Master FAGE – Spécialité Bois, Forêt, Développement Durable (BFD)
The Master student program “Analysis of a Forest-Wood Product Chain”
PI : Wernsdörfer, Holger
Research unit: Forest and wood resource laboratory (LERFoB, UMR 1092 AgroParisTech-INRA), Nancy (France)
LabEx partners: Wood materials laboratory (LERMAB, EA 4370 Université de Lorraine, USC INRA; P. Gérardin, M.C. Trouy), Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy; Forest economics laboratory (LEF, UMR 356 AgroParisTech-INRA; M. Blondet), Nancy
Collaboration: Gipeblor (B. Kientz), Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy; Forests for tomorrow chair (AgroParisTech-ONF; A. Dragicevic, Y. Ehrhart), Nancy; Chair of Forest Operations of University of Freiburg (Germany; T. Fillbrandt, D. Jaeger); Research unit for environment, territories and infrastructures of IRSTEA Bordeaux (P. Deuffic)
Study programmes: Major “Wood – Forest – Sustainable development” (BFD; coordinators: P. Gérardin and H. Wernsdörfer) of Master “Biology and ecology for forests, agronomy and ecosystem management” (FAGE; coordinators: D. Epron and M. Fournier) of Université de Lorraine and AgroParisTech; connection with major “Forest resources and wood sector” (RFF) of AgroParisTech, double-degree programme of ENSTIB and AgroParisTech, and Master “Forest Sciences” of University of Freiburg
Context — The major “Wood – Forest – Sustainable development” within the FAGE master program addresses forest-resource assessment to meet industrial needs while respecting sustainable development and environmental protection. It relies on knowledge about forest growth and yield on the one hand, and about transformation processes and material properties of wood on the other hand. Over the course of the last year of training, students perform project work on the analysis of a forest-wood-product (FWP) chain, together with students from the University of Freiburg.
Objectives —For a project carried out over the 2014-2015 academic year using analysis of a forest-wood-product (FWP) chain study, fourteen Master BFD students with the University of Lorraine and students from the University of Freiburg sought to better understand and to further analyze problematics specific to the oak wood sector by communicating directly with a range of industry actors involved in different contexts (diverse roles, different perspectives, points of agreement). This study took place in north-eastern France and south-western Germany.
Approach — Beginning with a project topic identified in collaboration with an organization in the FWP chain (Gipeblor), students first perform a literature review. They then develop and implement an analysis based on on-site interviews of foresters and wood processors. Project results are presented to actors in the FWP chain, researchers and teachers, which are then documented in a report.
Key results — After studying published works on the subject, the students conducted a series of on-site interviews with industry actors which they then analyzed in the context of themes related to the resource, to specific dynamics of companies or businesses involved and how the actors themselves perceive the industry. These interviews indicate a range of diverse actors and different strategies employed by processors. Topics ranged from supply difficulties and more generally, competitiveness at the international level in the context of a second important transformation process in Asia, the connection with state funds made available for the purpose of purchasing raw materials and certain poorly conceived business strategies in terms of market-orientation. Published recommendations reflected lines of questioning initiated by this study concerning procurement, valorizing oak wood characteristics as well as marketing and the range of personnel employed by sector businesses.
Future perspectives — A similar student project will take place during the 2015-2016 academic year. This upcoming study is expected to provide a more detailed analysis of major hardwood species by focusing on the beech wood sector.