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ForestTECH 2020 – Early Expressions of Interest

4 May 2020

This is the first call for expressions of interest to present at this year’s November series of ForestTECH 2020.

ForestTECH – what is it?

Forestry resource managers, remote sensing, GIS and mapping specialists, inventory foresters, researchers and key technology suppliers attend ForestTECH each year. The annual forest technology series has been running since 2007. It typically comprises a two-day conference, practical workshops and trade exhibitions. It runs in both New Zealand and Australia and has firmly established itself on the international forestry calendar. As well as Australian and New Zealand companies, forestry companies and technology providers from the USA, Canada, Europe, SE Asia, South Africa and South America are regularly involved with the technology updates.

Changed format for 2020:

As a consequence of COVID-19, restrictions on international travel, border controls and social distancing requirements, industry events across the globe for at least the first half of 2020 have had to be either cancelled or postponed. Technology events run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association in Australia, New Zealand and Canada have, as a consequence, been run either as webinars or virtual events since March 2020. At this stage, the plan is to run the ForestTECH 2020 series in early-mid November as originally planned. It’s anticipated that travel between Australia and New Zealand will be permitted by November 2020. At this stage, it’s too early to gauge if presenters or delegates from outside Australasia will be able to attend the 2020 event in person. If this is the case, arrangements will be made for remote presentations along with live interactive presenter panel discussions and Q&A sessions. Likewise, live virtual presentations may also be set up for delegates outside of Australasia to participate.

So, what’s planned for 2020:

Remote sensing, data capture and inventory management:

ForestTECH 2020 will again be providing insights into new data collection technologies that have been developed and are being used operationally out in the forest along with advances that have been made on processing and better interpreting the big data streams now routinely being collected out in the field. Updates on disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, the IOT, machine and deep learning, robotics, automation, daily satellite imagery, UAV’s and the use of virtual and augmented reality and how they’re being integrated into day to day operations of forestry companies will also be covered. This though will be streamlined into one of the two days being planned for the two-day programme in both countries.

Forest establishment, mechanised planting and silviculture:

In addition, one day of the ForestTECH 2020 programme is this year being set aside to showcase a raft of new technologies that have or are being developed to improve efficiencies around forest establishment and silviculture. An increasing number of presentations given at recent ForestTECH events have covered research and trials being undertaken on planting with drones, survival counts of tree seedlings using satellite imagery, drones and deep learning. There’s also a resurgence of interest being shown by forestry companies in mechanised or automated operations for planting and silviculture to address the growing issues of labour shortages for forest operations.

Interested in Presenting?

If interested in presenting at the ForestTECH 2020 series this year, please register your early interest by emailing brent.apthorp@fiea.org.nz by Friday 29 May 2020.

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