FPInnovations and the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) have welcomed today’s announcement that the federal government is moving ahead with the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

Details of the initiative were revealed today by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at an event in Markham, ON, in the presence of Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology). The Fund will position Canada’s post-secondary institutions to compete with the best in the world for talent and breakthrough discoveries, creating long-term economic advantages for Canada.

Post-secondary institutions are already a vital part of the dynamic forest innovation system that has resulted in world-first developments in Canada’s forest products industry. Canada can point to the award-winning cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) research and midply wall construction system as clear examples of cutting-edge innovations brought by FPInnovations’ strategic partnerships with Canadian universities. In 2013, Canadian scientist Derek Gray received the prestigious Marcus Wallenberg award for his cutting-edge CNC research during his career with McGill University and FPInnovations. The Midply Wall System, an innovative redesign of standard shear walls used in construction was developed by scientists from FPInnovations and the University of British Columbia under funding from Natural Resources Canada.

Quick Facts

• The Fund, first mentioned in the 2014 budget, will see Canadian post-secondary institutions vying for research funding for a total of up to $350 million in awards over seven years. Grants will be awarded on the basis of scientific merit, strategic relevance to Canada and quality of implementation plan. Proposals will be required to align with the Government of Canada’s updated science, technology and innovation (ST&I) priority research areas: natural resources and energy; environment and agriculture; health and life sciences; information and communications technologies; and advanced manufacturing.
• The forestry sector is of vital importance to the Canadian economy, directly employing over 230,000 workers in all regions of the country, including in 200 communities that rely on the sector for at least 50 per cent of their economic base.
• More details about the Fund: PM launches the Canada First Research Excellence Fund


Quotes

“FPInnovations has a long history of collaborating with academic networks because we believe that colleges and universities play a key role within the Canadian forest sector innovation system. Federal investments such as this have already led to ground-breaking research and development of game-changing technologies and this Fund will help post-secondary institutions develop a strong capacity to do fundamental research that helps to diversify the Canadian forest sector and contribute to developing new innovative products. That is an essential step toward applied research, pre-commercial pilot projects and eventually to commercial production.” – Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations.

“The future of the revitalized forest sector is strongly linked to innovation in technology and product development. Though this initiative is not aimed specifically at the forest products industry, this fund will have spin-off benefits of encouraging more discovery research at the university and college level. Adding to this capacity can only help us reach the ambitious goal of Vision2020 to generate an additional $20 billion in new revenue through new products and markets by the end of the decade.” -David Lindsay, President and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada

Associated Links

• Federal budget to boost Canada's forestry sector – http://ow.ly/FjovQ
• Midply Wall Construction System Chosen for Japan’s Largest Wooden Building – http://ow.ly/Fjw09
• Prestigious Marcus Wallenberg Prize Awarded to Dr. Derek Gray- http://ow.ly/FjytZ

About FPInnovations

FPInnovations is a not-for-profit world leader that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector’s global competitiveness and responds to the priority needs of its industry members and government partners. It is ideally positioned to perform research, innovate, and deliver state-of-the-art solutions for every area of the sector’s value chain, from forest operations to consumer and industrial products. FPInnovations’ staff numbers more than 525. Its R&D laboratories are located in Québec City, Montréal, and Vancouver, and it has technology transfer offices across Canada. For more information about FPInnovations, visit: www.fpinnovations.ca.

About FPAC

FPAC is the voice of Canada’s forest producers nationally and internationally in government, trade and environmental affairs. Canada’s forest products industry is a $58-billion dollar a year industry that represents 12% of Canada’s manufacturing GDP. The industry is one of Canada’s largest employers, operating in hundreds of Canadian communities and providing more than 230,000 direct jobs across the country.


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Contacts:

Terry Knee
FPInnovations
Communications Director
514-442-1598
terry.knee@fpinnovations.ca

Susan Murray
Forest Products Association of Canada
Executive Director, Public Relations
613-563-1441 x 313 smurray@fpac.ca