New Australian Forest & Wood Innovations institute

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The Albanese Government has signed an agreement with the University of Tasmania (UTAS) to expand the work of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation. UTAS will establish the institute to operate under the name Australian Forest and Wood Innovations (AFWI).

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said establishing AFWI will provide the data and knowledge Australia needs to maximise production, sustainability, and competitiveness in trade. “Establishing AFWI delivers on an election commitment and forms part of our record AU$300 million investment in the Australian forestry and forest product sector,” Minister Watt said.

“This funding will benefit all Australians by delivering research including efforts to; increase domestic wood supply, better use our existing production, value-add to the resource, and understand how to best manage our forests in response in climate change. AFWI will create opportunities for the training of new researchers and generate jobs to address the future needs of the industry.”

Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, Professor Anthony Koutoulis, said hosting the institute was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in forest and wood products research and innovation. “The University of Tasmania has a long and globally respected history of forest and wood products research with more than 25 years leading national centres in forestry research needs,” Professor Koutoulis said.

AFWI will be based at the University’s Newnham campus in Launceston. The other locations around Australia will be determined by an expression of interest process that will be run shortly. AFWI will also undertake an annual call for research projects which will be open to researchers from across the country.

The national institute has been funded through a AU$100 million commitment made by the Albanese Government in the October 2022 Budget. The Launceston Research Centre will receive over AU$24 million between 2022-23 and 2026-27 and will employ administration staff and support researchers.

Approximately 60 percent of the Commonwealth funding will require matching funding from industry. This will be achieved through industry providing matching funding for research projects.

For more information, visit the: AFWI website

Source: Senator the Hon Murray Watt,Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

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