Nova Scotia’s forest industry got a boost today, July 7, with the announcement of a project that is exploring innovative uses of forest products and new market opportunities.
The Department of Natural Resources, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Innovacorp, and Emera announced a new innovation hub that is identifying new products and production processes to help make Nova Scotia’s forestry and resource sectors a stronger competitor in the marketplace.
“In order to remain competitive in the forestry sector, we need to continue to examine ways to be innovative,” said Lloyd Hines, Minister of Natural Resources. “We are looking at new uses for forestry resources while helping spur economic activity here in Nova Scotia.”
The hub is being supported with $1.67 million in funding, with $1 million coming from Emera, $250,000 from the Government of Canada through ACOA, $350,000 from the province, and $67,000 from Innovacorp.
Being studied are things including new market opportunities and alternatives for petroleum products with bio-based fuels in marine diesel and heating oil applications. Another initiative is looking at how forestry contractors can integrate technology, innovation and best practice to help improve their performance.
“We’re committed to making Canada a global innovation leader,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA. “To do so, we must experiment, explore and adapt. Investing in research and development is the first step on the path to long-term economic growth.”
“Emera recognizes that the forestry and resource sectors are vital parts of Nova Scotia’s economy,” said Chris Huskilson, president and CEO of Emera Inc. “We are pleased to support this collaborative initiative meant to foster industry participation and generate economic opportunities.”
The work is being led by Bioapplied, a Nova Scotia-based company that specializes in renewable resource innovation, and FPInnovations, one of the world’s largest private, non-profit forest research centres.