New-generation timber products and systems workshop

Australian universities have come together with FWPA to explore ‘Next Generation Timber Products and Systems’.

The workshop was hosted in collaboration with the ARC Centre for Forest Value (University of Tasmania), the Future Timber Hub (University of Queensland) and the ARC Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing (The University of Melbourne). It took place at Melbourne Business School and was facilitated by Christine Briggs, FWPA non-executive director and previously general manager of marketing and business development at Timberlink Australia.

Workshop participants enjoyed a smorgasbord of theory-into-practice examples and a taste of the value-adding potential of research and industry collaboration.

Aimed at technical managers and marketing, sales and business-development representatives within the Australian forest products industry, the workshop was well attended, with over 50 participants on the day.

Sessions explored Australia’s R&D capacity to consider future market opportunities, assess risks and threats, and address possible solutions.

Professor Greg Foliente, Enterprise Professor at the Melbourne School of Engineering, spoke about the trends and challenges surrounding transformative innovation in the built environment. For over twenty years, he led and managed a section of CSIRO’s built environment research portfolio, including timber engineering and construction.

Australian research groups presented their current projects and discussed potential opportunities for collaboration, while an international perspective was provided through the participation of ProWOOD (a Swedish industrial graduate school) and Christophe Sigrist, Professor for Timber Engineering and Steel Construction at Bern University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland.

One of the most useful outcomes will be the strengthening of links for collaborating on future research strategies and industry–research innovations, not only in Australia, but also with Scandinavia.

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