The government role on forest science is critical to helping companies stay informed of new scientific knowledge, including long-term climate change impacts. Our sector regularly works in collaboration with private sector businesses, academia and governments to partner on leading innovative research and development.
For example, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has played an important role by providing an average of $25 million a year over the last four years to R&D for the forest industry. This includes the ‘flagship’ Forest Innovation By Research and Education (FIBRE) Network, for which funding expired in 2015. There is an urgent need to maintain this research funding. Equally, we believe there is a need to include more players in the forest innovation system, notably colleges which play a critical role in technology transfer and the recruitment of people to our sector. Overall, greater federal support in research and development would help maximize engagement in the forest sector’s innovation agenda, align research capacity and link research to commercial needs and industry priorities.