The Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology (IMFE&FPT) is one of the oldest research institutes in Greece. It is located in a park-like stand of pine trees, in the area of Ilisia, near the centre of Athens.
It was established in Athens, Greece, in 1929 as the research arm of the Greek Forest Service. Its title soon changed to Forest Research Institute of Athens (FRIA).
In its more than 80 years of operation, the Institute has produced excellent research always focusing on the research needs of the practicing foresters of the Forest Service.
In 1989 the Institute was integrated into the National Agricultural Research Foundation (NAGREF), the national body responsible for agricultural research and technology in Greece, and its official title became "Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology" (IMFE&FPT), distinguishing it from its sister "Forest Research Institute" (FRI) in Thessaloniki.
Its new name implies the emphasis given to research on the development and protection of Mediterranean type forest ecosystems and on the science and technology of wood. Both the historic name and the official title are currently in use.
The two research Institutes currently belong to the Hellenic Agricultural Organisation "DEMETER" which is a newly formed organization of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food resulting from the merger of four pre-existing organizations of the Ministry in an effort to improve the links between research and practice in the agricultural sector, to improve training and scientific support to the sector and to improve financial efficiency. One of these four merged organizations was NAGREF.
The Institute comprises seven laboratories each covering an area of forestry research:
- Forest management and forest economics;
- Silviculture and forest genetics;
- Forest soils and biogeochemistry;
- Forest protection and forest fires;
- Landscape architecture;
- Forest ecology and hydrology;
- Science and technology of wood.
The Institute maintains close ties with operational organizations (Forest Service, Fire Service, General Secretariat for Civil Protection, local authorities) and with the private sector (forest industries, private citizens, etc.), and has contributed significantly in many aspects of forest management in Greece. It puts emphasis on solving practical problems and on transferring new scientific knowledge and technology to the operational world.