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Call for Proposals for IFIT

July 8, 2014, Calgary - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today announced that a Call for Proposals is now open for companies to submit applications to benefit from the renewed Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program. The Harper Government announced funding of $90.4 million with funding to be allocated to projects that support jobs and implement highly innovative commercial-scale technologies. The Minister made the announcement in advance of meetings with his provincial and territorial forest minister counterparts.

Minister Rickford also announced an investment of $10 million through the IFIT program to support an innovative project with West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.'s Hinton, Alberta, pulp mill. West Fraser will build Canada's first commercial-scale plant to recover lignin from its pulp production stream based on patented technology developed by FPInnovations and NORAM Engineering. Lignin, a natural adhesive derived from wood, is a bio-based renewable alternative to some of the glue components used in plywood and wood panel manufacturing. Lignin has the potential for a wide variety of other innovative applications. As a result of this investment, the mill will be able to diversify its product line and become more resilient to changes in the marketplace while reinforcing jobs in the community.

The IFIT program was renewed under Economic Action Plan 2014 as a key component in the Government of Canada's continuing support for innovation in Canada's forest industry. The program has been successful in promoting economic growth, particularly in rural communities, by making targeted investments in capital projects that commercialize world-first or Canadian-first technologies in the forest products sector. The IFIT program helps Canadian forest companies demonstrate the commercial viability of innovative technologies that improve efficiency, reduce environmental impacts and create high-value products from Canada's world-class forest resources.