Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is pleased to announce that a graduate researcher at the University of British Columbia’s School of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been chosen as the Canadian finalist for the global Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Award.

Amir Kashani is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Genome Sciences and Technology, and his winning entry highlighted his master’s research project on the biovalorization of lignin. As noted by FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor, “We are very excited by Amir’s work and his ability to compete on the world stage. His research has the potential to help us develop an entirely new suite of forest sector bioproducts. This is the kind of leading-edge research that puts our country’s forest products sector at the forefront of innovation, and we can take pride in the fact that it’s happening right here, at home, in Canada.”

The Blue Sky Award is part of a global initiative spearheaded by the International Council of Forest & Paper Associations (ICFPA), of which FPAC is a member. The intent is to engage promising young minds from around the world to compete by highlighting their forest-based science initiatives.

This May, FPAC will host the ICFPA’s annual meeting in Vancouver, where the international finalists will have an opportunity to present their winning ideas. “It is a true honour for me to represent Canada in this competition, offered Mr. Kashani. Being recognized for research activities that are also a personal passion is really gratifying,” he added. For more information about the award program visit:


FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $69-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada’s GDP and is one of Canada’s largest employers operating in more than 600 communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.

 For more information contact:

Kerry Patterson-Baker
Vice President, Communications

e :

t : 613-563-1441 ext. 314
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