The Resin Innovation Challenge, launched by the SustForest Plus project, had nine participants who presented a total of twelve ideas for optimizing the activity of European resins.
The SustForest Plus project launched in January the Resin Innovation Challenge, an initiative that aims at bringing together some of the best innovative ideas that contribute to improve the quality of work and profitability of the resin trade. The goal is to make the resin extraction a business with a future.
This initiative adressed to the resin community in Spain, France and Portugal resulted in a total of twelve proposals from nine participants, all of them from Spain.
Initially, it was scheduled a meeting of the jury to proceed with the deliberation and designation of the winners, as part of the activities of the international conference " Resin, a business with a future", on the 10th and 11th March. However, these meetings had to be suspended, so the organization took the decision to evaluate the proposals through telematic meetings of the jury members.
Despite the circumstances, it was possible to count on an international jury made up of a committee of twelve expert partners of the SustForest Plus project, representing the entire European natural resin value chain, from forest owners to managers, resin producers, industrialists and research entities from Spain, France and Portugal.
Following the deliberations of the committee of experts, three winners out of five finalists have been nominated: the DRIADA project for forest data management; the innovative resin pot; and the PINELAB Little Big Factory, an initiative that aims at developing natural resin-based products in the food and cosmetic sectors. The other two finalists were the Resdron Method, which applies remote sensing to the estimation of resin production, and MARTRAK, a new resin tractor.
The Winners of the Challenge
The DRIADA project consists of a platform that contains all key data on forests for the management and use of resin resources. This will allow to know in real time the number of trees, the cubic meters of wood available, the species and fauna that inhabit them, the monitoring of signs and signals, the amount of resin of each pine and the best route to follow to collect resin.
The project "A new resin pot" aims at replacing the traditional plastic pot or container where the tree resin is collected with one of rosin plastisols, so to make a good use of both the container and its content.
The project PINELAB "The Little Big Factory" proposes the creation of a local cooperative to develop the use of resin by-products whose market is the cosmetic and food industry. The goal is to create a small engine for the local economy with an impact on rural employment, generating an identity of origin and quality mark through the resin transformation directly in its territories. In this way, sustainable and ultra-natural products, highly demanded by consumers, are placed on the market.
The Finalists of the Challenge
The RESDRÓN Method consists of detecting the most suitable masses for the resin extraction to increase the profitability of this activity. Innovative tools are used to obtain indices relating to the physiological state of forest stands. In this way, it is possible to obtain multispectral images captured by drones and hyperspectral images with a spectroradiometer. These images will be put in relation to the resin flow that will be determined through small incisions in the trunk.
MARTRAK, the resin tractor is equipped with a motor and four-wheel drive with a capacity to carry four 200-kg resin drums. This tractor allows the automatic emptying of resin pots without effort for the operator and is equipped with lights. The advantage over the traditional manual system lies in the semplicity of use. The efforts and the number of hours needed are now reduced and can be used for stimulation work, plus there’s the possibility to work at night.
Development of the winning ideas
All participants in the Resin Innovation Challenge, as well as other entrepreneurs, will be able to present their ideas at the international event idiForest, the emerging innovation and technology for non-timber forest products, where they will be advised by technologists and experts in the development of business ideas, in order to bring their initiatives to the market.
The three Challenge winners will be invited to participate in idiForest with all expenses paid. This event, initially scheduled for April 2020, has been postponed due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic containment measures at both national and international level. IdiForest will take place in the city of Soria (Spain) when circumstances allow it. For more information about the idiForest event visit the SustForest Plus project website.
The European Network of Resin Regions
The Resin Innovation Challenge emerged as an activity of the European Network of Resin Regions (ENRR) through the SustForest Plus project, which is co-financed by the Interreg Sudoe Programme through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The ENRR wants to be a reference organisation in the natural resin sector at European level. The objective is to integrate all members of its value chain and to lead those initiatives that increase the profitability of this activity and the visibility of the sector, promoting products that meet the sustainable development goals and obtaining support from public authorities.
The SustForest Plus project
The SustForest Plus project SOE2/P5/E0598 "Strategy and partnership networks for multifunctionality, conservation and employment in the territory of southern Europe through the extraction of resin", developed from 2018 to 2021, is co-financed by the Interreg Sudoe Program through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union. It aims at improving the methods of joint management of natural resin sources in the Sudoe territory as a strategic and preferential resource for industry, job creation and rational use of natural resources.
The SustForest Plus project has as beneficiary partners the following entities: Foundation Cesefor (Centro de Servicios y Promoción Forestal y de su Industria de Castilla y León), Centre Nacional de la Propriété Forestière (CNPF), European Forest Institute (EFI), Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (INIAV), the municipalities of Penela and Proença-a-Nova and the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM).
The project has also been supported by the following entities related to the sector of natural resins and belonging to the territory SUDOE (Tunisia, Greece and Italy) which participated as associated partners of the project: Asociación Nacional de Resineros (ANR), Associação das Indústrias de Madeira e Mobiliário de Portugal (AIMMP), Associação Florestal do Vale do Douro Norte (Aflorodounorte), Certis – Controlo e Certificação, Lda., Decentraliced Administration of Epirus-Western Macedonia, Diputación Provincial de Soria, Essência Química – Resinas e Derivados, Eurorègion Nouvelle Aquitaine-Euskadi-Navarre, Federación de Asociaciones Forestales de Castilla y León (FAFCYLE), Groupement de Producteurs Forestiers du sud Gironde (CPFA), Holiste Laboratoires et Developpement, Industrial Resinera Valcan, S. A. (IRV), Instituto de Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas (ICNF), National Institute for Research in Rural Engineering Water and Forestry (INRGREF), Junta de Castilla y León, Luresa Resinas, S. L., Pôle de compétitivité Xylofutur, Quercus - Associação Nacional de Conservação da Natureza, Resipinus - Associação de Destiladores e Exploradores de Resina, Rincón de la Vega S.A.L., Sociedad de Resinas Naturales, S.A., Unione Di Comuni Valdarno E Valdisieve, United Ressins – Produção de Resinas S.A. and Centro de Investigación Forestal de Lourizán.