Natural Resources Canada has launched calls for expressions of interest (EOI) and funding proposals for three programs that help support diversification, innovation and competition in the Canadian forest sector.

“Canada’s vast forest resources have provided Canadians with good jobs and economic growth for generations,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources. “That’s why the federal government is committed to supporting innovative new ways that we can leverage our existing expertise as well as forest and wood products to lower emissions, build cleaner communities and ensure that we have a sustainable, responsible and competitive forest sector.”

The Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) Program is seeking EOIs for projects that will facilitate the development and adoption of innovative technologies and products with a focus on the bioeconomy. IFIT-funded projects include those that improve efficiency and environmental performance in forest sector operations, such as efforts to decarbonize industrial processes or generate more value from the same amount of wood. The program will also continue to support projects that use wood fibre, especially from underutilized sources, to produce renewable energy and sustainable bioproducts.

The Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Program, which encourages the use of wood-based building technologies and low-carbon construction materials in infrastructure projects, has also begun accepting EOI submissions. GCWood has expanded its focus to target innovative building solutions and schematic design under key areas of interest, such as prefabrication and retrofits. These projects help to decarbonize Canada’s built environment by incorporating renewable and sustainable resources into new and existing buildings.

Applications for the IFIT and GCWood programs will be accepted on an ongoing basis until June 30, 2024, and are open to organizations such as for-profit and not-for-profit companies, industry associations, research associations, Indigenous organizations and groups, and provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their agencies.

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Finally, the Canadian Forest Service’s Canadian Wood Fibre Centre (CWFC), which supports research, development and technology transfer activities focused on wood fibre characteristics and supply across Canada’s forest sector, is also launching a call for proposals (CFP) under the Forest Innovation Program (FIP). This CFP seeks out research projects on four topics: adaptive silviculture; optimization of the forest supply chain; traceability and characterization; and forest monitoring tools and techniques. Investments in these projects will help to strengthen Canada’s forest resources and fibre supply, ensuring greater stability for our ecosystems and communities. The CWFC’s CFP will be open until September 15, 2023, and will accept applications from the organizations above, in addition to eligible academic institutions.

Featured image credit: Government of B.C.

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