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Minister Doyle announces grant awards for Forest Research

Minister of State of the Department, Agriculture, Food and Marine, Andrew Doyle, TD, with responsibility for forestry, welcomed today’s announcement of research grant awards approaching €2 million for collaborative inter-institutional forest research projects under the Department’s competitive forest research funding programme (CoFoRD) saying “Today’s research funding announcement will make a significant contribution to the sector, in terms of its continued competitiveness and sustainability, while also adding to forest sector research capability”.

The newly funded research projects tackle a variety of important issues for the forest sector as follows:

  • addressing the needs of private forest owners with a view to greater mobilisation of privately owned timber;
  • developing knowledge on the wood quality of Irish hardwood thinnings and identifying possible end-use applications;
  • assessing the commercial potential  of using Irish Sitka spruce to manufacture a cross-laminated timber modular flooring system;
  • assessing how forest planning and management activities can contribute to the effective conservation of Hen Harriers; and
  • developing modelling capacity to examine future scenarios for agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration by forestry in Ireland.

The content of this Call was heavily influenced by FORI, the strategic research and innovation agenda for forestry developed under the auspices of the sector-led COFORD Council Forest Research Working Group and co-ordinated by Research Division of the Department.

Minister of State Doyle, commented “I particularly welcome the forestry research awards which address a number of critical issues for the sector, including enhanced mobilisation of timber from the private sector, value added opportunities for Irish grown timber, forest management and hen harrier conservation and land-use, agriculture and carbon sequestration by forestry”.

Earlier this year, over €800,000 was awarded under the Department’s CoFoRD programme to another collaborative inter-institutional forest research project addressing, inter alia, forest genetic resources, research on potential tolerance to ash dieback disease, and horizon scanning for potential pests and diseases of Sitka spruce.

Minister Doyle concluded by adding that “Today’s research awards brings the total investment made by my Department on forest research in 2016 to over €2.7 million”.

Full details of these awards are set out in Appendix 1. 

Information on Projects Funded can be found on the Departments website at  http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/research/summaryinformationonprojectsfundedindafmcallawards2016/

  1. Forest Research Ireland (FORI), which was developed under the auspices of the sector-led COFORD Council Forest Research Working Group, involving a wide diversity of stakeholders and co-ordinated by Research Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, captures specific policy, knowledge and production focused research topics and ideas relevant to the needs of forest stakeholders.
  2. The Programme of Competitive Forestry Research for Development (CoFoRD) is DAFM’s competitive public good forest research funding programme that aims to develop a scientific foundation and support for a sustainable, competitive, market orientated and innovative forest industry and is the main programme for funding forestry research in Ireland.
  3. FORI is primarily intended to guide the content of Calls under DAFM’s CoFoRD Programme but can also be used to inform the nature of other publicly funded forest research. It comprises a menu of policy, knowledge and production focused research topics and ideas prioritised for funding, with the flexibility to be utilised and adapted in a dynamic manner during that period. The publication of FORI re-affirms the Department’s on-going commitment to research, development and innovation in the forest sector.
  4. The COFORD Council for Forest Research and Development is a representative body from the Forest Sector in Ireland.  The Council advises the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine on research and development issues in the forest sector.

Added 15.12.16

To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 191/2016 (pdf 569Kb) 

Date Released: 15 December 2016