FII’s central objective is to identify and pursue opportunities that generate demand for B.C. forest products, further diversifying and strengthening the B.C. economy. To accomplish this objective, FII is mandated to conduct research and deliver and/or facilitate market development activities that help the forest industry capitalize on high potential market opportunities.

Much of the work FII supports is proposed and delivered through third parties in FII’s funding programs – Wood First for programming in B.C., and Market Initiatives for programming in North America outside of B.C. and offshore. Eligible non-profit organizations working on behalf of the B.C. or Canadian wood products industry apply for funding through the Calls for Proposals to support their market development, research, and promotional activities.

This funding is delivered in partnership with the Government of Canada, and the forest industry, to develop and support programs that foster growth and strengthen B.C.’s global competitiveness.

    Wood First

    The Wood First program aims to advance the use of wood building systems and technologies, and raise awareness of the province as a world leader in advanced wood construction and design.

    Increased structural and architectural uses of wood offer economic, environmental and social benefits to British Columbians. Greater use of B.C. wood supports the provincial forest sector through increased employment and revenues, while increasing the use of wood products fosters innovation and the growth of value-added manufacturers. Wood First focuses on:

    • growing a culture of living and building with wood in B.C. and beyond,
    • maximizing the appropriate use of wood in public and private projects,
    • strengthening B.C.’s capability to produce competitive wood-based products and building systems that create and respond to market demand,
    • accelerating adoption of existing and emerging wood-based products and building systems, and
    • positioning B.C. as a world leader in sustainable and innovative wood-based products and building systems in design, production and application.

    Market Initiatives

    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. Market Initiatives focuses on:

    • researching opportunities in emerging and potential future markets, and initiating early market development activities,
    • supporting industry trade associations in developing and/or expanding markets and market segments for B.C. forest products,
    • supporting industry efforts to mitigate market access and plant health issues, and
    • managing outreach and relationship building in China with Chinese authorities and state-owned real estate development companies, and undertaking early market development and profile building in India.

    2018/19 Funding Recipients

    Funding is provided by the B.C. government through Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. Funds are allocated through an annual competition process that reflects the priorities of the B.C. government, the B.C. forest sector as well as the Government of Canada.

    BC Wood Specialties Group – $1.06 million

    • Bring together British Columbian and Canadian value-added wood product manufacturers with pre-qualified international buyers and specifiers at the 2018 Global Buyers Mission in Whistler.
    • Deliver targeted market development activities to increase sales in China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Europe.
    • Pursue niche opportunities for value-added wood products at trade events in the U.S. and Canada.
    • Educate and train architects, engineers, interior designers and construction professionals on available B.C. wood products and their applications through a variety of educational events, such as lunch-and-learn sessions, group seminars and factory tours in B.C. and international markets.
    • Increase competitiveness, innovation and adaptability of individual value-added wood companies by improving their marketing and business development capability through assessments, site visits, workshops and business development projects.

    Canada Wood Group – $3.26 million

    • Expand the B.C. forest products sector’s global reach with market access and development teams in China, Japan, Korea, Europe and India.
    • In China, address code constraints and provide training and other support to grow wood use in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
    • In Japan, develop innovative solutions to expand the use of lumber and panel products in large-scale buildings.
    • In South Korea, deliver wood-frame design and construction training to support innovative building solutions for larger scale developments, including multi-family structures and those that use infill walls.

    Canadian Wood Council – $717,000

    • Provide technical support and advice to address wood performance attributes in multi-family, multi-storey and non-residential projects.
    • Convey practical wood design solutions through educational events.
    • Support building and fire code changes that allow for increased wood use.

    Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau – $123,000

    • Deliver a multifaceted education and marketing campaign to encourage the use of cedar roofing and sidewall shakes and shingles as a product of choice among specifiers in the U.S.
    • Research optimal roof system configurations and develop innovative ventilation approaches to mitigate the risk of roof failures caused by moisture entrapment.

    Construction Foundation of BC – $81,000

    • Deliver the Skills Ready for Wood program to engage youth, educators and industry to learn about B.C. wood products, with a particular emphasis on innovations in wood engineering and manufacturing.

    Council of Forest Industries – $448,000

    • In China, encourage further adoption of existing wood applications and introduce new applications for B.C. forest products, such as energy efficient wood wall systems and tourism-oriented structures.
    • In Japan, expand opportunities for spruce-pine-fir (SPF) and hem-fir lumber by promoting wood-frame and hybrid construction in the non-residential sector and in taller/larger buildings.
    • In South Korea, grow the use of SPF lumber in multi-storey buildings and for use in infill wall systems.

    Engineered Wood Products Association (APA) – $45,400

    • Deliver a diversified promotional and educational program for Japanese specifiers to create new opportunities and demand for B.C structural panels and engineered wood products in large-scale non-residential construction.

    FPInnovations – $202,000

    • Study the fundamental fire performance attributes of nail-laminated timber (NLT), as well as how different construction and design details influence that performance. 

    University of British Columbia – $329,100

    • Design, engineer, prototype, test and conduct cost-benefit analyses to support value-added manufacturers in the development of new wood products.
    • Organize a series of networking meetings to foster collaboration between manufacturers and industrial designers in various subsectors of the value-added wood industry.
    • Deliver educational programs to explore and convey advanced wood processing solutions, such as industrial robotics.
    • Develop design guidelines for concrete jointed hybrid mass-timber buildings that use coupled shear walls, timber moment frames, and timber core walls.

    University of Northern British Columbia – $40,900

    • Advance innovative building methods by researching the optimal configuration of mass timber and tall wood building hold-down connectors.
    • Deliver educational programs and events to disseminate advanced wood processing and building design solutions.

    Western Red Cedar Lumber Association – $1.09 million

    • Deliver a comprehensive program of marketing, communication, education and outreach to increase market awareness and improve the value proposition of western red cedar as a species in the U.S. and Canada.

    Wood Pellet Association of Canada – $62,900

    • In Europe, improve the regulatory environment for wood pellets and communicate to the power generation and heating sectors the sustainable pedigree of B.C. forest products.
    • In Japan, identify new customers for industrial wood pellets and increase the amount of volume under long-term sales contracts.
    • In Canada, and in an effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change, position wood pellets as a viable, environmentally friendly alternative to coal.

    Wood Products Council – $379,000

    • Encourage shifts in the U.S. design/build community that result in greater wood use in non-residential and multi-family construction projects.
    • Drive demand and support the specification of wood in mid-rise and mass-timber structures by providing technical advice, education and support to the building community.