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Sub-program 1.2.2

Forest Sector Innovation


Canada’s forest sector, traditionally the world's largest exporter of forest products, has experienced a decrease in its market share as a result of changing global and regional demand and increasing competition. To regain its competitive position, the sector must focus on innovation (i.e., research, development and deployment) that generates more value from Canada’s forests than it did in the past. This will allow the sector to move away from a traditional volume-based commodity focus towards a more diversified mix of higher-value specialized products, processes and technologies that will be innovative and able to compete profitably in a wider array of markets. To accelerate innovation in the forest sector, an integrated national forest sector innovation system is needed to ensure research priorities are aligned and commonly pursued by partners. Through this Sub-program, NRCan provides leadership in Canada’s forest sector innovation system by bringing governments, industry and research institutions together in a working partnership to focus on collectively identifying, funding, and delivering the innovation priorities of the sector. NRCan also conducts research and provides financial contributions to FPInnovations, other forest sector research partners, and eligible forest product companies to research, develop, and deploy new products, processes and technologies. This Sub-program includes the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program, Forest Innovation Program, Genomics Research and Development Initiative, Forest Research Institutes, Canadian Regulatory System for Biotechnology and BC Treaties.

Non-Financial Performance Information
Expected Result Performance Indicators Targets
NRCan, industry, provinces and academia develop higher-value Canadian forest products and processes which lead to new technologies to create a better competitive position for the Canadian forest sector Number of new higher-value Canadian forest products or processes that lead to new technologies produced 10 total per fiscal year by March 31, 2017
Forest sector innovation is accelerated by the endorsement of an annual research plan by the forest sector innovation system. Annual research plan endorsed by the FPInnovations National Research Advisory Committee (NRAC) 1 endorsed research plan by March 31, 2014
Financial Performance Information ($ thousands)
Planned Spending Main Estimates
90,441 90,441

FSDS Theme I – Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

FSDS Goal 1 – Climate Change

Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change.

FSDS Target 1.1 – Climate Change Mitigation

Relative to 2005 emission levels, reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020.

FSDS Implementation Strategies – Forestry 

1.1.55 Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT): Enable renewal and transformation in the forest sector by supporting the development, commercialization and implementation of advanced clean energy technologies in the forest sector. (NRCan) Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT): Enable renewal and transformation in the forest sector by supporting advanced clean energy technologies in the forest sector. (NRCan)

1.1.56 Develop multidisciplinary assessments of the risks associated with the new and emerging biotechnology in the forest sector and the risks they may have on the environment. (NRCan)

How Activity Supports FSDS Target

Under this Sub-program, NRCan manages the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program, the primary objective of which is to demonstrate and deploy new and advanced technologies in the forest sector through investments in innovative processes.

The environmental impacts of projects completed under the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program (PPGTP) (2009-10 to 2011-12) will be monitored for two years past the project completion dates. NRCan’s monitoring of the GHG reductions and other environmental benefits expected from projects completed under the PPGTP will help to ensure they are achieved to the extent expected. As a whole, through the production of renewable energy and improvements to energy efficiency, these projects are expected to reduce GHG emissions from the Canadian pulp and paper industry by more than 10% from 2009 levels.

Under this Sub-program, NRCan also assesses the role of bioenergy and biorefining in a transformed forest sector. This analysis will identify the policy implications and tradeoffs between different biomass uses, strategies and products, taking into account the interdependency of policy drivers, including climate change, rural economy and industry competitiveness. The main objective of this work is to understand the role of bioenergy and biorefining as part of a more diversified, market-driven forest sector that aims to maximize value recovery from the forest without compromising Canada’s global leadership in demonstrated forest sustainability. This work will lead to an improved understanding of the impacts of supplying biomass to bioplants. Studies will focus on ecological sustainability, biophysical potential and economic solutions, regional and national level employment impacts, and understanding of policy tradeoffs related to biomass use.

Financial contributions provided under this Sub-program may result in products that will provide an alternative to petroleum-based products and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, on-the-ground research and analysis conducted under this Sub-program contribute to quantifying (through lifecycle and carbon footprint analyses) the potential carbon benefits of utilizing forest biomass-based products and energy to replace more carbon-intensive technologies and products. Thus, these efforts indirectly contribute to Target 1.1 - Climate Change Mitigation.

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