NFZ.forestnet is a European research and higher education network which gathers French, German and Swiss institutions conducting research in forestry, forest ecosystems and forest-related fields. Its aim is to create and develop collaborative research and educational projects. The network currently includes the University of Freiburg, the Forest Research Institute of Baden-Württemberg (FVA), the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), AgroParisTech and the University of Lorraine.
Founded in 2006, the NFZ network is celebrating its 10 years this year! To mark the occasion, several new actions have recently been proposed and a renewed framework agreement was signed on September 2, 2016 at the University of Freiburg.
Representatives of the different partner institutions gathered for this event which included a historical look at NFZ with presentations of the networks flagship projects, highlights of European and international collaborative projects developed through the network, and a forward look at challenges expected for the near future. Among the networks numerous collaborative initiatives, two research projects in particular have garnered attention recently: ‘BlackSecret‘ focused on mycorrhizal fungi, and ‘Interdrought‘ on severe drought scenarios – both lead through cooperation between INRA, WSL and LabEx ARBRE.
The signing ceremony was held at the end of this year’s NFZ 2016 Summer School on “Bioeconomy – a challenge for European forestry and the bio-based sector” (BioFor). This unique week-long interdisciplinary and international program ended with PhD students presenting their work on all aspects of forest sciences and fields closely related to bioeconomy (from social sciences to natural sciences, material, wood and engineering). The students’ innovative style combining role-playing, criticism, controversy and humor made this event all the more memorable. Another example of the quality of exchanges taking place within the NFZ network.