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CRC Forestry wind-up delayed
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Professor Gordon Duff, CEO of the CRC for Forestry recently updated the industry on the state of play with the CRC for Forestry and the National Centre for Future Forest Industries (NCFFI) now that the Australian Government has contributed $2.5 million of seed funding to establish the NCFFI. Source: Timberbiz
He said the CRC had been in discussions about extending the Commonwealth Agreement for the CRC for Forestry, to enable a transition to the NCFFI. So, while the CRC and the new Centre will be distinct entities, it is expected that they will novate some projects, funding and potentially IP and other assets.
Winding-up of the CRC joint venture and the CRC company will be delayed while an interim extension has been offered, the CRC will need to obtain formal Commonwealth approval for extended or new activities that will be undertaken over the next year, some of which will probably be handed over to the new centre in due course. The request for Commonwealth approval of an amendment to the Agreement is due on 31 August.
The CRC for Forestry has reached the end of the seven-year Commonwealth contract, having delivered against its contracted outputs and milestones, as well as delivering on a number of new activities that were not covered in the initial Commonwealth Agreement.
The new centre will initially focus on three thematic areas:
1. Future options: Options and opportunities for higher value uses of the now-maturing plantation hardwood resource, in the context of declining industrial access to native forests.
2. Productivity: Urgently needed solutions to second rotation productivity decline in hardwood plantations, developed in a multi-rotation, economic framework. Innovations in logistics and applications of emerging technologies to forest operations will be a key focus.
3. Risk Mitigation: Reduction of the investment risk associated with new species/environment combinations in industrial, farm-forestry and environmental services (e.g. carbon, biodiversity, salinity management) tree plantings.