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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FORESTS - Embracing Innovations!

Today, on International Day of Forests 2024, we celebrate innovations symbolizing progress. S-WIN, the Swiss Innovation Network for Wood Research, welcomes the global attention towards forests and innovative approaches to their care, management, and utilization. Our mission is to promote innovations, share knowledge, mobilize stakeholders, and implement innovative projects that enhance the sustainability of Swiss forestry and ecosystems, thereby supporting society. It brings us joy and pride to carry out this work and collaborate with dedicated partners. Our focus is on innovations - showcasing outstanding projects in forest research on this blog. A healthy forest is not only crucial for the environment but also for climate resilience and society, which values the forest as a recreational area. Therefore, it is essential to manage the forest properly - as only a carefully maintained forest can withstand the challenges posed by climate change in the near future, especially through extreme weather events and pest infestations. In Switzerland, there are many private forest owners who, unlike the S-WIN network, do not engage with the forest on a daily basis. An exciting solution to assist these private forest owners in maintaining a professional dialogue with foresters and keeping their forests healthy was developed in collaboration between HAFL and Wald Plus AG under the leadership of Project Manager Christian Rosset and his team. They created the innovative online platform "Meinwald." MeinWald allows understanding of forest parcels, their composition, and forest development. MeinWald also simulates how the forest will look in 10, 20, or 30 years based on chosen management practices.

 

However, wood is not only important in the form of trees in the forest. It is also utilized in spectacular innovations such as producing new products from wood. Did you know that wound healing products from wood are being researched? Wood contains not only the more commonly known cellulose but also lignin. When a derivative of this molecule comes into contact with bacterial cell walls, they are destroyed. This enables antibacterial treatment of wounds. Gustav Nyström from Empa has developed a wound spray in collaboration with Bloom Biorenewables consisting solely of wood (lignin and cellulose), oil, and water. Lignin acts as the antimicrobial component dissolved in oil while cellulose thickens the liquid! Curious? Learn more in our video.

 

If you are interested in innovative wood projects, visit our blog or YouTube channel. If you wish to undertake your own exciting projects, contact us! Information on project submissions can be found here.




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