The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy is a new provincial initiative to transform the forest products industry in Northern Ontario. We're an independent, not-for-profit research corporation that partners closely with other relevant organizations to provide support to direct and turn research results and innovative business opportunities into operational realities.
Forest products are a valuable, renewable and recyclable material with many uses. Northern Ontario's vast boreal forest accounts for 76% of the province's woodland and has supported most of Ontario's forest industry since the 1870's. Slower growth in demand for paper and a down turn in some markets have led to a profitability crisis for the Northern Ontario forest.
In the 2008 Budget, the Government announced an investment of $25 million over four years to move the province to the forefront of the commercialization of the forest products industry. The new Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy in Thunder Bay will partner closely with other relevant organizations to provide support to direct and turn research results and innovative business opportunities into operational realities. As it's done throughout its history, the entire forest-based sector will renew and restructure itself and develop new operating models to meet current challenges. Our region will become known world-wide as producers of novel value-added products in addition to, or instead of, commodity products such as pulp, newsprint and dimensional lumber.
The bio-economy will play a central role in the metamorphosis of Northern Ontario's future - creating jobs, opportunity and prosperity.