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Canada's Forest Sector Research Institutes to Merge
Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada 26 January 2007/PRNewswire/ -- Don Banks, chairman of the board of FERIC, Phil Latos, chairman of the board of Forintek, and Frank Dottori, chairman of the board of Paprican, are pleased to announce that the boards and member companies of the three research institutes have voted in favor of a merger of the institutes, effective 1 April 2007. The new single institute will be named FPInnovations.

The vote, held on 25 January, 2007, follows a previous vote by the members of each institute in June 2006 to explore the creation of a new structure to spearhead the activities of the three institutes. In September 2006, Ian de la Roche was named as president and CEO of the new structure. During the intervening period, due diligence was successfully completed and presented to the boards and member companies, which led to the positive vote in January 2007.

"The process leading to today's favourable vote has given both the members and the management teams of each institute the time necessary to consider the opportunities and challenges that such a merger inevitably presents," said Banks. "Under the strong leadership of Dr. de la Roche, the new institute will now become a reality and will provide the Canadian forest industry with one of the world's largest forest sector research institutes," he said.

"With this vote, the members of the three institutes are sending a clear message that the Canadian forest industry is preparing to face global competition and the economic and environmental challenges currently presented," said Latos. "The importance of the industry in today's economy is clear as it provides nearly 900,000 direct and indirect jobs across Canada. By equipping the industry with a research institute of global significance, it will be better positioned to compete on an international scale," he said.

"In addition to spearheading the activities of FERIC, Forintek and Paprican, FPInnovations will also provide technical direction for the Canadian Forest Service's newly created Fibre Centre. This means that researchers along the entire value chain will be better positioned to support industry in developing the next generation of value-added products," said Dottori. "Understanding the unique qualities of Canadian forests and determining how to maximize the value of that resource is key to the industry's future success. FPInnovations will play a significant role in assisting industry with this challenge."

FERIC, the Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada, is a nonprofit research institute that develops and helps implement innovative and safe forest operational solutions that provide members with long-term competitive advantage, add value to their fiber supply and support sustainable forest practices. FERIC specializes in areas of research related to the harvesting of wood, transportation and forest road construction, silviculture, and wildland fire operations. The Institute's research program is developed with the guidance of regional advisory committees that include representatives of all members and partners.

Forintek Canada Corp. is Canada's national wood products research institute. Its mission is to develop scientific and technical knowledge, application, and solutions that will enhance the ongoing competitiveness of its members and the Canadian wood products sector. Based on priorities set by its industry and government members, it delivers technological solutions in such areas as lumber, panels, and other value-added wood products manufacturing processes or attributes, drying and protection, building systems, etc. Forintek also conducts market and economic studies, and plays a key role in the development of building codes and standards, both nationally and internationally.

Paprican, the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, is a leading not-for-profit research and technology institute that provides valuable technology transfer and cost-competitive research addressing both the short-term and strategic needs of its Members. Its research programs are driven by the high-priority technical issues of the industry such as product quality and value, cost competitiveness, environment and sustainability. Internationally recognized for excellence, Paprican operates laboratories in Quebec and British Columbia, and is well positioned to offer services to the global pulp and paper industry.

Source: Paprican

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