Program Overview

Expanding BC’s trade relationships to fast-growing markets in Asia helps diversify the sector, open new opportunities and support forest sector employment. Recognizing the importance of the North American market, FII also invests in high-potential market segments to grow demand for BC wood products closer to home.

The Market Initiatives program is primarily focused on advancing opportunities in existing markets such as China, Japan, South Korea, India, Vietnam and the U.S., where the greatest short- and medium-term opportunities exist for the sector. Most of these market development efforts are delivered by forest sector trade associations, with cost-shared funding support from FII, the Federal Government and industry.

PHOTO: Western hemlock chair by MAS Furniture | Credit: FII India

Funding Priorities

Through our Market Initiatives program, FII seeks to:

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Position British Columbia as a global supplier of world-class environmentally friendly forest products.

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Actively maintain, create and diversify demand for BC forest products in Canada and in key markets.

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Help break down non-tariff trade and market barriers to ensure opportunities for BC forest products.

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Work with the forest industry to promote BC’s forest products and forest management to the global marketplace.

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Help ensure that the forest sector continues to be a leading contributor to the BC economy.

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Research opportunities in emerging and potential future markets and initiate early market development activities.

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Support industry trade associations in developing and/or expanding markets and market segments for BC forest products.

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Support industry efforts to mitigate market access and address non-tariff barriers.

Funding Process

Each year FII manages a Call for Proposals for the Market Initiatives program, which opens in late fall. Though this year’s call is now closed, we invite you to review our process and eligibility information in preparation for next year.

1.

Please review all eligibility requirements below carefully to determine whether your organization may apply for funding.

2.

After reviewing our eligibility requirements, please set up a user account within our Recipient Funding Management System below, where you may review further details on our funding process and submit your application when the call opens in fall 2021.

3.

Once you are registered within our Recipient Funding Management System, you will have access to a variety of information and resources that will help you to submit an application that meets the criteria of FII and our funding partners. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review all resources thoroughly before submitting their applications.

4.

If you wish to receive an email notification when our 2022/23 Call for Proposals opens, please email us at info@bcfii.ca.

Eligibility

Please review FII’s eligibility information below to determine eligibility. Please note, FII does not provide loans, grants or subsidies. Funding is not meant to support an individual firm’s activities but rather to benefit sub-sectors or the BC forest sector as a whole.

 

Those who are eligible to apply for funding under our Market Initiatives program include:

  • Groups or associations representing multi-company interests and serving the objectives of a large geographic area or the majority of producers of a specific species or product category.
  • Academic institutions.
  • Not-for-profit research institutions.
  • First Nations regional Tribal Councils and Indigenous non-profit organizations.
  • BC Government Ministries.
  • Preference is given to BC organizations, but applications will be accepted from organizations headquartered outside of BC where clear and specific benefits to the BC industry can be demonstrated.

Applicant Information

FII provides guidance and support to applicants for its annual Call for Proposals. If you have read our ‘Funding Process’ and ‘Eligibility’ information above and would like to apply for funding during our next intake, please set up an account within our Recipient Funding Management System below.

Once registered, you will have access to a variety of information and resources that will help you to develop a compelling business case for funding that meets the criteria of FII and its funding partners.

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2020/21 Market Initiatives Investment Strategy

Current Market Initiatives Recipients

At FII, we are proud to support a wide variety of organizations under the Market Initiatives program that work towards our common goal of advancing BC’s forest sector. We invite you to browse our 2020/21 Market Initiatives recipient projects below.

Featured Projects

Hemlock furniture trials | Photo: FII

Product Trials Update

Hemlock furniture trials | Photo: FII

International buyers from around the world are flocking to Vietnam to source furniture and related wood products. An effective way to position BC species is to work with local manufacturers to introduce them to the many benefits of BC’s unique softwood products. By offering small samples of BC wood to select manufacturers, FII has been able to lead these firms to develop new product lines or prototypes which are then showcased to international buyers.
BC species that have become popular as a result of the trials include western hemlock, spruce-pine-fir (S-P-F) and western red cedar.
While these efforts to cultivate manufacturers take time, 2019/20 saw FII successfully complete 18 product trials with positive early results, including commercial orders of hemlock furniture for export to the U.S., and a domestic order of 800 doors made with S-P-F (core) and hemlock (exterior).

Hemlock furniture manufactured by Foshan Yiyuan, Guangdong province | Photo: Canada Wood China.

