Our activities

Science for a bioeconomy based on eucalyptus forest.

Our services and specialized consultancy represent the Institute’s commitment to producing excelling knowledge, aiming to increase the competitive advantage and productivity of the forest, pulp, and paper industry.


Forestry R&D and Consulting

RAIZ Forest R&D and Consulting develops scientific knowledge and state of the art technologies applied to eucalypt genetics and silviculture.
The team's focus on innovation relies on the efficient use of resources and the search for sustainable forest management.

The objective of genetic improvement is to deliver to The Navigator Company large-scale production nurseries eucalypt genetic materials (clones and seed) more productive, suitable for the production of pulp and paper and well adapted to the different soils and climate conditions in Portugal, as well as tolerant to major pests and diseases.

Selected clones are integrated in a recommendation that includes information about performance and preferential allocation in distinct areas of the country.

In biotechnology molecular tools are applied in order to support the development of eucalypt improved genetic materials (clones and seed), through:

  • the implementation of quality control procedures in terms of clonal identity, paternity testing;
  • the production of genetic diversity estimates, and;
  • the identification of natural eucalypt provenances of interest.

This area is also dedicated to look for new techniques aiming to circumvent current bottlenecks in the deployment of improved clones, for example through micropropagation and mini-cuttings production.

This area aims to provide guidelines that will increase the operational production of improved clonal and seedling plants through:

  • the study of the impact of mother-plant nutrition and rejuvenation (through tissue culture) on the success of vegetative propagation;
  • tests to evaluate the potential of innovative propagation protocols (such as mini-cuttings and bioreactors) as complementary techniques.

This area is also dedicated to investigating state-of-the-art knowledge on eucalypt flowering and improved seed production strategies, to offer open-pollinated seed orchard management guidelines.

With a focus on the efficient use of resources, in a sustainable forest management perspective, RAIZ develops techniques that foster productivity, considering natural site climatic and soil conditions:

  • adoption of the best silvicultural practices,
  • proper allocation of genetic material, soil tillage,
  • weed control,
  • mineral / organic fertilization, and
  • integrated pest, disease and invasive plant monitoring and control.

The objective of this work is to minimize the impact of pest and diseases in eucalypt plantations, through the development of biotic risk monitoring tools for forest plantations and integrated control methods for pests, diseases and invasive plants (pests sensu lato), which often cause damage or compete with eucalypt plantations, and are essential for maintaining forest health and vitality.

Integrated pest management strategies are always favored, including methods of resistance or genetic tolerance, biological control, biotechnical control and, as a last resort, targeted chemical control. Biological control has been privileged by RAIZ, through the study of new organisms with the potential to be used as biological control agents.

Forest and environment are inseparable, since natural forests and often forest plantations are part of the rural landscape and in fact a basic requirement for ecological balance and the regulation of ecosystem services.

In this sense, it is part of RAIZ’s mission to generate knowledge and develop forest production technologies that favor the rational use of natural resources, the valorization of ecosystem services and the preservation of the environment. These aspects are considered in all forest R&D projects.

Forest consulting mission is:

  • to develop forest management tools
  • to provide technical support to the company’s operational area, and
  • training and promoting the best silvicultural practices for eucalypt plantations in Portugal.

Some of the main tools developed for the company were the criteria to establish site quality for eucalypt planting, which take into account climate and soil characteristics, land topography and biotic and abiotic risks. For each site condition, the expected eucalypt wood yield is estimated.




Technological R&D and Consulting

RAIZ Technological R&D and Consulting activity develops scientific knowledge and state of the art technologies covering all pulp & paper industry value chain, wood and raw materials, pulp production, printing & writing paper and tissue paper.

New applications are developed for industrial sub-products, within the context of circular economy, and emerging areas such as biorefinery and bio-products.

The efficient use of resources, environment preservation and the sustainability of the value chain, are transversal and central topics of the technological R&D and consulting area.

