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Forestry innovation research grants open

Anne Ruston

The Australian and Tasmanian governments are supporting advances in a sustainable and productive forestry industry with wood product innovation they hope will grow the sector. Source: Timberbiz

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, and Tasmanian Minister for Resources, Guy Barnett, called for applications for a share of $4 million in research grants through the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation Launceston Hub.

Grants will range from $50,000 to $500,000 for periods of up to three years.

According to Minister Ruston the forestry innovation hubs play a vital role in supporting cutting-edge research, fostering collaboration, boosting innovation, increasing profitability, maintaining jobs and growing the market, locally and nation-wide.

“This funding will open up new opportunities for innovative research into how we make the most of our forestry assets and maximise the contribution of the industry to our national and regional economies,” Minister Ruston said.

“We are looking for projects that industry will adopt to improve their productivity, the productivity of our forests and how we process or use wood.”

Minister Barnett said basing one of only two national innovation hubs in Launceston was a real demonstration of the expertise and world-leading forestry industry sustained in Tasmania.

“We are looking for researchers that can provide real and practical outcomes in areas like forest management, timber processing, wood fibre recovery, value adding, advanced manufacturing and the bio-economy,” Minister Barnett said.

“We want to see the best ideas from across the forestry, academic and scientific sectors to come up with the ideas that will keep lifting the value of the sector,” he said.

Minister Ruston and Minister Barnett said the forestry sector was worth some $23.7 billion in 2015-16, directly employing over 70,000 people and supporting families in regional Australia.

According to both ministers, this funding opens up new ideas and new opportunities to make the sector even stronger into the future and build on the plan to double the Tasmanian forest industry’s value-add to $1.2 billion a year by 2036.

Further information including application guidelines is available at the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation website:

Applications close on 13 July 2018.

The National Institute for Forest Products Innovation hub in Launceston is co-funded by the Australian and Tasmanian governments, supporting the forest industry in Tasmania and across the nation. It is one of only two forestry institute hubs in Australia with the other based in Mt Gambier, South Australia.