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Recently, the need to mechanise silvicultural operations has increased in the Nordic countries. While several new machine concepts have been developed, the manufacture of silvicultural devices remains at the market introduction stage. Information is required in support of existing and forthcoming Finnish small-scale producers of silvicultural devices, who wish to commercialise and further market their innovations in domestic and export markets. The aim of this study was to identify the opportunities, challenges and market potential of business activities that develop in connection with device or machine production. Small-scale Finnish manufacturers of silvicultural devices, Finnish large-scale harvester manufacturers and international silvicultural experts participated in the study. The results show that participant groups have varying opinions of cooperation methods and export activities, as well as of the export markets with the best potential. According to international silvicultural experts, mechanised planting and pre-commercial thinning have the greatest potential worldwide. However, demand for mechanised pre-commercial thinning and planting has been mainly confined to the Nordic countries. For a foreign firm marketing a new silvicultural machine concept, the most important customers and cooperation partners are locally operating forest firms, machine contractors and research organisations. The results of the study provide a useful overview of the current state of silvicultural device manufacturing in Finland.
Finnish Forest Research Institute, Suonenjoki Unit, Juntintie 154, FI-77600 Suonenjoki, Finland
Metsä Group, Tampere, Finland