Fraunhofer WKI starts mentoring for LignoSilva Centre of Excellence in Slovakia

Press release /

On 8 February 2024, the kick-off event for the new mentoring programme of the Fraunhofer WKI took place in Bratislava at the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information. The aim of the "Upgrade of the Centre of Excellence LignoSilva" project, which is funded by the European Union, is to strengthen scientific excellence and international research contacts. The Fraunhofer WKI will act as a mentor in the coming years.

The image shows a measuring cup into which a brown-colored liquid is being poured.
© LignoSilva Center of Excellence
At the kick-off event for the LignoSilva Center of Excellence, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bohumil Kasal, Director of the Fraunhofer WKI, spoke about the mentoring program.
The photo shows an outdoor area next to a building with a machine.
© LignoSilva Center of Excellence
The LignoSilva Centre of Excellence has a 3D CT line for scanning wood.

„With the Fraunhofer WKI, we have a globally recognised partner with over 75 years of experience in industry-related research and development at our side. We will benefit from this experience in the strategic planning of CoE activities, the improvement of the research and innovation culture and the institutional environment,“ says Bc. Ing. Ľuboš Halvoň, PhD, General Director of the National Forest Centre (LignoSilva participant).

Prof. Dr Bohumil Kasal, Director of the Fraunhofer WKI, took part in the event and gave an outlook: „We at the Fraunhofer WKI have already accompanied and successfully completed the establishment of the InnoRenew CoE in Slovenia as a mentor. We can draw on a wealth of experience here. Now we will contribute our expertise and contacts to ensure that the LignoSilva CoE becomes a central research hub for the wood processing industry in Slovakia, in a research area that is relevant for the whole of Europe“.

The upgrade of the LignoSilva CoE for the forest-based industry represents a systematic and structural change in the research landscape of the forest-based sector in Slovakia. The EU has made a strategic shift towards a circular bioeconomy and is aiming for a low-carbon society based on renewable resources, including wood biomass. The forest-based research landscape in Slovakia - as in countries with a similar political history - is highly fragmented and loses much of its potential due to inadequate structures and strategies. It is also not yet integrated into co-operation with the western and northern countries of the European Union. In the long term, this will affect the entire value chain. The upgrade of the LignoSilva CoE is based on an institutional reform that introduces European standards in science management, increases excellence and expands research capacities. The digital transformation will be driven by the implementation of Forestry 4.0 and Pulp & Paper 4.0 in the CoE's research and innovation activities, supporting open science and making knowledge transfer to the forest-based sector more efficient.

The main objective of the project is to promote excellent research and applicable innovations for the forest-based sector in three research areas:

  • Smart technologies and systems to support wood production and industrial wood processing.
  • Pulp and paper technologies for biodegradable packaging and the development of speciality papers with multifunctional properties.
  • Recycling technologies and utilisation of cellulose sludge and wood ash.

The Fraunhofer WKI, together with the two main players in LignoSilva, the Slovakian National Forest Centre and the Pulp and Paper Research Institute, will restructure the existing research capacities and expand the CoE. With the support of the Fraunhofer WKI, both institutions will build sufficient capacity to address interdisciplinary and cross-cutting issues within the forest-based sector.

Last modified: