Forest Industries Research Centre (FIRC-USC)

University of the Sunshine Coast

The Forest Industries Research Centre (FIRC) is focused on issues as they relate to the forestry value chain, chiefly the economic and environmental sustainability of forest industries. The forestry value chain covers a wide range of research disciplines including genetics and genomics, silviculture and stand management, forest health and pest management, ecology and biodiversity management, timber and biomass harvest and haulage, fibre quality and value, timber processing and biorefinery, renewable energy and biofuels as well as timber construction materials. While these research areas are all important in their own right, from the perspective of the FIRC, they all interact with each other in real ways to have important impact. We believe a multidisciplinary approach is the best means to understand and identify value in these interactions.

Organisation type
  • University Research Centre
  • Queensland Government – Partner
Number of research staff
20-100 research staff
Innovation Centre, 50 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs QLD 4556

Strengths and capabilities

  • Optimised forest supply chain planning and management
  • Sustainable biomass/bioenergy supply chain systems and management
  • Subtropical forest and plantation management systems
  • Forestry pest & disease management incl. biological control systems
  • Tropical and subtropical plantation species selection and breeding
  • Plantation and regrowth timber processing for engineered wood products

Facilities and major equipment

  • Research glasshouses and shade houses
  • Permanent sample plot networks
  • Soil research labs
  • Tropical and sub|tropical improved tree genetics

Lead researcher

  • Senior Research Fellow Dr Mauricio Acuna—Development of optimised forest and bioenergy supply chain planning frameworks across Europe, South America and Australia
  • Ass. Prof David Lee—World leading research on Eucalyptus, Corymbia, Khaya, Grevillea and Acacia tree improvement
  • Prof John Herbohn—World leader in developing sustainable strategies for reforestation that form part of the livelihood strategies of communities

Achievements of the centre

  • Development of bioenergy supply chain optimisation strategies to meet sustainable renewable energy needs
  • Development of improved breeding genetics material for the growth and management of plantations in the tropics and subtropics
  • Establishment of improved, sustainable industry collaboration structures for the delivery of innovation across the forest supply chain

Key science sectors

More information about the sectors this centre is involved in:

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