RAIZ has well-established competencies and knowledge on the technological evaluation and characterization (chemical and morphological) of wood and forest products as raw materials for the production of cellulosic pulp, as well as for new applications, namely within the context of a biorefinery.

RAIZ develops activities aiming the optimization of pulping and bleaching processes, effluent treatment and process residues and by-products upgrading, within the context of circular economy.

In parallel to the conventional pulp productions processes, RAIZ, in cooperation with its academic and R&D partners, develops new biomass deconstruction processes within the context of biorefineries of the future.

Cellulosic pulp, as a product, is an important research area, from the point of view of its papermaking performance (printing & writing and tissue) as well as its aptitude for other domains of application, namely for decor papers.

RAIZ also develops new applications for pulp, by using cellulosic fibers as reinforcement elements in thermoplastic biocomposites, or by the fractionation of its components into cellulose (micro- or nano-fibrillated) and hemicelluloses, and looking for new applications for these materials/products.

RAIZ develops basic knowledge, crucial to the understanding and improvement of the papermaking process, and knowledge of functional properties and product differentiation between printing-writing and tissue paper.

In this area RAIZ studies pulp beating, the interaction of different components in “wet end chemistry,” surface treatment and converting to final product. New paper applications, namely on flexible electronics, are also developed with partner R&D centers.

The implementation of the biorefinery concept in pulp and paper mills is one important challenge to RAIZ Technological R&D and consulting area as well as for its academic and R&D partners.

The research activity covers processes for the fractionation, conversion (chemical, thermochemical, biological) and separation of biomass components. Products with major focus include bioactive compounds from bark and wood, new materials and bioproducts from cellulose, hemicelluloses, sugars and lignin as well as biofuels obtained by (bio)(thermo)chemical conversion of biomass and biomass components.

Technological Consulting activity covers the pulp and paper process, environment and energy, aiming to find solutions for the optimization of operations, allowing us to face new industrial, economic and legislative challenges, serving The Navigator Company as well the pulp-and-paper sector.

In the environment context, the development and evaluation of technologies allowing the removal or reduction of emissions from liquid and gaseous effluents area crucial areas of activity. RAIZ is a partner of National and European pulp-and-paper sector in the development of environmental legislation within the context of BREF or ecological labels.

Technological Scouting at RAIZ

The technological scouting activity developed at RAIZ is a part of a global scouting network within The Navigator Company.

This area promotes:

- The monitoring of the evolution of base technologies and products;

- The analyses of new technologies and products with innovative or disruptive potential, nationally and internationally, which may represent opportunities for the company.

RAIZ technological scouting also participates actively in the implementation of The Navigator Company Industrial Property (IP) strategy.

Demonstration, Scale-Up, and New Businesses

The results of research carried out at RAIZ are essentially endogenized in the production areas and products of The Navigator Company core business: forest, pulp, paper (printing & writing and tissue) and energy.

However, there is a clear growth of R&D and disruptive innovation activities with the potential to generate new products and businesses, namely on the emerging areas of biorefineries, circular economy and new applications of pulp and paper.

The RAIZ “Demonstration, Scale-Up and New Businesses” activity is a part of an internal network at the Company, aiming the detection, demonstration (proofs of concept), scale-up and techno-economic feasibility of new processes and products resulting from R&D and disruptive innovation, with potential to generate new businesses and start-ups.




RAIZ, in collaboration with its higher education partners, promotes, develops and participates in specialized and advanced training activities for technicians and future professionals of the forestry production sector, pulp and paper industry and society, in general, namely, by:

  • Training NVG collaborators within the context of the “Navigator Learning Centre”;
  • Promoting and co-supervising master and doctoral thesis with the higher education partners;
  • Funding and training research fellows (grants);
  • Offering seminars and intensive specialized courses;

  • Offering training to technicians and operational staff of forest production sector, aiming knowledge transfer and its implementation in the field;
  • Participating in curricular activities and specialized courses offered by higher education partners;
  • Promoting “Invited Chairs” with higher education partners;
  • Producing and disseminating scientific and technical contents to the forestry sector and civil society in general.