Smallwood will provide a new and improved research-based knowledge base about how sustainable, and thus ethical, small diameter stands (SDS) utilization can be increased with novel harvesting and extraction innovations (HEIs), spanning over the areas of technology and logistics, forest owner motivation, the innovation uptake among forestry actors and the macro-economic impact, environmental profile in relation to utilized wood volumes, and the overall sustainability impacts and value creation.
The scientific results and practical experiences gained in Smallwood will lead to an increased wood supply security by the development, introduction and evaluation of new HEIs, together with solutions for sustainable management and utilization of SDS. The project will result in increased sustainable mobilization of small trees at the European level, specifically adapted to multiple different forest conditions and with increased resilience in the remaining stands as well high quality wood in the future.
Smallwood is expected to boost the technical development of the identified HEIs, and further stimulate improved working technologies and logistics, applied for the individual HEIs. This has in turn a strong potential to increase the business opportunities for companies manufacturing the HEI for export on the world market, as well as European competitiveness in the research field. New efficient techniques and methods for harvesting small trees might also promote SDS management systems in regions where they today hardly exist and increase the forest owner motivation to do SDS management in rural areas.
Ultimately, Smallwood will contribute to the development of innovative business models. Social businesses to manage private forest owners’ lands under land stewardship agreements could constitute new forms of organisations and interactions between stakeholders. These new models can boost rural development and a positive societal perception about forestry and its contribution towards a sustainable society and increase the future production of high quality wood from the managed SDS.