Ministers bring chequebook to COFI convention


Forests Minister Doug Donaldson speaks at the Council of Forest Industries convention in Prince George Thursday. Bill Phillips photo
Forests Minister Doug Donaldson speaks at the Council of Forest Industries convention in Prince George Thursday. Bill Phillips photo

The province is committing $7.8 million to promote the use of B.C. wood overseas, advance wood building systems and products, and expand global markets.

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, made the announcement today at the Council of Forest Industries’ annual convention in Prince George. Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, was also on hand for the announcement.

“Expanding our international markets, especially in Asia, is crucial to the long-term success of B.C.’s forest sector,” said Ralston. “This funding support opens the door to more trade opportunities for B.C. companies, and will lead to greater innovation in the industry.”

Through an annual, competitive call for proposals process, 13 industry trade associations and research institutes were selected to receive funding and deliver market development, or wood innovation programs, on behalf of government and industry. B.C.’s contribution is being managed through Forestry Innovation Investment, the province’s market development agency for forest products. The province will cost-share these activities, with additional funding provided by B.C. industry and the federal government, through Natural Resources Canada.

“Building with wood has many benefits: its lower carbon footprint, its cost-effectiveness and its versatility,” said Donaldson. “The funding announced today will help continue to position British Columbia as a preferred supplier of environmentally friendly forest products.”

Of the $7.8 million, $5.985 million will be made available for activities targeted at expanding markets for B.C.’s wood products, with investment priorities that reflect evolving market opportunities in Asia and North America. The remaining $1.852 million will be made available for activities delivered through the Wood First program, which fosters the innovative use of wood and wood building systems in B.C. through research, education, marketing and capacity building.

“The collaborative approach between industry and government toward market development ensures that our sector remains competitive and that we can continue to develop and diversify opportunities for the sector in targeted export markets,” said Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO, Council of Forest Industries.

Funding is provided by the B.C. government through Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. Funds are allocated through an annual competition process that reflects the priorities of the B.C. government and the B.C. forest sector, as well as the Government of Canada.

BC Wood Specialties Group – $1.06 million

  • Bring together British Columbian and Canadian value-added wood product manufacturers with pre-qualified international buyers and specifiers at the 2018 Global Buyers Mission in Whistler.
  • Deliver targeted market development activities to increase sales in China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Europe.
  • Pursue niche opportunities for value-added wood products at trade events in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Educate and train architects, engineers, interior designers and construction professionals on available B.C. wood products and their applications, through a variety of educational events, such as: lunch-and-learn sessions, group seminars and factory tours in B.C. and international markets.
  • Increase competitiveness, innovation and adaptability of individual value-added wood companies by improving their marketing and business development capability through assessments, site visits, workshops and business development projects.

Canada Wood Group – $3.26 million

  • Expand the B.C. forest products sector’s global reach with market access and development teams in China, Japan, Korea, Europe and India.
  • In China, address code constraints and provide training and other support to grow wood use in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
  • In Japan, develop innovative solutions to expand the use of lumber and panel products in large-scale buildings.
  • In South Korea, deliver wood-frame design and construction training to support innovative building solutions for larger scale developments, including multi-family structures and those that use infill walls.

Canadian Wood Council – $717,000

  • Provide technical support and advice to address wood performance attributes in multi-family, multi-storey and non-residential projects.
  • Convey practical wood design solutions through educational events.
  • Support building and fire code changes that allow for increased wood use.

Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau – $123,000

  • Deliver a multifaceted education and marketing campaign to encourage the use of cedar roofing and sidewall shakes and shingles as a product of choice among specifiers in the U.S.
  • Research optimal roof system configurations and develop innovative ventilation approaches to mitigate the risk of roof failures caused by moisture entrapment.

Construction Foundation of BC – $81,000

  • Deliver the Skills Ready for Wood program to engage youth, educators and industry to learn about B.C. wood products, with a particular emphasis on innovations in wood engineering and manufacturing.

Council of Forest Industries – $448,000

  • In China, encourage further adoption of existing wood applications and introduce new applications for B.C. forest products, such as energy efficient wood wall systems and tourism-oriented structures.
  • In Japan, expand opportunities for spruce-pine-fir (SPF) and hem-fir lumber by promoting wood-frame and hybrid construction in the non-residential sector and in taller/larger buildings.
  • In South Korea, grow the use of SPF lumber in multi-storey buildings and for use in infill wall systems.

Engineered Wood Products Association (APA) – $45,400

  • Deliver a diversified promotional and educational program for Japanese specifiers to create new opportunities and demand for B.C structural panels and engineered wood products in large-scale non-residential construction.

FPInnovations – $202,000

  • Study the fundamental fire performance attributes of nail-laminated timber (NLT), as well as how different construction and design details influence that performance. 

University of British Columbia – $329,100

  • Design, engineer, prototype, test and conduct cost-benefit analyses to support value-added manufacturers in the development of new wood products.
  • Organize a series of networking meetings to foster collaboration between manufacturers and industrial designers in various subsectors of the value-added wood industry.
  • Deliver educational programs to explore and convey advanced wood-processing solutions, such as industrial robotics.
  • Develop design guidelines for concrete jointed hybrid mass-timber buildings that use coupled shear walls, timber-moment frames, and timber-core walls.

University of Northern British Columbia – $40,900

  • Advance innovative building methods by researching the optimal configuration of mass timber and tall wood building hold-down connectors.
  • Deliver educational programs and events to disseminate advanced wood processing and building design solutions.

Western Red Cedar Lumber Association – $1.09 million

  • Deliver a comprehensive program of marketing, communication, education and outreach to increase market awareness and improve the value proposition of western red cedar as a species in the U.S. and Canada.

Wood Pellet Association of Canada – $62,900

  • In Europe, improve the regulatory environment for wood pellets and communicate to the power generation and heating sectors the sustainable pedigree of B.C. forest products.
  • In Japan, identify new customers for industrial wood pellets and increase the amount of volume under long-term sales contracts.
  • In Canada, and in an effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change, position wood pellets as a viable, environmentally friendly alternative to coal.

Wood Products Council – $379,000

  • Encourage shifts in the U.S. design/build community that result in greater wood use in non-residential and multi-family construction projects.
  • Drive demand and support the specification of wood in mid-rise and mass-timber structures by providing technical advice, education and support to the building community.