FPAC asks for more help with sector transformation
November 12, 2013 By Pulp & Paper Canada
The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is calling on the federal government to renew and replenish the highly successful Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program to help the sector further develop innovative…
The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is calling on the federal government to renew and replenish the highly successful Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program to help the sector further develop innovative breakthrough technologies.
FPAC executive vice-president Catherine Cobden made the request during pre-budget consultations before the House of Commons Finance Committee. FPAC is asking for IFIT to receive an additional $500 million over the next six years, starting with a modest $25 million next year in recognition of the government’s tight fiscal situation, and then scaling up to $150 million for the final two years of the program.
“Our industry is grateful for the significant support provided by the federal government in recent years to help our transformation,” says Cobden. “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. IFIT is a proven strategic model for that partnership.”
IFIT was first created in 2010 to encourage innovation in the forest sector by supporting first-of-kind commercial-scale demonstration and market applications. So far IFIT is supporting 15 technologies including: Alberta Pacific Forest Industries producing methanol from a pulp mill waste stream; Millar Western building a unique bio-energy effluent project and Tolko becoming the first facility in North America to produce both specialty-and commodity-oriented strand board products from a single production line. In addition, IFIT is leveraging new investment in Canadian industry in smaller communities when forest companies are the major employer. “A focused program such as IFIT is critical to help us develop innovative non-traditional products, create new jobs, especially in rural Canada, and enhance the sector’s economic viability,” says Cobden.
FPAC is also asking 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 (FIBRE) organization and to expand the eligibility criteria of Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s (SDTC) NextGen Biofuels Fund to cover other sectors of the bio-economy.
For the FPAC budget document: Click here
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs.
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