Wood in manufacturing sector opens to Canadian species

Hemlock furniture manufactured by Foshan Yiyuan, Guangdong province | Photo: Canada Wood China.

Hemlock and spruce-pine-fir (S-P-F) are attracting the interest of the Chinese wood in manufacturing (WIM) sector following targeted promotional efforts by the China team. As of fall 2019, product trials had been conducted with 62 manufacturers, leading to $2.6 million in hemlock and S-P-F sales. The species are being used for furniture, doors, window frames and interior panelling.

Canadian delegates visit Rugao factory demonstration of Shanghai Electric Matechstone Engineering Group (MTS), Jinagsu province | Photo: Canada Wood China

A manufactured opportunity: infill walls

Canadian delegates visit Rugao factory demonstration of Shanghai Electric Matechstone Engineering Group (MTS), Jinagsu province | Photo: Canada Wood China

China’s construction sector, which is dominated by steel and concrete, is shifting rapidly to industrialized (prefab) methods of construction. Wood infill walls are an ideal product for industrialized manufacturing, as they must be built to precise standards and, being light-weight, can be easily transported to construction sites. In recent years, the China team has been promoting infill walls through training, technical support and demonstration projects. As manufacturers have gained experience in building infill walls, the marketing team has also successfully broadened interest into other wood products, including nail-laminated timber, glue-laminated timber (glulam) and roof trusses. Along with targeted outreach to manufacturers, work is being done with regulators to ensure wood infill walls comply with acoustic and other building standards.

Sino-Canadian Eco-District Townhouse project Lot 61, Tianjin | Photo: Canada Wood China

Tianjin Eco-District anchors green building strategy

Sino-Canadian Eco-District Townhouse project Lot 61, Tianjin | Photo: Canada Wood China

New, planned communities are popping up throughout China. Many are built using the latest innovations in urban planning and construction technology. The China team considers these projects ideal opportunities to promote advanced Canadian wood technology, particularly in terms of reducing the carbon footprint of new construction.

The Tianjin Eco-District Demonstration Project is the major plank in this multi-year, market development platform. Launched in 2012 through an agreement between the Chinese government and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Tianjin has been used to promote Canadian Super E® building systems (energy saving, wood-based construction) for housing, infill wall technology and mass timber construction for commercial and hospitality buildings. Financial support for the demonstration project was provided by NRCan, with technical support coming from Canada Wood China.

The projects, which are now moving to a third, completely commercial phase, are used regularly for tours of officials from other parts of China who are developing their own planned communities.

NLT Fire Resistance Test, Beijing | Photo: Canada Wood China

Opening new markets through regulatory change

NLT Fire Resistance Test, Beijing | Photo: Canada Wood China

Mass timber construction is attracting growing interest in China, but commercial use can be hampered by a lack of standards and regulations. Glue-laminated timber (glulam) is one example, where the hospitality sector wants to build more mass timber resorts, but certification of projects is challenging due to fragmented codes and standards.

Under its “Regulatory Barriers Initiative”, the China team has initiated a project, funded through Natural Resources Canada, with the Chinese Academy of Building Research, to update the certification process for glulam. Work is also underway to ensure favourable positioning of wood products in new, mandatory national codes. Nail-laminated timber (NLT) products are also being supported through sponsorship of fire testing for NLT floor panels.

10th Biomass Pellets Trade & Power Conference, Tokyo | Photo: Center for Management Technology/WPAC.

Green credentials of BC wood pellets promoted in Japan

10th Biomass Pellets Trade & Power Conference, Tokyo | Photo: Center for Management Technology/WPAC.

Japan is the fastest growing major market for wood pellets in the world and offers solid growth potential for BC suppliers. Canadian wood pellet exports to Japan grew almost ten-fold from 2014 (62,000 tonnes) to 2019 (590,000 tonnes) and now hold a 37 percent share of pellet imports. Wood pellet sales to Japan is a significant and important success story for BC as 95 percent of Canadian pellet shipments to Japan originate in BC.

To further bolster the reputation of BC pellet suppliers in Japan, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada sponsored a Biomass conference in Tokyo, including a Canadian Wood Pellet Day and a series of speaking events. BC Chief Forester, Diane Nicholls, attended and spoke to BC’s sustainable forest practices and the green credentials of BC wood pellets. More than 300 industry and government officials attended the Canadian-sponsored events.

