Modern methods to protect wood from degradation aims at increasing the service life of the material by removing or reducing the cause of degradation: water within the material. This can be done by wood modification, e.g. acetylation or heat treatment. However, there is a lack of understanding of what happens within the wood, which hampers optimization and development of modification techniques and processes. A better understanding of how modification affects the wood micro- and nanostructure and amount, location and state of water within the material is required to enable optimization and further development of modification techniques and processes. The aim of this project is to strengthen research and its connection to industry within material science with the purpose to develop durable, environmentally-friendly wood based materials. The project includes a postdoc-program and we will recruit young researchers to the project. We will investigate how different types of modifications affects the water within wood on the micro- and nanoscale by use of a combination of techniques available at Lund University and University of Copenhagen. The project has a strong connection to industry with companies that develop processing equipment to enhance the durability of wood as well as producers of modified wood. The project also includes an advisory board with representatives from the wood industries in both Sweden and Denmark, which enables the results of the project to be disseminated widely in both countries.