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Forestry AI app won international prize

2 May 2024

The AI application developed by Metsä Group and CollectiveCrunch for detecting insect damage won the international Innovation of Innovations prize. Metsä Fibre’s Future Sawmill concept was recognised in the Business innovations category.

The international Quality Innovation Award (QIA) 2023 competition rewards the most notable innovations of the year. The award-winning application from Metsä Group and CollectiveCrunch detects insect damage in forests such as damage caused by spruce bark beetles before it is visible to the human eye. The application is based on artificial intelligence, machine learning and open data. The AI application shared the first prize with a technology innovation in the field of medicine.

“Global warming is increasing the risks to the health of forests. This real-time method for detecting insect damage helps us preserve forest health and carbon sinks in a changing climate,” says Olli Leino, SVP, Development from Metsä Group’s Wood Supply and Forest Services.

Metsä Group’s wood supply personnel has been using the application since June 2023. The application can be used to both pinpoint damage and schedule wood trade and harvesting to reduce the risk of damage spreading.

The map material of risk sites produced by the application is visible in the Metsäverkko mobile application used by Metsä Group’s owner-members. If they wish, forest owners can use this material to visit the sites in person to check the risk areas and plan forestry work.

The Future Sawmill concept developed by Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, was recognised in the Business Innovations (large companies) category. The concept improves the efficiency of sawn timber production, safety at work, the production operating model and product quality management.

“We’re happy to have received this international recognition. We aim to develop the mechanical forest industry with industrial efficiency in mind. We wanted to create a concept for our sawmill, which is the most modern in the world, a forerunner in its technology, operating model and efficiency, and a global trendsetter in the field. This resulted in the Future Sawmill concept, which we used at our Rauma pine sawmill that came online in 2022,” says Ismo Nousiainen, Metsä Fibre’s CEO.

The Quality Innovation Award was now organised for the 17th time. This year, the competition received 562 entries from eight countries/areas, and the best 24 of them were rewarded. The winners of national quality contests can enter the international competition. National quality associations selected the winners in a tight vote. The China Association for Quality hosted the traditional award ceremony in April 2024.

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Source: Metsa

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