Project HESOFF is being implemented within cooperation between the Institute of Aviation in Warsaw and the Forestry Research Institute in Sękocin Stary, and is co-financed by the European Commission and the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.


Institute of Aviation

The history of the Institute of Aviation goes back to the beginnings of Poland’s independence, but the official start date of the Institute’s activity is August 1, 1926. In the initial phase of its operation, the Institute acted as the Institute of Aviation Technical Research. This name survived until the beginning of World War II. The activity in the years 1926-1939 focused primarily on the study and certification of aircraft. All Polish pre-war military aircraft were tested and certified at the Institute. In a short time it became a research institution valued in the country and set new horizons in the aviation industry. The events of 1939 stopped the dynamically developing branch. During the war, the Institute ceased its activities, but the staff remained in close connection with the aviation industry, taking up jobs in reputable foreign institutions, especially in England, as well as developing strategies for reactivating the center after the war.

In 1945, the Technical Institute of Aviation was established, which was located in the surviving buildings at the Warsaw Okecie. In the initial phase of its post-war activity in the Institute, pulse and jet engines were developed, and work began on the groundbreaking SP-GIL helicopter in the Polish aerospace industry. In addition, the Institute conducted homologation tests of Szpak 2 and the first post-war Sęp glider. In 1948, the Institute changed its name to the Main Institute of Aviation, and in 1952 it was given the name that is used today by the Institute of Aviation. The post-war period is the time when the scientific research and constructive staff are mainly involved in the design and manufacture of licensed PO-2 biplanes and the MIG-15 fighter aircraft that was very modern at the time. The main constructor of the Institute of Aviation in these years was the eminent aviation visionary prof. Tadeusz Sołtyk. Under his leadership TS-Bies planes, TS-Iskra and supersonic prototype of TS-Grot training aircraft were created. These are structures that inspire admiration in the entire aviation environment. In addition to aircraft structures, the facility began to specialize in the design and research of flying objects, such as rockets and flying targets. The meteorological rocket Meteor 1, which was entirely created at the Institute, has gained recognition. The next years of the Institute’s activity are primarily the work on the program to create a training and combat aircraft for the army. Aircraft I-22 Iryd (created at the Institute of Aviation), received all the required certificates confirming the compliance of the aircraft construction program with the applicable regulations and the requirements of the ordering party. In this way, the Institute of Aviation fully complied with the task set by the government of Poland. Another challenge for the Institute’s engineers was the construction of a four-seater, composite passenger airplane of the new generation I-23 Manager. The work was completed successfully and the plane received very good marks among aviation experts. Among the projects from the period 1990-2000, we must also distinguish the design of the two-seater school airplane I-25 As, a two-seater helicopter patrol IS-2 and patrol-rescue hovercraft PRP-560 Ranger.

Currently, the Institute of Aviation is an institution that specializes in providing top-quality research that provides solutions to the problems of modern aviation. The Institute works closely with global aviation industry tycoons, such as General Electric, Boeing, Airbus or Pratt and Whitney. It also conducts research for other sectors of the economy.


Forest Research Institute

The history of the Forestry Research Institute dates back to the time when Poland regained its independence after the First World War. In the mid-1920s, foresters made efforts to create a scientific facility dealing with forest experimentation. In 1930, the Experimental Department of State Forests was established as a special unit on the rights of the state forest inspectorate. In 1934, it was transformed into the State Forests Research Institute at the General Directorate of State Forests with headquarters in Warsaw. After World War II, he was given the present name.

In the first period of the Institute’s activity, the research focused on the problems of intensification of the economy in the State Forests in order to increase their production capacity, preserve the wood resources on the trunk and rationalize its use. This was connected with the shortage of wood raw material due to the relatively low forest cover of Poland, the devastation of forests during the First World War and the constantly growing demand for wood. In this situation, the important directions of research was the selection for the renewal and afforestation of seeds and seedlings from selected forest tree populations, as well as limiting the destructive impact of insect pests and fungal diseases on the development of forest resources. The Institute played a pioneering role in the field of nature protection, especially in the protection of endangered plant and animal species.

