NXTGENWOOD is an Irish research program and network for delivery of next generation wood products and increased economic return for Irish wood products.
- NXTGENWOOD is a collaboration between 5 partner Irish universities, 3 SFI research centres, and 12+ supporting industry partners.
- NXTGENWOOD is researching innovation from forest to factory.
- NXTGENWOOD links primary wood producers, wood processors, researchers, and industry to create high value materials from Irish forests.
- NXTGENWOOD will create a critical mass of researchers in wood research, training 12+ early career stage researchers over the project lifetime.
As expansion of Irish forestry continues, the economic and employment contribution to the economy will become more significant. This requires research, development and innovation to maximise the value of this resource and ensure environmental and biodiversity concerns are addressed.
NXTGENWOOD will create sustainable commercial solutions to maximise this valuable resource by driving wood product development and processing innovations. A sustainable forestry sector will play a key role in Ireland meeting national and international policy requirements in developing a circular economy, climate change, and the EU Green Deal goals. In the long-term the research program will progress environmental, social and economic benefits by utilising forest residue biomass as a resource for the production of value-added products and the implementation of innovative technologies for producing circular wood-based products.
The NXTGENWOOD multisectoral research programme funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will address innovation in structural timbers, green adhesives and resins for bonded wood products such as plywood and MDF, extraction and synthesis of valuable biomaterials and biochemicals, and the development of wood-based composites and biopolymers.
The project will also develop a research network that will:
- Launch higher value wood and wood-derived products into the market.
- Generate innovation and unique wood materials/biochemicals that can be exploited.
- Develop highly trained human capital that can enter the Irish workforce and foster the uptake of those emerging technologies.
- Support industry in the technology maturation and commercialisation process.
- Contribute to Ireland’s sustainability targets.