Researchers from both organizations will collaborate to bring together the research and development capabilities of both AITF and FPInnovations to effectively serve the research and technical needs of the forest products industry. The researchers will exchange scientific and technical information to collaborate on R&D projects in the areas of oriented strand board (OSB) and codes and standards related to CNC to ensure Canada's CNC is widely accepted around the world.
"These agreements formalize the long-standing relationship between FPInnovations and Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures and provides a strong framework for continued cooperation," said Pierre Lapointe, FPInnovations' president and chief executive officer. "FPInnovations is eager to continue its close collaboration with AITF and is looking forward to work together to pool resources and complementary expertise to facilitate efficient and cost effective coordination of resources within the two organizations."
To officially mark the collaborative agreements that will see both organizations working together to advance the commercialization of CNC across Canada and continue the excellent work in the area of strand-based forest products, a memorandum of understanding was signed on September 12 by FPInnovations' Lapointe and Stephen Lougheed, AITF president and chief executive officer. The signing coincided with the commissioning of AITF's CNC pilot plant in Edmonton, AB, which produces up to 100 kg of CNC per week.
"We are very excited about what the future holds for FPInnovations and AITF - new technologies, new products, new markets," said Lougheed of AITF. "In partnering with FPInnovations, AITF seeks to build Alberta's and Western Canada's CNC expertise and work together to advance commercialization opportunities across Canada. We hope the collaborative research agreement between the two organizations on CNC helps create the conditions needed to accelerate applied R&D in CNC and generate viable commercial applications."
Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures has partnered with FPInnovations since 1996, when the two organizations signed a joint OSB research consortium agreement. Through this consortium, Canadian OSB producers were able to improve product quality and significantly reduce their manufacturing costs. The original agreement expired in June 2012.
FPInnovations has a pilot facility in Pointe-Claire, QC, for producing various grades of CNC and for testing process modifications and improvements. The organization has also formed a joint venture with Domtar, called CelluForce, that has resulted in a demonstration plant to produce and supply commercial quantities of CNC.