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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal IN-SYLVA France ONF FCBA CIRAD CNPF OFB Université de Rouen

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Champenoux, 54280, France
Silvatech : 3 pôles techniques

The SILVATECH platform is a national platform dedicated to the analysis of forest ecosystems and wood property. The range of techniques and methods the SILVATECH platform has developed makes integrated approaches possible, from the molecular to the plot scale. The platform is able to analyse structures, properties and functions, from the tree in its ecosystem to the wood itselfas a material.

SILVATECH is supported by the UMR SILVA (1434) and the UMR BEF (1138), the UMR IAM (1136) and the USC LERMAB (EA 4370) under the supervision of INRAE, the University of Lorraine and AgroParisTech. It is part of the IN-SYLVA France infrastructure, but also the LABEX ARBRE and CEBA.

SILVATECH provides analytical expertise and development capacity to regional, national and international research units and enhanced support to integrative research programmes (ecology, ecophysiology, biogeochemistry, forest-prairie-aquatic ecosystem functioning, dendrometry, wood anatomy and properties, structure-property relationships, wood sciences). It is playing an increasing role in national and international networks, and regional and European training programmes, and is therefore attractive to international researchers.

SILVATECH is organised into 3 interconnected technical clusters:

  • Isotopy-Biochemistry cluster: spectrometry coupling, chromatography, isotopy, plasma analysis of molecules with complex matrices (wood, sap, soil-water), and sample preparation (grinding, extractions, microweighing).
  • Imaging-Microscopy cluster: high-resolution electron and confocal imaging, cryo-electron microscopy, mineral X-ray microanalyses, histology and photonic microscopy, and sample preparation (microtomy and cryo-microtomy, freeze-drying, metallization, grinding)
  • X-Ray Imaging cluster: physical and mechanical properties, laser techniques, radiography, tomography and X-ray diffraction, fine multi-scale studies of the internal and external structure of target objects, preparation rooms (wood and metal).

SILVATECH has developed a network of partnerships with numerous public and private research entities (CIRAD, CNRS, IRD, ONF, IFN, FCBA, universities, CEA, companies...) and aims to open its services to an even larger scientific community within its core competencies and domains.

Services offer

The table below summarises the list of the SILVATECH platform’s services.

Silvatech services

The platform also offers chemical analysis for solutions (main, trace or ultra-trace elements) and confocal and correlative imaging.

Finally, SILVATECH provides applicants with all the techniques necessary for the preparation of samples at the INRAE site located in Champenoux (FR 54280). The laboratory can be booked through the SILVATECH’s technical representatives or on the platform's website. In line with our quality management system, we have set up regular monitoring of our equipment through scheduled calibrations and inspections.
For more information on our services and development possibilities, please contact:


Silvatech personnel

The laboratory is managed by a full-time assistant engineer (also a specialist in isotopic analysis) and 5 permanent technicians specialised in different domains (on average, they dedicate 70% of their time to the laboratory for the maintenance of the installations and measurements). The research unit also provides scientific knowledge in biogeochemistry in forest ecosystems, with a focus on C, N and cation cycles. We regularly welcome international students and researchers.

Operations and data access

  • Assisting in the technical dimensioning of research projects to ensure better execution of research projects

Research and development projects involving SILVATECH must be discussed prior to the submission of the project with SILVATECH’s technical and administrative representatives in order to gauge the technical requirements of the project (staff time, scheduling, protocols, processing, costs). A copy of the submitted project should then be sent to SILVATECH via the address

All projects following this procedure will be systematically prioritised. SILVATECH reserves the right to refuse projects that do not respect these recommendations

  • Ensuring traceability of applications on an annual or multi-year basis

In addition to the e-mail or telephone exchanges with the platform's agents, each applicant must fill in a written request specifying the scientific, technical and organisational requirments for his or her project. The template, available on the platform's website, can be filled in and submitted during the annual call for projects, or as needed.

At the applicant’s request, a project may be postponed to the following year. No preparation, analysis or measurement activities can begin without submitting a prior work order. SILVATECH will in return provide a financial estimate and a project identity code.

This code should be noted and referred to during all subsequent exchanges with the platform. This makes it possible to trace the preparation phases, analyses, sample storage and results. The code should also be passed on to the agents responsible for preparing the samples.

  • Ensuring seamless access to analytical services

Projects submitted to SILVATECH are systematically analysed before validation. The persons in charge of the platform (N. Angeli and J. Ruelle) assess thesuitability of the project in terms of the platform’s domains ofexpertise. If necessary, they consult SILVATECH's Council of Scientific Experts on strategic, ethical or legal issues. The managers of the 3 poles evaluate the technical feasibility of the project (ability to prepare/measure/observe the required indicators, matrix mastery, sample toxicity), the development needs, project duration and the necessary costs. They check that the request is compatible with current schedules and commitments, and may make recommendations (on sampling, preparation, conservation, volumetrics, deadlines, etc.) to the applicants before granting access. In the event that questions of confidentiality or contractualisation arise, the Partnership, Transfer and Innovation engineers of the Centre Grand-Est Nancy and the ECODIV department will have the final decision.

Official notification of acceptance is sent to the applicant within two weeks via the following e-mail address: In return, the applicant agrees to adhere to the guidelines mentioned in the acceptance document. Whenever possible, in the event of a refusal, the platform will direct the applicant toward more appropriate alternative solutions from other institutions.

Data access and cost

  • Guaranteeing the financial traceability of each project and ensuring budgetary visibility for SILVATECH in order to forecast its expenses/investments.

For projects involving requesting SILVATECH a partner, the funding will be set aside as soon as the annual budget is open. For multi-annual projects, the budgeting process will be repeated at the beginning of each year.

When SILVATECH is a simple service provider, rates will be set according to the origin of the funding, and not according to the affiliation of the researchers. This is justified by the 10% management fee applied by INRAE on all external revenue (CNRS, CIRAD, universities...).

The minimum billable amount is 150 € HT, but it is possible to combine several work orders to reach this amount.

Either a PDF order form (or a signed quote mentioning "offer accepted" or the appearance of the project’s fundings on the platform's budget line will trigger the analyses/measurements. Invoicing will occur when the results are sent to the project leader, via the INRAE management software.

  • Ensuring a transparent pricing policy that respects the rules of free competition

Total costs include direct costs (consumables, products, reagents, special fluids, standards, traceability/safety, packaging and storage) and indirect costs (equipment maintenance and depreciation, breakdown maintenance, overheads and fluids, data management, administrative costs), as well as staff time. On the basis of total costs, SILVATECH has a 4-level tax-free pricing policy per analysis or per access day:

  1. For private or international partners: total cost model
  2. For French public research organisations: a discount is applied to overhead costs for permanent
  3. For INRAE: internal management fees are discounted
  4. For SILVATECH partners (UMR SILVA, BEF, IAM, LERMAB): surrounding costs are discounted

The above-mentioned pricing system guarantees the stable operation of the SILVATECH platform over time; readjustments are made as the costs of expenditures change.

No specific discount is applied in the case of co-publication or applicant participation in the projects. If a project requires further development or applicant training (on analysis/measurement/observation equipment), SILVATECH may charge the applicant a flat rate.

INRAE is subject to the value added tax (VAT) and applies it according to existing law.


Silvatech equipements