18 October 2021

A new $1.3 million feasibility study including targeted stakeholder consultation is looking at how best to improve research and development in the forestry sector, including the option of a National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI).

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the Australian Government is focussed on building specialised forestry and forest products research and development capability.

“We’re committed to using forest industry resources in smarter ways to boost innovation and competitiveness,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“That’s why, in partnership with Iceni we’re undertaking a feasibility study on how to improve forestry research and development.

“This includes the possibility of an Australia‑wide NIFPI.

“An important first step is targeted engagement with select stakeholders across the country, including industry representatives, research providers and the three existing regional NIFPI centres.

“I also encourage stakeholders to have their say on a consultation paper on options for future innovation and how to shape Australia’s long term forestry research and development capacity.

“I would of course like to acknowledge the work of the Australian Forest Products Association and University of Tasmania for their work in this area. The model they have proposed will inform the government’s considerations and will be investigated as part of this process.

“This is another great example of preparing for the future, as we continue to deliver on the National Forest Industries Plan in partnership with industry and the states and territories.”

The consultation paper can be accessed at www.iceni.com.au/nifpi-consultation-paper/

Fast Facts

  • In the 2021-22 Budget, the Australian Government provided $1.3 million in funding for a feasibility study to expand the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation.
  • The study will consider current research and development framework, including the existing NIFPI centres, Forest and Wood Products Australia, CSIRO, state government entities, industry bodies and universities.
  • The Australian Government has established regional NIFPIs in Mount Gambier, Launceston and Gippsland to drive jobs and growth by supporting smarter use of our forests and maximising value of forest resources.
  • The finalised study is scheduled to be provided to government in late 2021.