The role of forest products as industries of the future has been affirmed with this week’s announcement of funding from the Australian Research Council for new research hubs and training centres.
Acting CEO of the Australian Forest Products Association Victor Violante said this funding highlights the essential role being played by forest industries in delivering clean and smart solutions for big challenges including addressing climate change and developing next generation products and processes for the building and construction industries.
“Timber is the ultimate renewable and low-emission building material for the 21st century, so it’s terrific the Federal Government through the ARC is backing innovation particularly for next generation engineered wood products and architectural design with advanced manufacturing,” Victor Violante said.
“As Australia looks for ways to reach net zero by 2050, timber in the built environment must be part of that plan. Wood products store carbon over their lifetime meaning that our houses and other buildings can be a massive positive carbon sink.
“It’s also why it is crucial that Australia secures future fibre supplies to meet its needs in coming decades, and that we prioritise the Billion Trees Plan.”
Funding for the research hubs and training centres – including an Advance Timber for Australia’s Future Built Environment Hub – is provided through the ARC’s Industrial Transformation Research Program. In 2022 critical industry priorities included advanced manufacturing, agribusiness and recycling and clean energy.
The ARC funding complements other recent commitments to innovation for the sector including the establishment of a $100 million National Institute for Forest Products Innovation and the $300 million Timber Building Program through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to encourage the use of low-emissions engineered mass timber and reduce the carbon footprint of the construction sector.