''As PAPTAC prepares to celebrate its 100th Anniversary, the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada is proud to have contributed to the development of the Canadian pulp and paper industry through the expertise of its members.'' - Gregoire Hay, Executive Director, PAPTAC.
Despite the challenges that the Canadian paper sector is still facing, innovation has never been more present. The active members of this organization never cease to innovate and to contribute to the development of new markets and products emerging from the paper industry through R&D and mill applications. All of this revolves around the inspiring and visionary leadership of Greg Hay and his dedicated team.
Paper Advance met with Greg Hay to know more about the role and accomplishments of PAPTAC in the Canadian paper industry.
PAPTAC's role as an Association
What is PAPTAC's role in the Canadian pulp and paper industry?
Greg Hay: PAPTAC's role is dedicated to the improvement of the professional and technical capabilities of its members within the industry and to the advancement of the pulp and paper industry as a whole.
How many people are active PAPTAC members?
GH: PAPTAC has over 3000 members, from engineers, superintendents, technicians, mill managers and VP operations in the majority of mills across the Country, to researchers, suppliers, consultants and students involved in the industry.
What are the current challenges for the association?
GH: One of our main challenges is to increase the participation and involvement of the new generations of workers in a context where communications, learning and networking are done differently, often through the Web and social media.
Who are your partners in the Canadian forest industry?
GH: The Association has several key partners and collaborates closely with Natural Resources Canada, the Forest Products Association of Canada, FPInnovations and industry media such as Paper Advance, Pulp & Paper Canada and Le Maître Papetier.
Where is PAPTAC in the new '' bio economy '' context?
GH: Our role is to constantly adapt to the needs of our members and therefore to provide tools that are relevant to an industry in evolution. Bioeconomy can generate a source of profit and diversification while being the basis of a sustainable model for the industry. We believe that the needs for programs and training in this direction are going to continue to grow in the future.
PAPTAC will celebrate its 100th next year. What are the key moments that marked this last century within the association?
GH: There are certainly many highlights, but one of the major ones was when the Association became independent and incorporated under the name PAPTAC in 1998, after having been the Technical Division of the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association (CPPA) since 1915. We look forward to celebrating highlights of the first 100 years of the Association with special acitivities and projects leading up to the anniversary.
The future of the Canadian forest industry
What's the future of the Canadian forest industry?
GH: We believe the future of the industry is to continue to consolidate its operations in order to be profitable within a changing market and to diversify its operations toward new wood-based products and markets.
Do you think the recent strategies developed by FPAC and the Quebec government, as well as others, might have an influence on the Canadian forest industry's future?
GH: We definitely think it will in impact and we have immediately voiced our support toward these initiatives, which will help the industry move in the right direction. The NRCan programs such the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program (PPGTP) and the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) are also a crucial industry support initiatives.
Information tools for members
PAPTAC recently launched 5 microsites dedicated to the Technical Communities. What is the objective behind the development of these sites?
GH: The objective is to create a dynamic environment for each of PAPTAC's Technical Community where they will be able to showcase their ongoing projects and objectives to the industry, update their members and interact on a daily basis as a Web commmunity.
J-FOR, the new scientific publication by PAPTAC, was introduced in late 2011. How is it different from JPPS?
GH: J-FOR stands for Journal of Science & Technology for Forest Products and Processes. Building on the previous success and notoriety of JPPS, it strives to incorporate a broader scope of themes dealing with science and technology and publish high-quality papers of traditional as well as emerging issues that pertinent to the advancement of the forest industry.
Is PAPTAC involved in international activities?
GH: PAPTAC is very present internationally and continuously builds on collaborations with its sister associations around the world on events, news and other activities for the benefits of the international community industry members.
PaperWeek Canada 2013
PaperWeek 2013 will be held next February in Montréal. Will there be new features to the program?
GH: Several new features will be presented at PaperWeek Canada 2013, including FIBRE Day, devoted to the NSERC R&D networks comprised in the FIBRE Network, a National Job Fair & Future Workforce Program and an incredible line-up on keynote speakers as well as several new sessions, meetings and courses.
Who are the keynote speakers?
GH: We have a very exciting line-up of keynotes with each day kicking off with a keynote presentation with John D. Williams, CEO of Domtar on theTuesday, James Lopez, CEO of Tembec on the Wednesday and Alain Lemaire, CEO of Cascades on the Thursday. Wednesday's formal luncheon will feature a presentation from Steven Kotler, author of the book "Abundance - The future is better than you think". We also have the pleasure of counting on the participation of industry leaders such as Pierre Lapointe, CEO of FPInnovations, Theo van de Ven, Director of the FIbre Network, Kurt Schaefer, VP Fibre with RISI, Clive Suckling, Global Forest Leader with PricewaterhouseCoopers, FPAC and many more.