FPInnovations has announced the renewal of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Forest Growers Research (FGR) of New Zealand to widen the scope of their information exchange in the area of steep slope harvesting, and to facilitate the international exchange of their combined research.

FPInnovations and FGR are mutually interested in forest technology and will share expertise in cooperative research, development, and application activities for specific projects agreed upon by both groups. The MOU will also allow both parties to share in the transfer of information and technology through cooperative demonstration projects and symposia, encourage the exchange of research personnel, and prepare joint reports where possible.

Common research areas for information exchange between FPInnovations and FGR include the environmental sustainability of harvesting operations, steep slope machine stability, steep slope road and landing construction, and soil disturbance in steep slope harvesting. Other joint topics of interest are the further development of line tension and cable integrity work, remote control, and teleoperation of forest machinery, and reducing energy intensity and the carbon footprint of forest operations. The new MOU is in effect through to June 2022.

“We are very pleased to have renewed this agreement with FGR in New Zealand. During the previous MOU, the conversations and information shared between the FPInnovations and New Zealand teams were extremely valuable to accelerate the dissemination of research findings and the introduction of new technologies such as winch-assist systems for steep slopes in BC,” said Alan Potter, Vice-President, Science and Innovation, FPInnovations.

”The collaboration with FPInnovations in Canada has added value to the Steepland Harvesting PGP program in terms of visits from Canadian harvesting researchers, presentations at conferences, and shared research reports over the last few years. We look forward to building on this collaboration when we commence our new program on forestry automation and robotics,” said Russell Dale, Chief Executive, Forest Growers Research Ltd.

FGR is part of the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (FOA) and co-ordinates industry input and funding of research programs relevant to the forest growing sector.