Building of the Institute in Warsaw at Wery Kostrzewy Street (currently Bitwy Warszawskiej 1920) in 1965. In the interwar period, the Institute established contacts and cooperation with national and foreign centers of forestry sciences and became a member of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO).

World War II and the occupation of the country were painful years for the Institute and its employees – 17 employees were killed. In the Katyn the director Jan Teodor Hausbrandt was murdered. The Institute’s assets were devastated, looted or destroyed. After the end of hostilities, the Institute was reactivated with the formation of forest administration. In November 1944, the newly appointed director Franciszek Krzysik completed the research staff, secured property and research areas, launched the Seed Evaluation Station managed by Stanisław Tyszkiewicz in the Drewnica Forest Inspectorate, and in Białowieża a branch of the Institute headed by Jan Jerzy Karpiński. From January 1946, the Institute was headquartered in Warsaw as before the war. After the Second World War, the priority of the State Forests was to restore forest management, as well as to post-productise post-agricultural lands in large areas of the country within new borders. The works undertaken by the Institute in the field of scientific and practical basis for the management of forest resources were then pioneering. The Institute’s research made it possible to identify habitat-oriented post-agricultural lands of various categories, indicated methods for improving the conditions of tree growth, determined the most appropriate methods of soil cultivation and drainage, selection of appropriate tree species, proposed new methods of forest protection and its use. The research topics in the field of economics and organization of forestry farms, development of mountain forests as well as forestry microbiology and forest ecology developed. A modern classification of forest habitats has been developed, methods for preserving and afforesting unused agricultural areas have been implemented, rules for the selection of seed stands, classification of seeds and cones were established, annual reports on the yield of seeds of the most important species of trees and shrubs were carried out, multi-faceted research on water management in forests was carried out. In the years 1950-1970, monographic studies on biology and ecology of almost all economically important insect species and methods of predicting their occurrence were carried out. A system of cooperation between science and practice was developed, and the annual treatment of autumn searches for pests and signaling cards was implemented nationally, which allowed to prepare assessments and forecasts of emerging threats. The effectiveness of the chemical methods used at the time was tested and new measures and techniques for forest protection were implemented, also in the field of biological methods. The focal-complex method developed in Forest Research Institute is a practical example of holistic understanding of forest as an ecosystem and the use of natural mechanisms of its functioning in limiting the number of harmful insects from the point of view of forest management. The works carried out at the Institute in the 1970s and 1980s were related to the binding objectives of the economy implemented by the State Forests – the necessity to ensure the rhythmicity of wood supply for industry, and at the same time to care for the proper health of forest stands. Research was conducted in the field of scientific basis for the resistance of commercial stands to cultivated and breeding methods, the use of tree and bacteriotrophic phenomena and artificial mycorrhization of seedlings, the use of tree fertilization in nurseries and weakened stands, or the selection of passive and willow passive varieties of pathogens. Many of the previously developed methods were further improved based on the results of the latest research. Examples include the modern fire hazard assessment system, new methods for protecting crops against wildlife, environmentally friendly monitoring and insect protection measures, or the “PgIBL” preparation for protection against the tree fungus. The Institute also conducted research on forest productivity, important from the point of view of State Forests .

From the beginning of its 85-year activity, the Institute has been developing scientific research as part of international cooperation, which was initiated before Second World War. After the war, cooperation concerned the exchange of experience and knowledge between various institutions (eg IUFRO and FAO) as part of multilateral contacts between Eastern and Western Europe. The policy of the Institute’s extensive international cooperation is still systematically continued, especially intensively since the 4th Framework Program of the European Union started in the 1990s, to the ongoing programs. The Institute, as the only research institution in Europe, obtained the status of the Center of Excellence (PROFOREST) ​​in the field of protection of forest ecosystems. Since 2006, the Institute’s headquarters is located in Sękocin Stary.


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