Erimo Pig Farm, Hokkaido prefecture | Photo: Hokkaido Chuo Bokujyo

Japan Wood Truss Council partnership

Erimo Pig Farm, Hokkaido prefecture | Photo: Hokkaido Chuo Bokujyo

Recent restructuring in the Japanese agri-business sector has led to a boom in BC wood product use in agricultural buildings from Okinawa to Hokkaido. Partnering with the Japan Wood Truss Council, Canada Wood Japan has been promoting the benefits of wood trusses over competing steel systems in agricultural buildings. The results have been impressive, with the council reporting an increase in truss use by more than 54 percent in the past year.

The Erimo Farm project, as an example, includes nine new barns to expand pork production in Hokkaido. The barns cover 18,120 m2 and use almost 1,000 m3 of S-P-F dimensional lumber for roof trusses and wall assemblies.

In total, 2019/20 saw nine new non-residential construction projects incorporate Canadian wood in their design due to Canada Wood promotion efforts and technical support.

NLT Fire Testing, Ibaraki prefecture | Photo: Canada Wood Japan.

Tested under fire: NLT achieves milestone

NLT Fire Testing, Ibaraki prefecture | Photo: Canada Wood Japan.

Increasing market access for different uses of wood is an ongoing part of market development in Japan through the Canada Wood Market Access Initiative. With Japan’s growing interest in mass timber construction, Canada Wood has focused in recent years on gaining approvals for the use of nail-laminated timber (NLT) building systems.

Fire testing is an important step in this process. Partnering with the Japan 2×4 Home Builders Association, Canada Wood organized 30-minute and 60-minute fire testing of NLT for roofing and flooring panels, both of which were successful. Final approval has been confirmed and will build on favourable revisions to building codes and standards regarding the use of NLT.

The Market Access Initiative reported the successful elimination of eight regulatory barriers to the use of wood in Japan during the year.

Makado Nursery School Project, Tochigi prefecture | Photo: Canada Wood Japan.

Nursery school project is a first for Midply technology

Makado Nursery School Project, Tochigi prefecture | Photo: Canada Wood Japan.

Canada Wood Japan’s “Product Mix” initiative is focused on broadening the use of engineered wood products and systems in Japan’s construction sector, including the BC-developed Midply wall system. The first use of infill Midply wall systems using hem-fir and oriented strand board (OSB) is now underway at a nursery school project near Tokyo. The Makado Kagamimochi Nursery School is a one-storey post-and-beam structure designed with wide openings between the beams. Canada Wood provided technical assistance for the project architect in securing building permit approval for using hem-fir and OSB wall units and facilitated the sourcing of coastal BC hemlock for the project. Promoting Midply is a major undertaking of Canada Wood in Japan, as Midply wall systems offer substantial performance improvements over traditional wall assemblies, including greater effectiveness at resisting earthquakes. Midply technology is helping to position BC forest products for growth in large non-residential construction projects.

Wood Wall Bracing Workshop, Seoul | Photo: Canada Wood Korea.

Seismic safety workshops strengthen professional skills

Wood Wall Bracing Workshop, Seoul | Photo: Canada Wood Korea.

In response to government and industry concerns that Korean buildings may not be safe from strong earthquakes, Canada Wood Korea, in partnership with the Timber Engineering Lab of Chungnam National University, developed a workshop on wood wall bracing for architects and engineers.

Designed for small wood-frame housing and based on North American standards, the program qualifies for professional credits for both architects and structural engineers as part of ongoing continuing education requirements. The first offering of the workshop was attended by more than 140 professionals.

Intensive Super-E® training, Gyeonggi province | Photo: Canada Wood Korea.

Super-E® technology gains traction in South Korea

Intensive Super-E® training, Gyeonggi province | Photo: Canada Wood Korea.

Canada Wood Korea continues to position Canadian wood products and building systems as solutions to South Korea’s low carbon and sustainability goals. The Canadian Super-E® training is a major part of this effort, as the technology fits well with the market’s need for building healthier and more energy-efficient homes.

The first intensive Super-E® training was held in 2019 to build design capacity in Korea. The program was supported by the Korean Wood Construction Association with 31 professionals in attendance. Following the training program, a Super-E® demonstration house was completed at the Maple Village Development project. A follow-up project, the Dagagu Demo House project, was completed in early 2020.

Super-E® aligns with the government’s efforts to encourage the construction of passive and zero energy buildings by 2025.

