$4m funding call for Forest Industry research projects

A $4 million joint funding program aimed at growing South Australia’s forest and forest products industry is officially open for applications.

Federal Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Anne Ruston and South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone have today released guidelines for the Mount Gambier National Institute for Forest Products Innovation fund.

Researchers with projects to grow Australia’s forest and forest products industry are encouraged to apply for funding between $50,000 and $500,000.

Minister Ruston is encouraging innovative applications to continue growing the plantation forest and forest products industry.

“The National Institute for Forest Products Innovation fund is aimed to seize upon opportunities to harness the potential of our forestry assets, and maximise the contribution of the industry to our regional and national economies,” said Minister Ruston.

“The fact that one of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation hubs is located in Mount Gambier demonstrates the importance of South Australia and the Green Triangle to Australia’s forest and forest products industry.”

Minister Whetstone said the fund will provide important opportunities to boost research and development in the forest and forest products industry.

“The forest and forest products industry is a significant contributor to the state’s economy and an important employer in our regions. The industry in South Australia generates over $2 billion in revenue annually,” said Minister Whetstone.

“This research funding will play an important role in exploring and facilitating innovation in areas such as forest management, timber processing, wood fibre recovery and value adding, advanced manufacturing and the bio-economy.

“Priority areas for funding in the plantation forest and forest products industry include the development of new products, innovative, safe and efficient workplaces, and precision management; as well as tree growing, and robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.”

Applications for the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation fund close on 7 September 2018.