Research cluster to improve competitiveness of B.C. forest industry

06/01/05

This release is also available in French



VANCOUVER -- A new collaborative forest-research effort will harness the research and innovation capabilities present in British Columbia to improve the competitiveness of the forest industry and increase the economic and social value of Canada's forests.

Known as Forest Research Opportunity B.C., the partnership will bring together the governments of Canada and British Columbia, as well as B.C. universities and industry. It will focus on delivering results that meet industry and public policy needs in areas such as sustainable forest management and forest products, climate change, energy supply and the mountain pine beetle infestation. "British Columbia has rich resources in its forest, industry, universities and world-class forest-products research institutes," said the Honourable R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. "Forest Research Opportunity B.C. will better coordinate the activities of everyone involved in the B.C. forest-research community and help spur more robust business development and breakthrough technology."

"Through this collaboration, we will advance the technology efforts in this sector and provide the B.C. industry with a competitive advantage, which will lead to better use of our forest resources and wealth coming into the province," said the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry and Co-Senior Minister for British Columbia.

The Executive Director of Forest Research Opportunity B.C. is Dr. Alan Potter, most recently, Vice-President of Technology and Environment for Nexfor Inc. His first steps will be to identify the priority issues in the forest and forest products sector, where local skills can be applied in a collaborative fashion, then set up programs and joint investments. "This is an exciting mission," said Dr. Potter. "It is an opportunity to harness some of the world-class talent for innovation available in B.C. and focus it on this important sector."

With the launch of the research cluster, the Government of Canada is building on its partnerships with the Government of British Columbia, B.C. industry and universities for a healthy forest and strong forest sector.

Forest Research Opportunity B.C. advances the Government of Canada's commitment to the sustainable development of our natural resources sectors and their allied industries, which are vital parts of Canada's economy and society.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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