Cheongpyeong Cultural Centre steel and wood infill wall project, Gyeonggi province | Photo: Canada Wood Korea.

Manufacturing a growing opportunity: infill wall systems

Cheongpyeong Cultural Centre steel and wood infill wall project, Gyeonggi province | Photo: Canada Wood Korea.

Industrialized prefabrication of building systems is rapidly gaining popularity in the South Korea construction sector, as it addresses labor shortages in on-site construction and provides higher quality control and cost efficiencies.

Wood infill wall systems are being promoted by Canada Wood Korea as ideal for prefabrication. These efforts are generating significant interest, particularly as larger projects sign on to the use of wood infill walls. One example of this growing interest is a project to renovate and expand the Sokcho government training center for the City of Seoul. SOLTO Zibin Architects won the design contest, in part due to their use of wood infill systems. The building covers more than 10,000 m2 over six storeys.

The Sokcho training center will be Canada Wood Korea’s lead demonstration project in 2020.

Canadian Resort Construction Seminar, Seoul | Photo: BC Wood.

Growing the resort sector

Canadian Resort Construction Seminar, Seoul | Photo: BC Wood.

More than 200 stakeholders attended two BC Wood seminars on resort development in February 2020. The seminars leverage BC’s reputation as a developer of world-class resorts, like Whistler. Presentations featured resort planning, mass timber and wood use in hospitality facilities, and how to extend alpine-focused resorts into all-season venues.

A companion technical training program introduced a new case study brochure aimed at developers, resort owners, tourism associations and local government. The brochure highlights how Whistler, Squamish and the Okanagan have become year-round destinations while showcasing the important role of wood design and construction in this success.

The seminar series was supported with funding from the Government of Canada (Natural Resources Canada).

Hemlock product trails, Bramola | Photo: FII India.

Try Canadian Wood – Product Trials

Hemlock product trails, Bramola | Photo: FII India.

Product trials of BC softwood species under India’s “Try Canadian Wood” program continue to engage and motivate Indian manufacturers to test BC wood in their applications. The trials are cost-effective, help to raise the overall profile of Canadian wood and, through hands-on experience, overcome misperceptions about Canadian species and strengthen technical skills in working with softwood. FII India completed 30 product trails in the 2019/20 fiscal year.

Interior fit out of the Taj Rishikesh Hotel made from B.C. wood species, Uttarakhand | Photo: FII India.

Demo projects – Taj Rishikesh hotel

Interior fit out of the Taj Rishikesh Hotel made from B.C. wood species, Uttarakhand | Photo: FII India.

Completed in 2019, the Taj Rishikesh hotel in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand features both BC hemlock for the interior panelling on walls and ceiling areas, and Douglas-fir for windows, doors, soffits and ceiling panelling. The combination of a rock facade and wood trim reflects local construction styles and provides a beautiful architectural finish for this high-end resort facility. The project was the culmination of three years of collaboration between FII India and the developer.

This wood-frame construction style home was built and promoted by Pyramid Timbers and MAS Furniture. Canadian Wood booth at the IndiaWood 2020 Trade Show | Photo: FII India

IndiaWood 2020 Trade Show

This wood-frame construction style home was built and promoted by Pyramid Timbers and MAS Furniture. Canadian Wood booth at the IndiaWood 2020 Trade Show | Photo: FII India

With 75,000 visitors, and a focus on wood innovation, IndiaWood 2020 complements the goal of raising the profile of higher-value Canadian wood products in the Indian market. However, with 875 exhibitors, the India team needed to find a way to stand out from the competition and reach the architects, interior designers and real estate developers attending the show.

The solution was to be innovative. The India team arranged for two complete wood homes to be displayed in the Canadian Wood booth; the resort-style homes were both made by local Indian firms at their own cost and featured BC species. The homes demonstrated wood-frame construction and tongue-and-groove styles of building using Canadian S-P-F. Companion displays allowed visitors to connect with BC firms and learn more about Canadian wood species.

Along with promoting BC wood, the two homes highlighted how wood construction can meet the emerging interest in designing eco-friendly resorts and vacation homes, opening an opportunity for the introduction of BC species and building techniques.

Engineered panels in yellow cedar and western hemlock | Photo: FII India

Engineered thin panels

Engineered panels in yellow cedar and western hemlock | Photo: FII India

Thin-panel technology is allowing an Indian firm to grow a new market for yellow cedar and hemlock. Evo Wood has pioneered the manufacturing of thin (3mm to 8mm) panels in 4×8 sheets for furniture overlays using lower-quality wood as a substrate. Demand is building, as the combination reduces costs while offering manufacturers a finished look in a premium species.

