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Sweden’s forest data lab moves to the next phase with more funding

An additional SEK 8 million (A$1.2m) is being invested in the National Forest Data Lab, which is run by the Swedish Forest Agency and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in collaboration with the forest sector and other authorities. With the help of new data, lab environment and artificial intelligence, the data lab can now be developed with a focus on forest damage and climate.Source: Timberbiz

The investment will be possible thanks to a support from Vinnova of 4 million. The rest is financed by the Swedish Forest Agency and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Access to new data sources and digital innovation is at the forefront is giving the forest sector a real boost.

Now it gets another real push forward and will provide concrete benefits for the climate and the forest sector, says Herman Sundqvist, Director General of the Swedish Forest Agency.

With the support from Vinnova, the National Forest Data Lab can enter the next phase where, among other things, forest basic data, one of the cornerstones of the lab environment, will be developed.

Both large and small players in the forest sector will have the opportunity to create smart solutions for increased utility, for example via new local data on the forest’s carbon content.

The focus going forward is better data on managing forest damage from spruce bark beetles and storms, but also on more climate-smart forestry.

A concrete example is the possibility of producing maps that show the risk of storm damage.

“I believe that the lab environment can also inspire other data-heavy groups to gather strength around data-driven innovation,” said Anna Lundhagen, Vice-Rector for Environmental Analysis at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

The Forest Data Lab works with forest data produced through airborne laser scanning, satellites, drones and field inventories.

It is about producing relevant data, working on it and then making it available with cutting-edge tools that the forest sector’s actors can use concretely for efficiency and increased environmental consideration.

Since 2019, the collaboration has resulted in services where satellite images are used for detection of forest damage.

This has been integrated into several forest companies and service providers’ own systems and services.

The National Forest Data Lab is run by the Swedish Forest Agency and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in close collaboration with a number of external actors such as authorities and the forest industry who contribute their own resources.

The National Forest Data Lab is a national resource that aims to increase accessibility and thereby facilitate the use of data on the forest.

The Swedish Space Agency and the Space Data Lab are examples of partners.

The ambition is for the National Forest DataLab to be a creative meeting place for everyone who works with forest data.