Skip to main content

Digitalizing the wood industry: 5G-TIMBER kicks off

Funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe Innovation Action, the 5G-TIMBER project has officially kicked off. The objective of the project is to support the rapid uptake of 5G technologies in industry.

The focus of the 5G-TIMBER project specifically addresses the environmental and social sustainability of industrial production in the EU, by focusing on wood chain and construction sector, where the latter is responsible for 36% of GHG emissions in the EU. Working closely with the wood industries, we want to increase wood-based materials recycling by 50%, increase productivity by 15%, reach 99% of the work done in the factory (vs. 85% today), reduce on-site work by 10%, reduce product nonconformities by 10%, and increase workers’ safety in wooden houses production and onsite assembling.

An ambitious, multidisciplinary research and innovation team will carry out advanced, large-scale field trials on 5G deployments in energy-intensive scenarios such as sawmill machinery manufacturing, construction/renovation (woodhouse factory), wood waste valorisation through biochemical processes. The field trials are planned in Norway, Estonia and Finland. The project will demonstrate key innovations by proposing advanced digital wood models, open standards for production data, data analytics at the edge, precise indoor localization, “Digital Twin” and augmented reality applications and industrial IoT.

In the longer term, the 5G-TIMBER project will also contribute to meeting the growing demand for climate-friendly products and raw materials, enabling greater use of wood and wood-based products, and extending the lifecycle of wood to 100+ years to reduce waste and greenhouse gases. 5G-TIMBER’s solutions aspire to go far beyond the timber industry and are able to promote sustainable, efficient data-driven manufacturing in many other EU materials value chains. EU small and medium manufacturers face strong international competition and achieving global leadership in clean and climate-neutral industrial value chains is vital to future success, and to increase job attractiveness and security for a large, talented workforce. This project will provide open-source and open-standard based applications, business analysis and exploitation pathways that I believe will ensure significant impact - for the wood industry, and many others.

5G-TIMBER has a total budget of 10 million EUR and will run for three years from 1 June 2022. The consortium implementing the project is composed by 16 European organisations: Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia (Project coordinator), Crowdhelix Limited (Ireland), Athonet srl (Italy), Inlecom Commercial Pathway (Ireland), Jotne EPM Technology AS (Norway), Harmet Oü (Estonia), Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy (Finland), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Innovawood ASBL (Belgium), Hekotek AS, (Estonia), Tieto Finland Oy (Finland), Tieto Sweden AB (Sweden), Octavic PTS SRL (Romania), Thales DIS France SAS (France), Thales DIS AIS Deutschland GMBH (Germany) and Accelleran (Belgium). Prof. Marcello Urgo is the responsible for the DMEC research group, which also involves Prof. Giorgio Colombo, Dr. Marco Rossoni and Eng. Francesco Berardinucci.