UTAS to become hub for forestry research

20 May, 2015

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, welcomed today's announcement that a $14 million training centre for forest value will be developed in Tasmania.

The Australian Government today awarded $3.6 million to the University of Tasmania for this project through the Australian Research Council's 2015 round of the Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP).

"Research and development is a key driver of innovation in the forest sector and that's one of the reasons that this announcement of a training centre is so important. It will help set the foundation for a productive, sustainable and profitable future for the industry," Senator Colbeck said.

"I welcome the comments from UTAS that this research centre will focus on new forest industries, approaches and products. It is important that we look towards future opportunities and stop viewing the industry through the rear-view mirror."

"This announcement is great news for Tasmania and recognises the importance of the forest and forest products industries to the state."

Senator Colbeck said the training centre would aim to build capacity to transform the Australian forest products sector and train a workforce capable of creating value along all stages of the supply chain.

Funding from the Australian Government will be matched by industry and University contributions, bringing this project's total value to about $14 million.

The project is a collaboration between industry partners including Greening Australia (Tasmania), SFM Environmental Solutions, Forico, Forestry Tasmania, Island Workshop, FWPA and Neville-Smith Forest Products.

The total amount of funding from this ITRP round, announced today by Minister for Education Christopher Pyne, is almost $40 million and will see four new research hubs and five new training centres open up around Australia.

For more information on the ARC and its funding schemes, including the Industrial Transformation Research Program, visit the ARC website http://www.arc.gov.au/media/major_announce.htm#ITRP

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