General introduction

General introduction

The GDR Bois objectives

The wood science research group (GDR3544 "Sciences du Bois") was created in 2012 by the CNRS. It aims to:
(1) Structure wood research in France in order to increase its national visibility:
- improve communication between the groups that are involved in wood research and disseminate information on current projects and theses, for example by organizing exchange days or providing access to resources.
- promote skills transfer, inter-team collaboration and multidisciplinary research,
-identify challenges and issues to stimulate research in the directions that are deemed important by the scientific community. It can also contribute to forward-looking thinking in the field of wood science, in particular by providing innovation support to government ministries, local authorities and industry.

2) Contribute to the development of wood science training by:
- coordinating training opportunities,
- sharing teaching resources.

(3) Act as a relay for international wood science networks:
- by disseminating information more efficiently,
- to encourage the implementation of projects.

GDR Bois perimeter, disciplines, teams

Scientific activities focus on wood as a compartment of the tree, as a material for craftsmen and engineers, and as an archive of past events. The research theme also covers products derived or reconstituted from wood. In addition to the various themes tackled by the teams involved in the GDR Bois group, one subject unites the community across the board: the determinants of wood qualities. This subject can be divided into 3 main themes:
(i) Variations in wood properties in response to genetic and environmental factors and tree development constraints;
(ii) Relationships between structure at different scales and wood properties
(iii) Determinants of wood quality (suitability for use) and design of production systems to achieve this quality.

This definition of transversal themes of interest to the whole community also includes the consolidation or emergence of federative axes (wood -or its derivatives- in construction as structural elements, envelope material or panels...., wood machining, non-destructive testing...).

GDR3544 "Sciences du bois" is currently supported by several CNRS institutes. It is also supported by the French Ministry of Culture, INRAE, AgroPariTech and sponsors solicited by the hosts of organized events.

It gathers some 600 people (including 450 permanent staff) from CNRS units and other organizations (INRAE, CIRAD, Ministry of Culture, universities, engineering schools, FCBA, etc.). The teams involved come from a variety of disciplines—mechanics, physics, chemistry, biology and social sciences. This national network is complemented by foreign partners who are geographically or culturally close to the French teams, and who have established long-term relationships with them in the field of wood science.

GDR Bois actions

- The annual “Scientific days”  are organized in November: invited speakers report on advances in research related to the GDR Bois scientific project, flashtalks/posters sessions (voluntary contributions from participants). Presentations and abstracts of speakers and voluntary contributions are available in the "GDR Bois events" section, and a booklet of abstracts can be downloaded from the "HAL bois collection" webpage.

- GT working groups are also available to structure training and research activities. The WGs (recurring or ad hoc) meet during the annual scientific days. A few thematic workshops are also organized by the WGs.

- Schools for beginners in wood science (summer school) and thematic schools (PLURIBOIS) have also been organized since 2014.

- The GDR Bois supports inter-team or international mobility and the organization of lectures.


Management for the 2021 – 2025 period is defined by:
- a steering committee (CoDir) in charge of monitoring and managing the GDR Bois. It is assisted by a webmaster for communications.
- a scientific steering committee (Bureau), reflecting a wide range of disciplines and institutions, which provides advice on the GDR Bois's scientific policy and actions. The “Bureau” is regularly called upon, particularly by certain members for specific roles assigned to them (communication, resource sharing, training, international relations, partnerships, etc.).

The CoDir and Bureau meet 4 times a year to evaluate past actions, suggest new ones and decide on the GDR policy. Working Group leaders and event organizers may also be invited to attend.

The actions of the CoDir and the Board are complemented by those of the following commissions:
- a "Communication" commission, responsible for GDR communication (newsletter, social networks, organization of annual scientific events)
- a "GDR Support Evaluation" committee, responsible for evaluating the support requests that are made to the GDR Bois (inter-team mobility, international mobility, organization of meetings, etc.).
-an "International Relations" committee, responsible for sharing information with abroad researchers who may be interested in the GDR and its activities, and in participating in them.
- a "Training" commission, in charge of coordinating training initiatives at a national level and of developing digital wood science resources.
- a "Partnership" commission, whose task is to create synergies between research laboratories and industry actors.

Modification date: 14 March 2024 | Publication date: 16 November 2015 | By: Corinne Martin