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FERIC, Forintek, and Paprican Take First Step to Team Toward Operation As Single Research Institute
Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada, 20 June 2006 -- The boards and member companies of the Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada (FERIC), Forintek, and the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada (Paprican)have voted to create of a new structure to spearhead the activities of those institutions.

"Soaring energy prices, restrictions on available fiber, increased availability of low-cost foreign fiber, the value of the Canadian dollar, and the ongoing globalization of the industry are all factors, amongst others, that continue to pressure the Canadian Forest Sector," said Don Banks, chairman of the board of FERIC. "From the forest, to wood, and pulp and paper, Canadian producers face similar challenges, and one of the goals of the Single Institute proposal is to come up with an organization conducive to even greater efficiency and capacity in innovation and research and development to address these challenges."

"Our three Institutes are all engaged in research relevant to forest products and technology and many of our members hold membership in one, two, or all three of the Institutes," said Phil Latos, chairman of the board of Forintek. "Our objective is to ensure that FERIC, Forintek, and Paprican research teams continue to play a leading role in the restructuring of Canada's forest products industry. Teaming up would allow the industry to benefit from synergies and facilitate the development of an integrated approach to research and development in the Canadian forest sector as well as be in the best possible position to play a leading role at the global level."

"With the creation of this Single Institute we will be in a position to speak with a stronger common voice on Forest Sector issues," said Frank Dottori, chairman of the board of Paprican. "It is in difficult times that companies can truly feel the strength of joining forces to collaborate in pre-competitive areas with other members and clients of the new Institute. I am confident that this new structure will also allow us to attract new members and increase the overall financial support for research and development in the forest sector."

The Institutes will be working together to develop an integration plan, which will be presented to their respective members for final approval in the next six months.

FERIC's goal is to improve Canadian forestry operations related to the harvesting and transportation of wood, and the growing of trees, within a framework of sustainable development. Its mission is to provide all members and partners with the knowledge and technology to conduct cost-competitive, quality operations that respect the forest environment. The Institute's research program is developed with the guidance of regional advisory committees that include representatives of all members and partners. Ongoing feedback helps address the broad spectrum of technical problems encountered during the planning and implementation of all aspects of forestry operations.

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. Following 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 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.

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