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Forestry 4.0 – A Window Into the Future of Coastal Forestry

Twenty years ago, Deep Blue, an IBM super computer the size of two large refrigerators beat the world’s chess grandmaster, Gary Kasparov. Until then, no computer had even come close. Today, we carry devices with more power than Deep Blue in our pockets.

We are only now at the beginning fringes of the digital revolution.  Yet strides in technology have already revolutionized many industries. For example, supply networks can now be updated in real time to increase efficiencies in every possible way.  Until recently, the forest industry has been challenged in taking full advantage of accessing this type of technology because of its remoteness from communications infrastructures.  FPInnovations’, newly launched Forestry 4.0 program offers us a glimpse in how this can all change.

Forestry companies on the west coast of British Columbia are engaged more than ever in finding new and improved ways to operate and produce cutting edge forest products in competitive global markets.

The arrival of Forestry 4.0 provides an exciting vision of digital connectivity never before experienced with the forests. It reveals to us a future where data collected from satellites, aircraft, and ground-based observers can be combined to identify the right place to harvest based on environmental considerations and the needs of our customers worldwide. A forest industry connected in real-time that increases the efficiency of transport, automation, and robotics. Of on-demand production that will get the right wood into the right mills and sustainable products more quickly into the hands of clients.

This new future for forestry will be safer, less wasteful, more precise, less costly, and better for the environment. Ultimately, it will allow BC’s coastal forest industry to be more competitive in the global marketplace – key to its health and success as a global leader.

The digital revolution is well on its way, and here on the West Coast, with the foresight of programs like Forestry 4.0, we plan to take it on. We look forward to collaboration with our partners, from government, to industry, to our communities to make it a reality.