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Research consortium established for forest ind.

MEDIA RELEASE

11 December 2002
Research consortium established for forest industry

The forest industry is one of the first to establish a research consortium under a government programme to boost research and development.

Science Minister Pete Hodgson announced funding for four major research consortia today, one of which is the Wood Quality Initiative (WQI).

The NZ Forest Industries Council (NZFIC) has actively supported and promoted the establishment of the WQI. NZFIC chief executive, Stephen Jacobi, says it’s good to see forestry as an early cab off the rank with an increased commitment to research and development.

“WQI illustrates the benefits of working together towards a common goal. Research and development is critical to the forest industry’s future, particularly with the increased wood supply now coming on stream.”

The WQI has 14 shareholding companies from throughout the New Zealand and Australian forest and research industries.

Consortium partners will provide at least half of the funding for the research. Initially they will provide up to $1.5 million.

The Government’s funding agency, the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST), will match the funds invested by shareholders.

“Bringing all the players together with FRST means that we have an efficient and collaborative approach. We will be able to avoid needless duplication and waste of effort, and have the most creative and productive researchers working as a team with the industry,” Mr Jacobi said.

“The 14 members in WQI already represent a significant proportion of the industry. To get that many members in the consortium from scratch is a great achievement and we’d welcome further company interest”.

NZFIC Research, Science and Technology manager, Margaret Emerre, says WQI would shortly be registered as a company.

She says WQI will focus its research effort on wood quality and will utilise the internationally renowned capability of research organisations in New Zealand and Australia.

“WQI’s research programme is based squarely on the needs of the industry. Initially, it will look at fundamental cell-level wood structure and better ways to measure wood quality.

“WQI is another great example of companies and researchers working together in partnership with the Government.”

[Ends]


The following organisations are members of WQI:
- Canterprise Ltd, Christchurch
- Carter Holt Harvey Ltd, Auckland
- City Forests Ltd, Dunedin
- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia
- Ernslaw One Ltd, Auckland
- Fletcher Challenge Forests Ltd, Auckland
- Forest Research Ltd, Rotorua
- Norkse Skog Tasman Ltd, Kawerau
- Olsen and Company Ltd, Rotorua
- Radiata Pine Breeding Company Ltd, Rotorua
- Selwyn Plantation Board Ltd, Darfield
- Timberlands West Coast Ltd, Greymouth
- Wenita Forest Products Ltd
- Weyerhaeuser NZ Inc, Nelson

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