FII India supported the demonstration project by helping to source BC species and providing technical support to Evo Wood. In an example of cross-market promotion, FII staff in Vietnam also introduced the panels from India to Vietnamese manufacturers, with several firms interested in sourcing the product from Evo Wood.

2019 Canadian Delegation to Vietnam - Manufacturer Tours | Photo: FII

Trade mission strengthens ties

2019 Canadian Delegation to Vietnam - Manufacturer Tours | Photo: FII

In the fall of 2019, a 14-person delegation travelled from BC to Vietnam, visiting furniture manufacturers, meeting with importers and traders and sponsoring a Canadian Wood (FII) booth at Vietnam Wood 2019 — the industry’s major trade show with over 12,000 attendees.

american door wood panel

Opening the door to hemlock sales

american door wood panel

One Vietnamese manufacturer recently finished their first order of more than 1,000 hemlock doors. The doors have an S-P-F core, with the outer vertical rails (stiles) and door jambs made with engineered products. The face and back of the doors were overlaid with 12mm thick clear hemlock. The response to the doors has been so favourable that the company is working on additional orders.

Colin and Justin in front of the Real Cedar bunkie, Haliburton, Ontario

Colin and Justin: Great Canadian Cottage

Colin and Justin in front of the Real Cedar bunkie, Haliburton, Ontario

TV home-renovation hosts Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan were hired by the WRCLA to feature in a six-part online video series. Available on the Real Cedar YouTube Channel and a dedicated landing page on realcedar.com, Colin and Justin: The House that Cedar Fixed, covers why the designers chose western red cedar to transform a dated, lakefront cottage, and features projects including a 2,500 sq. ft. 2×6 cedar wrap-around deck, a cedar bunk house and a timber-frame sunroom, among others.

Colin and Justin are well known in the United Kingdom and Canada for their TV series, newspaper columns on home renovations and regular appearances on talk shows. WRCLA’s partnership with the home renovators is creating opportunities to showcase western red cedar, expand audience reach and drive traffic to realcedar.com.

The Canyons, Portland, Oregon | Photo: Marcus Kauffman, Oregon Department of Forestry

A cost-competitive, innovative solution

The Canyons, Portland, Oregon | Photo: Marcus Kauffman, Oregon Department of Forestry

WoodWorks continues to see a rise in the number of wood-hybrid projects combining light wood-frame and mass timber construction to reduce costs while delivering on project design goals.

The Canyons, a 70-unit, 110,000 sq. ft. assisted living building in Portland, Oregon is an example of this innovation. Assisted living facilities are subject to different code requirements than apartment buildings, and the team chose a hybrid structure that included cross-laminated timber (CLT) and light wood-frame construction for the top four storeys, a post-tension concrete slab for the second floor and CLT with steel connectors for the atrium.

1430 Q Street in Sacramento, California was completed through an alternate means process | Photos: Greg Folkins

6-over-2 = new opportunities

1430 Q Street in Sacramento, California was completed through an alternate means process | Photos: Greg Folkins

An important part of WoodWorks’ mandate is helping project teams design larger and taller light wood-frame buildings. Hybrid projects, which include multiple storeys of wood over a concrete podium, offer a great opportunity to demonstrate how this can be achieved.

To educate more designers on hybrid construction, WoodWorks invited a local building official and a code consultant to present on 6-over-2 buildings at a Wood Design Symposium they were hosting in Seattle. This approach would give designers an eight-storey option that is mostly wood, as opposed to an entirely non-wood (concrete/steel) alternative. Seattle is currently the only U.S. jurisdiction allowing six storeys of residential wood construction (instead of five) over multiple storeys of concrete without special approval.

Wood at Stawamus Chief. Photo: Candace Kenyon

Mass timber growth

A log boom floating in British Columbia.

Mass timber continues to gain acceptance across the U.S. As of June 2020, 921 multi-family, commercial or institutional mass timber projects had been constructed or were in design in all 50 states. This total includes modern mass timber and post-and-beam structures built since 2013. About half of requests to WoodWorks for advice and assistance are in the low-rise commercial and assembly category.

For an overview of our recipient projects completed in 2019/20, please download our Year in Review

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