An $86M federal government investment is welcome news to FPAC, the Forest Products Association of Canada. The funding, earmarked in Budget 2015 for forest sector innovation and transformation, gives a nod to the role universities and colleges play in driving research and skills and innovation.
The money will allow for the continuation of the Forest Innovation program for another two years, while supporting the Market Opportunities Program for the same time period. FPInnovations will also benefit from the funding. The Budget additionally directs the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, NSCERC, to continue its collaboration with academic researchers in the forest sector.
Budget 2015 contained a few other goodies that caught FPAC's attention, such as the 10-year deferral of tax under the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance, and support for skills development.
"The forest products sector makes up 12 percent of Canada's manufacturing sector so we welcome the budget initiative as well as the continued emphasis on innovation to help us on our journey of transformation," said David Lindsay, the President and CEO of FPAC. The Association expects the $86M will help drive its Vision2020, an action plan designed with the goal of generating an additional $20B in economic activity from new products and markets, while reducing the industry's environmental footprint and creating new jobs.