Competence Center Forest and Wood 4.0

Key Info

Basic Information

15.04.2018 to 14.04.2021
Organizational Unit:
Chair of Machine Tools, Automation and Control
European Union EU, Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia NRW

Research partner

    • Institute for Research and Transfer e.V. (RIF)
    • Institute for Human-Machine Interaction (MMI) RWTH
    • Institute for Work Science (IAW) RWTH
    • Forest Education Centre for Forest Work and Forest Technology of the State Office Forest and Wood NRW



Christian Fimmers

Managing Director


+49 241 80-28232



The importance of the forestry and timber sector cluster in North Rhine-Westphalia is considerable - and is often underestimated. More than a quarter of North Rhine-Westphalia is covered with forest; the forestry and timber industry is a considerable economic factor with around 18,000 companies, 38 billion € turnover, 165,000 employees, 7% of turnover or 9% of employment in the manufacturing sector and 152,000 private forest owners. The diversity and the number of actors and stakeholders involved, the complexity of structures and processes as well as the diverse and often conflicting demands on forest management are only insufficiently manageable with the current (information) technology and business management approaches.

In the manufacturing industry, the answer to the increasing complexity of products and production systems is industry 4.0. Expert workshops and the preliminary conceptual work based on them show that industry 4.0 concepts provide urgently needed new approaches for leading the forest and timber cluster into the future by optimising existing processes but also with new business models. Individual manufacturers of machines and software are unable to put the Forest and Wood 4.0 vision into practice. Rather, existing competencies from business, science and administration must be bundled in a comprehensive approach. This is exactly what the Forest and Wood 4.0 Competence Center is intended to achieve. The main objective of this project is therefore to create the conditions for the initial establishment of a Competence Center Forest and Wood 4.0 and its establishment in the Forest and Wood Cluster. Within the framework of the project, the necessary organisational and infrastructure structures are to be created, the necessary critical mass of know-how is to be built up and 4.0 components are to be implemented in concrete forests and wood in new Smart Forest Labs.