March 4, 2016
Up to $1 million two-year fund will provide $50,000 grants to support research and development, new technologies and techniques
Forest sector research and development is getting a boost with the help of Northern Development Initiative Trust’s new Forest Innovation Fund.
The fund will provide up to $1 million in grants over a two-year period for small and medium-sized companies and community forests engaged in resource extraction, resource processing and supply chain activities related to the forest sector.
The Forest Innovation Fund provides up to 50% to a maximum of $50,000 in grant funding per project to support research and development, innovative technologies, and new or improved products to optimize the fibre supply in central and northern B.C.
The fund is part of the Trust’s ongoing response to the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic, which is anticipated to result in fibre supply reductions in the coming years that will impact jobs and communities in pine beetle affected areas.
The Forest Innovation Fund will focus on support for small and medium-sized enterprises, filing a funding gap in the current innovation landscape that will create positive results for the region’s entrepreneurs and the communities they call home.
Examples of eligible projects include innovation in biomass and harvesting and gathering techniques, site remediation advancements, seedling survival enhancement, value-added forest products, new technologies and technology transfer.
Eligible companies must be privately owned, have less than 500 employees, annual revenue of less than $100 million and be based within the Trust’s service area.
Applications for funding are being received on an ongoing basis. Application guides and forms can be downloaded here.
Evan Saugstad, Board Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust
“The Forest Innovation Fund will provide support to the small and medium-sized businesses that call our communities home, employ our family members and friends and can play a role in Pine Beetle Recovery. These grant dollars will help our local resource sector businesses innovate and diversify, supporting jobs that are the backbone of our economy.”
Shirley Bond, MLA Prince George – Valemount
“The Mountain Pine Beetle continues to have an impact on our communities. Providing support through this fund will encourage innovation and research with the goal of minimizing the impacts and maximizing business opportunities now and into the future.”
Mike Morris, MLA Prince George – Mackenzie
“As we continue to address Mountain Pine Beetle damage and an increasing Spruce Bark Beetle infestation in an effort to support sustainable forestry and sustain our forest industry, it is important that we explore different ways to maintain the industry, which could include seedling survival enhancement, new technologies and technology transfer.”
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
“The Forest Innovation Fund aligns well with the recent $85 million investment made by the Province to create the new Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. Projects eligible for the Forest Innovation Fund, such as innovations in biomass and harvesting techniques, site remediation and enhancing seedling survival will complement wildfire risk reduction activities and reforestation activities that will be undertaken by the Society. Both programs have similar goals – to help extend mid-term timber supply in the Interior.”
Marty Hiemstra, Operations Manager, Lo-Bar Log Transport
“Northern Development has provided support to help Lo-Bar pursue innovative new ways to improve our harvesting operations and day-to-day practices, which will make our company more sustainable and position it for growth. The Forest Innovation Fund provides a new source of capital that companies like ours can use to stay competitive.”