INIA is a National Center assigned to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), at present depending on the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.
INIA was initially founded in 1971, although the activities on forest, wood and cork resources are much earlier, since they date back to 1927, when the Spanish Institute for Forest Research and Experiences (IFIE) was created.
The INIA activities are aimed to the coordination of research and development of agri-food sector, forestry and the bio-economy, as well as promoting the technology development and working with companies.
The areas of INIA scientific and technical activity are:
- Plant Production and Protection.
- Animal Production and Health.
- Food Quality and Safety.
The work within the IMIP is carried out in the timber and cork technological laboratories, which belong to the Forest Product Department of the Forest Research Institute (INIA-CIFOR). INIA-CIFOR integrates research teams specialized in knowledge of the forest systems, their environment, dynamics and disturbances, forest breeding, Mediterranean silviculture and short-rotation forestry, characterization and improvement of forest materials and the design and optimization of transformation processes, contributing to solve the problems of the forest sector in an unified and inclusive manner.
As far as the forest products research is concerned, INIA-CIFOR mainly works on characterization of raw materials (wood and cork) and their by-products, involving physical, mechanical, technological, and environmental evaluations, and also including aspects related with their behavior in use as well as the evaluation of improvements in their quality and design. Different INIA-CIFOR researchers on wood, cork and pulp products has been involved in CEN activities for developing and improving CEN and ISO standards.
At present the Wood and Cork Group has a Xilotheque and a Cork Collection both uniques nationally and an external accreditation according to ISO 17025 of the Timber laboratory.
Tasks in IMIP project
INIA is the WP2 leader in charge of the design and manufacture coordination of the IMIP panels. Besides that, the INIA participates in other Working Packages with more or less relevance, as in WP1 and WP3 and also in Transversal ones.
In the WP1, finished yet, INIA has been the responsible and main contributor of the fourth deliverable D.1.4.1 entitled “Criteria and indicators for the evaluation of the IMIP eco-construction system value chain”. In this deliverable is compiled the information of the set of criteria and indicators to be used for the evaluation of the sustainability of the IMIP Eco-Construction System. The report briefly defines sustainability and triple bottom line framework and the terms criteria and indicators. Thereafter it provides the stages of the IMIP Eco-Construction System value chain along with the definitions of the selected criteria and indicators within the three dimensions of sustainability, i.e., environment, economy and social. INIA has also contributed to the writing, review and data collection of the rest of the WP1 deliverables.
In the WP2, not finished yet, the goal is to Design and Manufacture the IMIP Panels. INIA has contributed to the coordination of panels design, completed now, from the mechanical behavior of the material point of view. In addition, analysis of the material and panels amount for pilot actions and tests requirements oriented to manufacture, that is now starting, have been analyzed. Currently our role is also to contribute to the writing and review of WP2 deliverables, specially the number 2 entitled “Report on compatible construction systems” and number 3 “Study on cascading use of interlocking panels”.
In the WP3, INIA is responsible for the mechanical behavior evaluation of the IMIP panels. The tests has not started yet but which one are required and material needed for them, are analyzed.
Furthermore, INIA is attended the management meetings of the IMIP project and carried out the communication tasks included in the project, as internal web dissemination, poster diffusion and contributing to the writing of several congress publications.
Future steps within and after IMIP project
Next steps of INIA within IMIP project will deal to finish the WP2 tasks related to final panels manufacture and complete the deliverable documents.
Structural tests according to WP3 plan will start as soon as components and final panels will be manufacture. A scientific publication of the results obtained will be carried out.
The use of sustainable materials and resource efficiency to comply circular economy and bioeconomy in building sector, are the base of research and technological projects hereinafter and natural, renewable, local materials as wood and cork, are the key to get it.