FPAC urges government’s involvement
Oct. 2, 2014 - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is urging the federal government to support further transformation of the forest products industry by engaging universities and colleges in the sector's research needs.
FPAC appeared during pre-budget consultations by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance to ask for a dedicated fund of $60 million over 5 years to accelerate university and college research and development (R&D) to advance the innovation priorities of the forest sector.
"The forest products industry has already been benefitting from the creativity of academic talent and resources in this country," says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. "Now we need to build on the momentum and further strengthen this vital component of our innovation system."
FPAC is also looking for more resourcing for commercialization critical for innovation delivery and is asking for the government to direct all unused capital from Sustainable Development Technology Canada's $500 million NextGen BioFuels Fund to a bio-refinery fund for bio-energy, bio-chemical and bio-material developments.
"The Canadian forest sector is now successfully diversifying its products and in on the cusp of many more discoveries, but we need all partners including government to collaborate to this end," says Lindsay. "Research and development as well as commercialization of innovation based on renewable wood fibre will spur further economic growth and jobs, especially in rural Canada."
FPAC is also calling for the development of promotion plans to highlight the economic, employment and environmental benefits of the Canadian forest sector domestically and in international markets.
All the recommendations will build on past success while supporting the industry's Vision2020 goal of generating an additional $20 billion in economic activity from new products and new markets by the end of the decade.
October 2, 2014 By Amie Silverwood
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