The Australian Government has announced up to $4.6 million in new funding over four years to match voluntary financial contributions that industry makes to Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) for eligible research and development.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, said the government was committed to research and development in the forest and wood products sector, which builds a foundation for a productive, sustainable and profitable future.
“This is new funding on top of the government’s existing matching payments to FWPA—we invested $3.3 million in 2014–15,” Minister Ruston said.
“The new funding provides for additional research and development projects that will not only benefit the forest and wood products sector but also the Australian economy and therefore the broader community. More than 64,0001 people are employed in the sector with many of these jobs in regional Australia.
“Research and development can lead to improved wood products that are better matched to market needs, increased efficiency within the value chain, and reduced risk to challenges such as forest biosecurity.
“An example of beneficial research co-funded by FWPA and the Australian Government is the identification of enhanced wood property and productivity traits which are incorporated into tree breeding for the sector.
“FWPA’s investment priorities are based on increasing market share and the value of its products—and have input from the industry and research community.
“This not only maximises the chance of the success of the research but also industry adoption.
“This new funding is additional to the initiatives announced in the government’s Innovation and Science Agenda. By encouraging companies to invest in forestry research, it supports the aims of the Agenda and complements the government’s existing support for rural research and development.”
FWPA is an industry-owned non-profit company that undertakes research and development, industry promotion and other activities for the forest and wood products sector.