Forest Product Utilization Research in Ethiopia initially began in 1967 in Addis Ababa University under the then Ethio-Swedish Institute of Building Technology funded by the Swedish government. The research was mainly focused on studying wood degrading agents and the natural durability of indigenous timber species. However, the budget support was suspended and hence the research undertaking was not lasted long.
In 1969 with the support of Germany government wood strength research activities were initiated in Addis Ababa under the Faculty of Science. For a similar reason the research initiative at Science Faculty was not lasted long and discontinued. The breakthrough initiative emerged when the State Forest Development Enterprise was established in 1971. At that time the Forestry Advisory Group for Africa (FIAG) led by Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and FAO /UNIDO suggested the importance of studying wood products and utilization.
In recognition of the direction suggested by the advisory group, in 1974 a precondition was set to establish Wood Utilization and Research Center (WUARC). To serve as a central place and exploiting the comparative advantage, Addis Ababa was chosen as the seating place for the center. In 1977 a budget was secured from Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) to construct the facilities and then in 1979 WUARC was formally established in Addis Ababa at an estimated area of 28,700 m2. In 2015, when the Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute (EEFRI) was established, it became one of the research center administered by EEFRI and renamed as Wood Technology Research Center (WTRC). In order to bring similar activities which are carried out by the Forest Utilization Directorate here and there at Research centers, a corrective measure was taken to bring those activities in one center and its name has been changed to Forest Resources Utilization, Innovation Research and Training Center (FRU-IRTC). Training has also been taken into account owing to lack of facilities and training providers in the subject matter elsewhere in Ethiopia.
The core objectives of the FRU-IRTC is to provide information and technologies for sawmill and wood processing industries, construction and chemical sub-sector industries; and state of the art training and training facilities. Specific spheres of research mandate areas address by FRU-IRTC related to: structure and property of wood; the creation of new composites based on wood as a raw material; wood processing, engineering and its application; design, model preparation; chemical, physicochemical and biochemical conversion of wood and other ligno-cellulose raw material for various industrial application; biochemical and/or thermo-chemical conversion of biomass into bio-fuels. The center also supports the development of wood technology education and skills via a short-term training programs.
Forest Resources Utilization, Innovation Research and Training Center
P.o.box : 2322 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel.: 0118 89 85 08
Fax: 0114 42 36 86
Shasho Megerssa (Phd), Director
Tel.: 0114 40 21 81