By: The Working Forest Staff
FPInnovations is pleased with the announcements made today by Quebec Finance Minister, Carlos Leitão, in his 2017-18 Budget to increase innovation and diversification of forest products. An amount of $46 million is allocated to the forestry sector, confirming the contribution announced by Ministers Blanchette and Anglade on March 16, 2017, and enabling the creation of a new initiative for the panel industry, in addition to improving the program Innovation Bois, as presented at the Forum Innovation Bois.
Specifically, an amount of $4 million over four years for the implementation of an innovation platform to support and accelerate the development of next-generation composite panels and engineered wood products was granted to the sector. The platform is aimed at placing Quebec’s industry at the forefront of innovative businesses that are creating products, applications and processes, and developing markets.
“This budget confirms the importance of innovation in the forest sector and ensures the sector’s role in Quebec’s economy,” said Mr. Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations. “These measures will create sustainable jobs in rural economies and will further facilitate collaboration between research institutes, colleges and universities, governments, and industry to support the competitiveness and diversification of Quebec’s forest sector.”
- The innovation platform that will develop the next generation of composite panels and engineered wood products will be a collaborative project between Quebec-based research organizations, namely FPInnovations, l’Université Laval and the Service de recherche et d’expertise en transformation des produits forestiers (SEREX), affiliated with Cégep de Rimouski.
- Quebec’s industry for composite panels and wood products exports 47% of its production and creates roughly 8 000 direct jobs. It generates over $1 billion in revenues annually.
- The Forum Innovation Bois was held in Rivière-du-Loup on the 31st of October, 2016, with the objective of finding innovative solutions that will ensure the sustainability of the forest sector and maintain its contribution to the social-economic development of Quebec and its regions.