RMK provides new impetus for forestry research 27.05

The RMK Research Council has selected new research projects to receive more than EUR 600 000 in funding over a period of three years.

Under the three funded projects, researchers will investigate the conversion of non-coniferous wood into high-value chemicals, the impact of cutting activities on the carbon cycle in forests, and the intelligent protection of biodiversity in Estonia’s natural and commercial forests.

In total, the RMK Research Council received 18 applications for the funding of applied research, and according to Aigar Kallas, Chairman of the Management Board of RMK, they were of a very good level. “The selected projects had been thoroughly prepared and were innovative, their managers were up to the task at hand, and the topics provided international interest,” Kallas said. “I am pleased that researchers engaged in the pursuit of applied research supporting sustainable forestry have been included from the University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology, and the Estonian University of Life Sciences.”

According to Kristjan Tõnisson, Chief Specialist of the Nature Protection Department and supervisor of research, this time the RMK Research Council pre-provided applicants with ten subject areas for the investigation of which ideas were sought. “The ideas contained in the applications most often addressed adding value to wood and wood waste and manufacturing new raw materials or products from them as a result of biochemical processes,” explained Kristjan Tõnisson. “This trend confirms that researchers know how to and want to contribute to growing the competitiveness of Estonia’s forestry sector, and to creating opportunities for the innovative and high added-value use of wood.”

All three of the selected research projects will last for three years, and RMK will fund each project with approximately EUR 200 000 during that period. A detailed description of the supported projects, their promoters and the support amounts, are available at: http://www.rmk.ee/organisatsioon/teadustegevus/toetatud-uurimisprojektid

RMK began targeted support for research work in 2008. To date, 11 applied research projects have been funded in the total sum of EUR 1.1 million. RMK refers to the results of research already completed in its daily work.

RMK is the keeper, protector and manager of the forest and other natural biotic communities belonging to the Republic of Estonia. RMK earns a profit for the state through forest management, growing reforestation material, and organising forest and nature conservation works. In addition, RMK establishes opportunities for nature walking in recreational and protected areas and shapes nature awareness. RMK consists of the Sagadi Forest Centre, the Elistvere Animal Park, the Tartu Tree Nursery, AS Eesti Metsataim and the Põlula Fish Farm. More than 700 people work for RMK; however, the total number of people employed in the state forest is 5000.

Further information:
Kristjan Tõnisson
RMK Nature Protection Department Chief Specialist
Tel 5691 8728
e-mail kristjan.tonisson@rmk.ee