The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes progress to establish a new research and development institute to drive innovation for Australia’s forest products sector, with an agreement struck between the Commonwealth and University of Tasmania (UTAS) on the $100 million National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI), Acting Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Natasa Sikman said today.
The Federal Government has announced in addition to the new agreement with UTAS – the new institute will be known under the new operational name – Australian Forest and Wood Innovations (AFWI).
Natasa Sikman said, “AFPA and the broader forest products sector welcomes this progress on the new AFWI as a step towards more exciting research and development for our sector at a time when demand for different types of forest-based products is growing massively, especially to help the environment and to mitigate against climate change.
“The NIFPI was a policy advocated for by AFPA ahead of the 2022 Federal Election and one that like the new program announced around plantation expansion this week, was also a bipartisan one. We are proud to see this progress.”
The $100 million Government commitment will undertake an annual call for research projects into efforts to: increase domestic timber and wood fibre supply, maximise use and value from our exiting resource and learn more about enhancing sustainable forest management as a means to increase understanding and action on how the forest products sector can play a stronger role in being part of the solution to climate change.
“AFPA will continue to engage with the Government and UTAS on the further development of AFWI and help ensure its work is geared towards making Australia a leading forest products nation,” Natasa Sikman concluded.