OTTAWA, Oct. 1, 2014 /CNW/ - 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 today 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 $20billion in economic activity from new products and new markets by the end of the decade.
To read more about innovative products made from wood read "Expect Us in the Unexpected": Innovation Brochure
FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $58-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.
SOURCE: Forest Products Association of Canada
For further information: Susan Murray, Executive Director, Public Relations, Forest Products Association of Canada, [email protected] 613-563-1441 x313, Follow us on Twitter: @FPAC_APFCRead our President's Blog at: http://www.fpac.ca/index.php/en/blog