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World-Leading Canadian Forestry Innovators Drawn to Edinburgh For Major Conference

Francis Charette from FPInnovations, the world leader renowned for its part in supporting the Canadian forest sector’s global competitiveness, has agreed to travel to Scotland to address the Institute of Chartered Foresters’ (ICF) annual flagship two-day conference.

Innovation for Change – New drivers for tomorrow’s forestry will be held on 2-3 May at Edinburgh International Conference Centre. It will focus on the impact of a fourth industrial revolution, one fusing science and technology so fast that it’s now hard to keep pace. The programme will explore not just how it affects the way we operate and the changes that will affect the forestry and arboricultural sector, but also the human shifts of mind set and ethics quite unlike anything we’ve experienced before.

FPInnovations, where Francis is Associate Research Leader, are specialists in creating innovative scientific solutions for forestry. During his presentation on the opening day of the conference, Francis will talk about the benefits and challenges of automation in forestry; one of the many areas where we will also have to consider ethics when we look at our future workforce.

Associate member, Chris Hamill

Innovation for Change will be opened by Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP.  Other speakers include: Fiona Lickorish, Cranfield University (strategic foresight to manage change); Prof Tariq Butt, Swansea University (biopesticide-based tree pest controls); Prof John Mackay, University of Oxford (biotechnology and tree breeding); Jeremie Leonard, BioCarbon Engineering (unmanned aerial vehicles); Prof Iain H Woodhouse, University of Edinburgh and Carbomap (remote sensing innovations); Juan Suárez-Minguez, Forest Research (detection of tree stress by thermal imagery); Sharon Hosegood FICFor, Sharon Hosegood Associates Ltd (radar surveys of urban tree roots); and Prof Stefano Pascucci, University of Exeter Business School (Circular Economy).

Commenting on the significance of the Institute’s 2018 National Conference, Chair and ICF Associate member Chris Hamill said:

“We live in a competitive environment where organisations are becoming more reliant on innovation. As technology and science become increasingly important, it requires improved awareness and understanding of those developments, so that we can adapt operational methods and our management approaches accordingly. This conference is the perfect platform to equip us with the information required to ensure continuous improvement, and to maintain excellence in our industry.”

There has never been a time of greater promise, or one of greater potential peril. It all comes down to how we manage change, people and our values. ICF’s National Conference 2018 aims to provide the tools to do just that.

Early Bird Ticket discounts end 31 December 2017 at:


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Notes to Editor

  1. The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) is incorporated by Royal Charter as the only professional body in the UK to award Chartered Forester and Chartered Arboriculturist statuses. Full details of how to join the Institute, and routes to professional membership are available on the ICF website:
  2. Canada is the world’s second-largest exporter of forestry goods, and the industry contributes significantly to Canada’s surplus global balance of trade. Visit for full ticket and programme information for Innovation for Change: New Drivers for Tomorrow’s Forestry.
  3. Previous ICF National Conference resources can be accessed by visiting:

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