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Open digital platform for forest value chain optimization

This project aims to create an open, big data platform including artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics tools that will foster improved forest sustainability, accountability and decision-making by forest sector stakeholders and encourage sector diversification and expansion into the bio-economy.

Learn how this project will improve forest resource management and competitiveness for Canada’s forestry sector.

Project objectives

The introduction of Enhanced Forest Inventory (EFI) has greatly increased the quality and resolution of key forest resource information. EFI adoption is accelerating across Canada and is quickly becoming the standard tool for forest resource characterization. This project will demonstrate big data and AI techniques to integrate EFI information with data streams from across the value chain to transform decision-making and support a competitive New Brunswick forest sector.

Benefits include:

  • Strenghten awareness of modern AI and big data approaches among key forest sector stakeholders and relevant Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) staff
  • Provide data and analytics to make evidence-based decisions and identify opportunities to integrate the growing demand for forest biomass into existing forest value-chains
  • Provide certainty that biomass feedstocks required for bio-economy expansion can be procured sustainably and economically
  • Engaging with Indigenous communities in New Brunswick to incorporate their values and perspectives and support sustainable economic development opportunities

Digital and artificial intelligence techniques

The pilot will apply big data and AI to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the forest products industry through:

  • Multi-source data integration and fusion
  • More accurate biomass quantity and quality estimation
  • Digital planning
  • Integrated tactical and operations planning
  • Operations optimization in real time
  • Equipment health monitoring and diagnosis

Data requirements

  • Enhanced Forest Inventory (EFI) derived forest inventory information describing traditional forest products and biomass feedstock availability
  • Historic and real-time data about various aspects of the value chain:
    • Road network and transportation logistics
    • Data available from harvest operation machinery on productivity, production and under-utilized fibre
    • Mill demand, yard inventories and by-products


Potential Collaborators and Partners

  • IVADO - Institut de valorisation des données
  • Polytechnique Montréal
  • University of British Columbia
  • NRCan - Energy Technology Sector
  • Queen’s University
  • Province of New Brunswick
  • FPInnovations
  • OSISoft
  • National Research Council
  • International Energy Agency members
  • Multiple private sector companies


Mouloud Amazouz
Daniel Mazerolle
Eric Soucy

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