A new book on the commercial grading of timber from Icelandic conifer trees has recently been released. The publication is a product of an ongoing project in Iceland which aims at creating a foundation for the emerging timber industry in Iceland. The project is funded with a considerable grant from the Erasmus+ program.

The book, Gæðafjalir - Viðskiptaflokkun á timbri úr barrtrjám, was originally published in Swedish by Swedish Wood as a tool for grading timber in saw-mills and other production sites for timber. It is hoped that this book will become a useful tool in educating workers in the timber industry in Iceland.

The incentive

In early 2020, a new project was initiated in Iceland with the aim of creating a foundation for an emerging small-scale, forest-based industry in Iceland and to enhance teaching methods and materials in the forest sector for participating countries. The project name is TreProX. Key focus lays on the exchange and transfer of teaching materials, learning units, student and teacher exchanges and above all on the implementation of standards and certification schemes for quality assurance in the field of timber production.

The Agricultural University of Iceland, in cooperation with the Icelandic Forest Service, the Innovation Centre Iceland, the Linnaeus University (Sweden) and University of Copenhagen (Denmark), received a grant from the Erasmus+ program to fund a strategic partnership project titled “Innovations in Training and Exchange of Standards for Wood Processing”, in short TreProX. The project is funded with 284.868 EUR and will be in process until the end of the year 2022. Soon after the project started the Icelandic Innovation Centre withdrew from the project and the company Trétækniráðgjöf slf. became a member of the management group of the project instead.

From the book-release event at Mógilsá. From left: Hallgrímur Jónasson, Head of Icelandic Innovation Centre, Björn B. Jónsson from the Icelandic Forest Service, Eiríkur Þorsteinsson from Trétækniráðgjöf, Guðríður Helgadóttir From the Icelandic Agricultural University (LbhÍ) and Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir, Minister of Innovation. Photo: Rósa Björk JónsdóttirPeople were invited from different fields of the timber industry to participate in a trial run of the materials being produced by the project group. On October 20th 2020 all participants met on Teams to hear all about the project and get an introduction to what this is all about. All the participants introduced themselves and told about their experience in the timber industry and what they hope to get out of participating in our project. We look forward to starting working with everybody

Minister accepts first copy

Among the intellectual outputs of the project is the translation of a Swedish book on timber quality into Icelandic, the writing of a standard for alaskan poplar timber and the translation of a curriculum for forest farmers from Icelandic to English. The book on timber quality was formally released 13 November 2020 at the Icelandic Forest Research Mógilsá, when the Icelandic Minister of Innovation, Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir, accepted the first copy along with Hallgrímur Jónasson, head of the Icelandic Innovation Centre.

The book is available for online-reading or downloading at the TreProX website.

Text: Pétur Halldórsson