Government of Canada Launches Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program
The Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program was launched today by the Government of Canada.
The $100-million program will help to expand opportunities for Canada’s forestry sector through the development of innovative projects and technologies.
The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources, launched the program today in Ottawa and made a call for proposals that could receive IFIT funding.
“This program supports the ongoing evolution of the forest industry. It will make the sector more economically viable and environmentally sustainable,” said Minister Paradis. “Investments in novel transformative technologies have the potential to open new opportunities for Canada’s forest industry.”
The purpose of the IFIT program, which was first introduced in Canada’s Jobs and Growth Budget 2010, is to demonstrate and deploy new and advanced technologies in the forest sector through investments in innovative processes. The goal is to encourage the development of a wider range of innovative technologies, which would help secure a more prosperous future for Canada’s forestry industry and the communities who depend on it. Forest sector companies that have existing facilities in Canada, including those that have been recently affected by the global economic downturn, could be eligible for IFIT support.
“As the forestry sector expands the number of innovative products it produces and sells around the world, new employment opportunities will emerge,” said the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. “While the traditional industry continues to thrive, positions for workers with technical and market knowledge will emerge.”
The IFIT program will complement previous and ongoing investments by the Government of Canada such as Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s Clean Technology Fund.
As part of its continued support for Canada’s forest sector, the Government of Canada is investing $170 million over two years under Canada’s Economic Action Plan to help forest companies develop new products and processes and capitalize on new market opportunities internationally.
As well, the $1-billion Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program is helping qualified pulp and paper mills improve their environmental performance. Participating mills will become leaders in energy efficiency or the production of renewable energy as they create and sustain jobs in their industry.
This program is consistent with Canada’s international trade obligations, including the Softwood Lumber Agreement. Any costs associated with the production or export of softwood lumber products are not eligible under the IFIT program.
Today’s announcement opens the first call for proposals under the IFIT program. Individuals interested in learning how to apply for funding under the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program are encouraged to visit: forest-transformation.nrcan.gc.ca.