Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.
This project, funded by Gebert Rüf Stiftung, is supported by the following project partners: BFH-AHB; Arts and Design Manufacture SA
Project no: GRS-066/20
Amount of funding: CHF 150'000
Duration: 07.2020 - 03.2021
Area of activity:
First Ventures, seit 2018
Technik und Informatik (BFH-TI), Art and Design Manufacture SA
2504 Biel (Schweiz)
- elena.nedelkoska@bfh. ch
There is a long tradition in the use of tropical wood for expensive furniture, luxury objects and musical instruments due to their properties such as high density, hardness and aesthetic look. Many of them are endangered, not easily available, very expensive, and bear the risk of clients connecting the company to the illegal timber trade. Therefore, we came up with a solution to create a new material that has similar appearance and properties as tropical wood through modification of sustainable domestic wood. We offer customized modified wood (colour, density, etc.) according to the needs of the clients. To reach that, the project focuses on a technical part including the development of the wood modification setup based on machine learning and a business development part that is supported by our industrial partner Arts and Design Manufacture SA, a company with a long experience in the watch and jewellery industry who will provide their expertise in market strategies development. They will connect us to the customers who are worldwide selling producers of luxury and premium products in the watch industry, jewellery, kitchen utensils, furniture and accessories.
What is special about the project?
The goal of our project is to substitute tropical wood with modification of local sustainable wood with improved properties. The process of modification is based on densification technology in a closed system. We developed a lab-scale machine where parameters such as the moisture of wood, steam, temperature, and pressure are controlled. The innovation in this project consists of two parts. One part and the USP of the project is the possibility to customize the colour of the wood according to the needs of the customer. The second part is the process by itself, where we have a combination of the densification press (closed system) and machine learning model with the possibility to predict the final properties of modified wood. With this technology, we can control the quality of the modified wood and have appearance and properties as tropical wood.
The objective of this research was to define specific applications/products and markets for the coloured densified wood. The market research has shown that people are getting more and more aware of sustainable local products, which is an important outcome which supports our business case, but the critical point is affordability. Another important point is the size of the samples. Different market segments need different sample sizes; often larger than lab-scale. Therefore, our conclusion is to pivot from the substitution of tropical wood (product) to scale-up the densification technology. Our market research has shown that we should focus on the flooring market and on collaboration with an industrial partner in this field. Accordingly, we decided, for now, to continue pursuing our independent approach and further work on the technology as well as potential business models.
Projekt WoDens gewinnt «First Ventures» Förderbeitrag
, 10.7.2020Commercialised innovation: technology transfer through spin-off creation
, 3.13.07.2020Einheimisches Holz zu Tropenholz verarbeiten
, TV TeleBielingue, 21.07.2020Ausgezeichnetes Holz
, schreinersicht.ch, 3.11.08.2020BFH- Studentin imitiert Tropenholz
, bielertagblatt.ch, 3.22.08.2020Tropenholz-Imitat aus einheimischen Wäldern
, baublatt.ch, 12.10.2020Wie Tropenholz
, Holzbauer Spezial, page 12, 27.10.2020Fostering innovation in the field of sustainable development
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 08.03.2021