TTJ readers will recall the launch of the Medite 2016 Forum in November 2006, when the company celebrated the 30th anniversary of the commercial introduction of MDF into Europe.

The first output of the Forum was the Medite 2016 Compendium, a wide-ranging compilation of international viewpoints covering many topics, but all looking out over the next decade.

This proved to be a stimulating intellectual piece of work and somewhat unique in this age of short-term decision-making. It has proved highly useful and popular across the industry. The initiative was designed to make its mark continually and proactively going forward and, with this in mind, we have teamed up with TTJ to bring readers a new ‘Wood Futures’ monthly feature starting in this issue.

The timber industry has to look forward progressively and over coming months talented authors will be writing features and contributing on their specialist subjects with a view looking out possibly as far as 2012, the year of the London Olympics.

Ward Williams, based in the Pacific Northwest of the US, is the first contributor and we hope that you will enjoy his “Letter from America”.

As Catherine Guy-Quint, MEP, wrote in the foreward of the Medite 2016 Compendium, “There is no doubt, the future belongs to wood and to those who use it, whether it is for environmental or economic reasons. If we succeed in increasing the use of wood, everyone will gain.

“In order to achieve this objective, multiple means of communication must be found to inform European citizens effectively on the benefits of this material”.

It is in this spirit that TTJ and Medite (now part of the new Coillte Panel Products business, which includes Smartply OSB) bring readers this new Wood Futures page, which we sincerely believe can stimulate information flows and debate.

Looking to the future has always been a part of the Medite MDF approach and this initiative fits perfectly with our attitude of focusing on the bigger picture.

We hope you enjoy the read.