Tilhill Forestry will be working with both the University of the Highland and Islands (UHI) and Innovate UK on a new Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a UK-wide programme that has been helping businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base, for the past 40 years.
The purpose of this partnership is to develop and deliver “Trees to Timber Mill” (TTM), a digital end-to-end logistics solution that will deliver process efficiencies, improved reporting and reduced supply chain costs in the timber trade with a unique decision support system enabling the company to both optimise the standing timber crop’s conversion into logs during tree harvesting operations, and maximise the high value sawn timber product cut from these logs at the sawmill.
Dr Ian Heywood, Innovate UK, knowledge transfer adviser, North Scotland said: “Investing in innovation is a key indicator of an ambitious and forward-thinking company and it is a pleasure to be working alongside the academic team from the UHI and the North of Scotland KTP Centre to support Tilhill Forestry deliver this exciting project.”
A Knowledge Transfer Partnership serves to meet a core strategic need and to identify innovative solutions to help the business grow through improved quality and operations.
Dr Euan Bowditch, UHI researcher – forestry and social-ecology said: “Inverness College UHI (Research) is very excited to be working in partnership with Tilhill Forestry. Innovation has always been at the heart of research and this partnership offers the opportunity to address a key issue in forestry, as well as integrate and develop interdisciplinary skillsets – we look forward to bringing innovation experience to both our students and own research.”
Tilhill Forestry will be working with a new UHI Researcher and Knowledge Transfer Partnership associate to look at the improved use of data in the forest to mill supply chain. The project will be looking to recruit an associate to lead on this work.
Tilhill’s business development manager Peter Whitfield said: “We are very much looking forward to working with UHI and KTP teams. The partnership will take place over two years and is a really exciting opportunity to give Tilhill Forestry a chance to better utilise the wealth of data available to us as a business.”
Photo: Laura Dee KTN, Andrew Duncan UHI, Ewan Robertson Tilhill Forestry, Ewan Bowditch UHI, Peter Whitfield, Ian Hayward KTN.