Increasing the value of under-utilised forest resources through the development of advanced engineered wood products (PNB407-1516)
The aim of this project was to deliver and validate technologies to transform low-value forest resources and sub-optimum quality logs into high-value construction and appearance products suitable for Australian and international markets. The project was designed to achieve this objective through a methodology that focused on forest resource, new technologies, market and economic aspects. Critical to the project design was direct participation and guidance by forest industry stakeholders.
The project has provided a wealth of new knowledge for the Australian industry and identified many technical and economic opportunities for industry to consider that can utilize forest resources that are currently under-valued and underutilized, for the manufacture of high-performing value-added engineered wood products.
Active participation of key industry stakeholders through the duration of the project and the commercial investigations that have occurred in parallel with the project demonstrates strong industry interest in the subject. Further collaborative effort is required to advance the definition of target markets, allowing further product development focus that optimizes species selection, lay-up strategies, manufacturing protocols and final product performance criteria. This effort would have the best chances of success, demonstrated by product commercialization, by close partnership with industries ready to adopt and develop the necessary practices required to produce the new product(s).
Specialist marketing expertise would add significant value to further efforts to better enable genuine ‘new’ markets (markets not currently occupied by a wood product) to be identified and developed as well as ‘substitute’ markets (markets historically or currently occupied by wood products of some description) to be targeted. Continued economic assessment is also necessary to guide decision making.