Established in 2003, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) is the Crown provincial agency charged with maintaining and expanding markets at home and abroad for B.C. forest products. FII works in collaboration with the forest industry, trade associations, research institutions and other stakeholders to deliver innovative, forward-looking programming that responds to today’s domestic and international market dynamics, as well as positioning B.C. for tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities. More specifically, FII's mandate is to:
- position B.C. as a global supplier of world-class environmentally friendly forest products;
- actively maintain, create and diversify demand for B.C. forest products in Canada and in key world markets;
- help break down non-tariff trade and market barriers to ensure opportunities for B.C. forest products;
- work with the forest industry to promote B.C.’s forest products and forest management to the global marketplace; and
- help ensure that the forest sector, through product development and strong international sales, continues to be a leading contributor to the B.C. economy.
FII is governed by a Board of Directors, is accountable to the B.C. Minister of International Trade, and operates out of offices in Vancouver, Shanghai, Beijing and Mumbai.
Programs and Services
The following summarizes the activities deliverd by each of FII's three program areas.
The Market Initiatives program encourages the development of export markets and new market segments. Expanding B.C.’s trade relationships to fast growing markets in Asia helps to diversify the sector, open up new opportunities, and sustains forest sector employment. Recognizing the longstanding importance of the North American market, the Market Initiatives program also focuses on high potential market segments to grow demand for B.C. wood products closer to home. The program works collaboratively with the forest industry, the federal government and the research community, focusing activities and leveraging resources to maximize results. Specifically, Market Initiatives focuses on:
Many of the activities in the Market Initiatives program are delivered by third-party organizations under a cost-sharing framework that relies partially on contributions from the industry and the federal government of Canada. Cost-sharing rules are approved and confirmed by FII’s Board of Directors. Organizations receive funding from FII through an annual competitive Call for Proposals.
The Wood First program focuses on advancing wood use and innovative wood construction technologies in the province, and establishing B.C. as a showcase for forest products in construction, interior design, and daily living. The scope includes both residential and non-residential buildings.
Planning and delivery of the Wood First program is a collaborative effort involving the building construction industry and the forest industry. FII provides overall management and administration of the program including aligning priorities and ensuring the best use of the funds. An advisory group (the Wood First Advisory Committee) representing a cross section of primary and secondary manufacturing industries and wood product end-use sectors provides recommendations on program priorities. Based on these recommendations, FII develops an Investment Plan that allocates available funding on an annual basis across several categories of activity including research, education, marketing and manufacturer capacity building. Specifically, Wood First focuses on:
The activities of the Wood First program are primarily delivered by third-party organizations under a cost-sharing framework that relies partially on contributions from the industry. Cost-sharing rules are approved/confirmed by FII’s Board of Directors. Organizations receive funding from FII through an annual competitive Call for Proposals.
Market Outreach works to expand opportunities for B.C. forest products by positioning wood as an environmentally-friendly, preferred building material, and by highlighting B.C. as a reliable supplier of quality products from sustainably-managed forests. These activities create a solid foundation for answering the questions, “Why wood?” and “Why wood from B.C.?” – upon which many of the market development investments and activities of FII and industry are based.
The program focuses on taking advantage of two significant trends in the marketplace – the emerging recognition of wood products as renewable and sustainable, and increasing demands from consumers for forest products that are produced in an environmentally-responsible manner. While individual firms and their trade associations do a good job of telling customers about the physical attributes of specific product lines and how they can be used, the Market Outreach program provides audiences with factual, consistent and credible information about the environmental parameters of B.C.’s forest products and the forest practices that underlie their production. Specifically, the program:
For a comprehensive overview of FII and partner activities delivered over the past year, as well as a more thourough description of our programs and how they are delivered, please download our 2015 Report to Stakeholders. Other documents including our Service Plan, Annual Report, Strategic Plan and more can be accessed on our Corporate Reports page.
- Innovation - FII anticipates changing market, economic and geo-political forces that impact the forest economy, and invests in new programs, research and product development that offer competitive advantages to the forest sector.
- Credibility and integrity – FII activities and funded projects are based on government and industry priorities and strategies developed in partnership with stakeholders and are based on extensive market research. FII services are transparent, timely and openly communicated.
- Collaboration - FII works in partnership with key stakeholders in industry, the research sector and government to develop initiatives and ensure programs are delivered effectively.
- Engagement - FII is actively involved in the market and product development programs it funds and delivers. FII not only responds to government and industry priorities, but also takes the initiative to identify new market opportunities and counsel industry and government on emerging issues.
- Evidence based decision-making – FII is oriented towards growing markets, but recognizes that there are risks in pursuing opportunities. As much as possible, investment decisions are firmly rooted in current, relevant, and comprehensive market information that provides a sufficiently compelling business case for each market initiative.
- Accountability - FII strives for transparent decision-making and investment processes. FII staff have a duty to ensure the appropriate use of the public funds entrusted to them. Activities are expected to be founded on clear objectives, generate a positive return and have well-developed performance measures.
How Services are Delivered
FII relies heavily on a joint delivery model involving industry associations, research institutions and other government agencies. About two-thirds of FII’s budget is used to fund, in whole or in part, initiatives that are designed and delivered by industry trade associations. These activities are typically co-funded by FII, Natural Resources Canada through its Expanding Market Opportunities Program, and industry.