Context — Today’s economic and social contexts are defined by a trend of job losses in industrial sectors resulting from the relocation of production facilities to countries with lower labor costs. Any effort to sustainably maintain our current standard of living will call for implementing ambitious public policies in innovation and promoting knowledge and technology transfer in research. This means to ARBRE that we must strengthen the connections between our primary mission to produce scientific knowledge and our additional mission objectives to support and develop training, expertise, innovation and knowledge and technology transfer. Facilitating the transfer of scientific knowledge to end-users can lead to an economic impact with direct and indirect results on products and new processes useful to our partners, both in private industry and in the public domain, involved in developing and protecting natural resources. In order to understand both the present and future needs of our industrial ecosystem, the timber industry, it is important that we design a certain number of projects positioned specifically with this approach in mind. The benefits will take several forms, from economic to environmental to socioeconomic, and will benefit multiple sectors in multiple jurisdictions at multiple time-scales. While a few projects supported by ARBRE are focused on outcomes that will have an impact within a 5-10 year time horizon, most of our projects have been designed with a view toward supporting strategic, long-term research expected to deliver benefits within a time horizon of 10-20 years.
Strategy — For successful knowledge and technology transfer, ARBRE has developed a series of actions oriented to fostering adopting new knowledge. These include:
- Organizing workshops
- Providing manuals with on-line user assistance
- Facilitating on-site training
- Developing accredited seminars with industry associations and forestry technology courses
- Organinzing surveys for industry actors and stakeholder users
ARBRE has planned to lead a series of knowledge transfer actions specifically geared to mobilizing a collaborative approach for co-constructed projects eligible for LabEx funding. This translates to i) actively involving research and development actors in both the public and private forest-wood sectors (ONF, CNPF, CRIT Bois, Pôle Fibres), ii) committing to produce tools to aid forest management, and to develop new processes and bio-sourced products, including patents, and iii) implementing an active policy for inciting knowledge and technology transfer through the annual LabEx call for project proposals.