Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is working with industry, FPInnovations and others to facilitate transformation of the forest sector.
The aim of this work is to increase the sector’s economic sustainability and its readiness to respond to the new reality of a global market economy.
NRCan is providing strong leadership in industry transformation through several initiatives. For example:
- The Transformative Technologies Program is developing innovative products and increasing investment in research that supports a higher-value-added forest sector. The goal of the program is to help transform Canada's forest sector by supporting the development of promising emerging and break-through technologies such as forest biotechnology and nanotechnology.
The research program is delivered by FPInnovations, which is carrying out the research in collaboration with provinces, universities and the forest industry.
- The Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program provides funding to eligible firms willing to invest in innovative technologies to support a more diversified, higher-value forest product mix. It is the first program of its kind in the Canadian forest sector to help move new technologies and products closer toward commercialization. Among the potential new products are bioenergy, biomaterials, biochemicals and next-generation building products such as cross-laminated timber.
Over the long term, the program’s investments are expected to support the forest sector’s economic competitiveness and environmental sustainability, and to set the foundation for lasting industry transformation.
Moving forest innovation from vision to practice in Canada
The Canadian Wood Fibre Centre (CWFC) was established in 2006 to provide FPInnovations with “upstream” forest level research services. All of the CWFC’s staff are CFS employees housed at CFS centres across Canada.
In this innovative partnership, CWFC researchers respond to the research direction set by FPInnovations. This is an efficient arrangement that requires no incremental infrastructure investment by either party.
Research activities by the CWFC include:
- developing more accurate forest inventory tools by combining ecological knowledge with leading-edge remote sensing technology
- exploring methods to relate fibre attributes to tree, stand and site characteristics
- developing methods for managing current and future forests to deliver trees and stands with specific fibre attributes
- helping optimize management decisions that maximize profit and market competitiveness.
Identifying promising innovation opportunities
Innovation is at the core of the transformation of the forest industry. And research is at the core of that innovation. To help set promising new directions and develop new products, Natural Resources Canada–Canadian Forest Service has partnered with NSERC (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) and FPInnovations on the Forest Sector R&D Initiative.
This initiative brings together researchers from a wide variety of disciplines—not just those traditionally associated with the forest sector—to collaborate in the development of new products and enhanced production processes for the Canadian forest sector.