Forest innovation

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B.C. has a long-term commitment to adapt, adopt and develop technologies and innovations to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the B.C. forest sector. This will accelerate the transition from a conventional forest economy towards a local, sustainable forest bioeconomy. The Province promotes clean technologies to enhance the sustainable management of forest resources, the development of high-value bioproducts, and creating more jobs for British Columbians.

The Story of B.C. Wood

Collaborating across sectors 

The Province collaborates with academic and industry partners such as FPInnovations and B.C. Pulp & Paper Bioproducts Alliance (B.C. Bio-Alliance) to support research and manufacturing of advanced bioproducts. The focus of these collaborations include developing new high-value biomaterials, biochemicals and high-tech applications.

New Clean-Tech Innovation Strategy 

B.C. has developed a Clean-Tech Innovation Strategy for the B.C. Forest Sector (PDF, 2.2MB). The goal of this strategy is innovation within forestry, promoting commercialization to enhance forest resources and increase product value. The Innovation Strategy informs bioeconomy research and development from FPInnovations and other partners. This focuses on enhancing B.C.'s forest sector competitiveness, sustainability and support for communities and First Nations.

Bioproduct development 

The Innovation, Bioeconomy and Indigenous Opportunities Branch (IBIO) provides leadership and guidance in the Province’s support for increased development, production, and use of engineered wood products and advanced bioproducts in building construction, and economic knowledge and expertise for Indigenous communities, industry, and other government organizations working in these areas.

Advanced bioproducts

Advanced bioproducts include conventional forest products with innovative approaches (e.g. cross laminated timber panels, mass timber products and non-structural EWPs), or conventional non-timber products made with forest biomass. There are five main categories of advanced bioproducts (PDF, 58KB).

Advanced biomaterials have many applications in the built environment, including products such as plastic and wood composites, adhesives, and cement and concrete used in the construction of buildings. There is growing potential for the use of advanced biomaterials in additive manufacturing such as 3D printing, a technology that has the potential to transform areas of construction and manufacturing.

Engineered wood products

Engineered wood products (EWPs) are made by connecting or binding existing wood products or materials such as boards, veneers, or fibres to improve the product’s performance for both structural or non-structural purposes. Structural EWPs, such as mass timber products, can replace concrete and steel used in buildings, while non-structural materials can be used in a wide range of functions such as insulation, wall studs and panels.

EWPs generally have lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional materials, while storing large amounts of carbon in buildings for the life of the building. Recent changes in B.C. building codes allow buildings to now be built up to 12 storeys tall using structural EWPs, which is creating new and valuable opportunities for the forest sector and wood manufacturers in the province.