The Forest Products Association of
Canada (FPAC) is calling on Ottawa to “renew and replenish” the
Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program to help the struggling
sector develop innovative technologies.
FPAC is asking for IFIT to receive an additional $500 million over the next six years, starting with a modest $25 million next year and then scaling up to $150 million for the final two years of the program.
“The sector has to do the
heavy-lifting but we still need to partner with government to de-risk
innovation and help bring new technologies to the final stage of
commercial readiness,” said Catherine Cobden, FPAC's executive
vice-president on Nov. 7. “IFIT is a proven strategic model for
The funding program was created in 2010 to encourage innovation in the forest sector by supporting first-of-kind commercial-scale demonstration and market applications.
The $100 million program received 107 project applications worth $2 billion. IFIT is supporting 15 technologies.
FPAC also wants the government to extend its support for forest industry research and development through the eight university networks of the Forest Innovation by Research and Education and expand the eligibility criteria of Sustainable development Technology Canada’s (SDTC) NextGen Biofuels Fund to cover other sectors of the bio-economy.