EPPI realized that continuous applied R&D is required to identify many more species in future to replicate this project across different geographical locations. The success of EPPI hinges heavily on the in-house applied R&D efforts right from the start. EPPI maintains a very large applied R&D establishment, in an area of 10 hectares in Sivagangai District, through a Nursery and experiments in the nursery. The establishment brims with the activities right from Handling of sources of all the tree species in the spectrum like seeds, root suckers, vegetative cuttings etc.
Apart from this EPPI has a separate nursery to produce Melia Dubia. This nursery has the capacity to produce approximately one million saplings per annum.
Before any new specie is taken into the proper plantation mode, its reproductive capability and identification of reproduction methodologies is done first in the nursery. After the satisfactory results, the species saplings are produced and then it is taken into the trail plantation area. Its performance, growth and site suitability is observed for a period of six months and only then it is taken into the regular plantation area for further planting.
R&D efforts of EPPI are well documented for myriad purposes. The applied R&D other than sapling production is also for refining the maintenance of the plantation. In addition, it facilitates the data collection of with various aspects in planting details, planting practices and plant growth. The R&D efforts have also resulted in site specific and species specific SOP's for production and plant maintenance. Experiments are conducted for compatibility of cash crops, inter crops, and new plants are being tried for fencing purposes. The R&D activities spill over extensively on to the plantations and even to the office space. As time goes by, EPPI will surely engage many Academic and Forestry institutions in its pursuit for new initiatives and also for efficiency and excellence. Applied R&D has grown beyond the limited Six hectares, inputs for R&D come from companies own plantations, and even from the hundreds of hectares where planting has taken place through contract farming.
EPPI is going to produce huge amount of PLANNED DATA in the arena of "man made high density regenerative forest with fast growing trees" by organizing various R&D activities through the contract farming. EPPI has employed scores of forestry and agricultural graduates for this purpose. A suitable R&D lab is been planned for these purpose.
A sophisticated relational data base connecting the power station requirements in real time and multi-location forestry harvesting is also being planned. Various factors like power station consumption of biomass, distances of various biomass production centers, logistical aspects like transportation, route of transportation, just in time parameters, harvesting details missionaries for this purpose and the like are all being considered for a real time and practical data base.
Every ecological aspect of the initiative that needs testing, education, training, propagation and documentation will be conducted in this all-important R&D centre of EPPI.