Education, the Ministry of Economy, and the Ministry of the Environment, while media patronage was taken by ‘Głos Lasu’ and ‘Gazeta Przemysłu Drzewnego’.
The conference was opened by director of the Wood Technology Institute – assoc. prof. Władysław Strykowski, PhD, who presided over the Scientific Committee. The guest of honour – prof. Jim L. Bowyer – presented a review of the US wood industry, including perspectives of its further development. He stressed that the market in wood products underwent a significant transformation over the last two decades. As the areas of the highest application potential in the future, he pointed out to: innovative use of wood as a structural material (including also for public building), and a raw material in chemical processes and nanotechnology. Prof. Bowyer also emphasised the use of wood biomass for energy purposes. Professor Roger Rowell, of the University of Wisconsin, gave an interesting lecture on acetylated wood. He presented the mechanism of chemical wood acetylation consisting in introduction of acetyl groups in the place of hydroxyl groups in coniferous and deciduous wood. Thanks to this process one may obtain wood with advantageous functional properties (lower hygroscopicity, increased dimensional stability) and characterised by increased resistance to decay caused by fungi.
The first thematic session was opened by assoc. prof. Władysław Strykowski, PhD, with his presentation concerning structural changes in the forestry-wood sector in Eastern Europe, which were observed after system transformation. On the other hand, prof. O. Kiyko from the Ukrainian National Forestry University presented challenges and opportunities for sustainable development of the furniture industry in Eastern Europe. Representatives of Thünen Institute in Hamburg touched upon the issues connected with planning and management in the forestry sector in Germany; while dr Henrik Heräjärvi from the Natural Resources Institute in Finland spoke about the wood industry in the light of the cleantech and bioeconomy concepts.
During the second session, prof. Piotr Paschalis-Jakubowicz presented innovations in the forestry sector, and pointed out that they create further possibilities of increase in wood removals without prejudice to the sustainable growth paradigm applied in forestry. Prof. Tomasz Borecki discussed issues connected with planning and forest management, and prof. Tomasz Zawiła-Niedźwiecki acquainted the audience with the problem of degradation of forests in Ghana. Dr Zbigniew Karaszewski gave presentation on the controversial issues connected with the quality of wood removed using harvesters.
The opening lecture of the third session was that given by prof. Ryszard Kozłowski, who presented new intelligent fireproof coatings for wood protection. Prof. Bartłomiej Mazela introduced the audience to an environmentally friendly wood protection system based on natural compounds, inter alia propolis, caffeine, alkaloids in a mixture with aminosilanes, and prof. Jadwiga Zabielska-Matejuk to the possibility of application of mint extracts in protective agents and their fixation in wood. Amongst the presented issues were also analyses of the chemical composition of wood originating from fast-growing species plantations and intended for the production of wood-based panels (dr Piotr Boruszewski et al.). Dr Holger Weimar from Thünen Institute in Hamburga told the conference participants a few words about the European wood import from the perspective of EUTR.
The second day of the conference also abounded in many interesting presentations concerning, inter alia, results of the latest research on wood properties, waste wood recycling (prof. Hanna Wróblewska, dr Dominika Janiszewska, Peter Meinlschmidt, dr Paweł Czarniak), wood ageing (dr Tomasz Krystofiak), bio-friendly wood preservation systems and the scientific perspective of wood use for energy purposes.
All thematic sessions raised animated discussions between scientists and practitioners represented by, inter alia, the State Forests, wood-based industries and other economic entities.
Recapitulating the conference, assoc. prof. Władysław Strykowski, PhD, emphasised the growing importance of forestry and the wood industry in the European and global economy. He thanked all the speakers, authors of posters and participants for presenting the latest research lines and innovations in the forestry-wood sector and for lively and constructive scientific discussion, and thus a fruitful exchange of opinions. He especially thanked the guest of honour – prof. Jim L. Bowyer – for adding splendour to the conference by his presence and giving an interesting lecture. In reply, prof. Bowyer expressed his satisfaction from participation in the conference, whose scientific standard he thought to have been very good. Closing the conference, assoc. prof. Strykowski, PhD, invited all participants to take part in the second edition of the conference in two years’ time in Poznan.