Innovation in Canada’s forest products sector received international acclaim last week when Montreal researcher was presented a prestigious award at a gala event in Stockholm Sweden for his ground-breaking work.
Dr. Derek Gray received the prestigious Marcus Wallenberg award, considered the “Nobel Prize” for forestry in recognition of his cutting-edge research on nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) fibre during his career with McGill University and FPInnovations.
NCC is being hailed as a wonder material that could be used in everything from plastic car parts, to bone replacement and teeth repair, to additives for paint, pigments, inks, and cosmetics based on its iridescent optical properties. The work by Professor Gray and his colleagues helped result in a pioneering NCC pilot project at the FPInnovations lab in Montreal and in the opening of a world first commercial plant, Celluforce, in Windsor Quebec in 2012.
“It is with great pleasure that I congratulate Dr. Gray," says Pierre Lapointe, president and CEO ofFPInnovations. "His innovative research efforts are a perfect example of how collaboration between research organizations can lead to spectacular results. This research will lead towards further enhancing of the economic value of the forest resource by diversifying markets and contributing to the development of a new, sustainable bioeconomy.”
“This kind of world-leading research and development will help us realize the ambitious goals of ourVision2020,” says David Lindsay, the president and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). “Transformation in the industry is now taking place thanks to a unique partnership between the forest industry, federal, and provincial governments and researchers all trying to maximize the potential of Canada’s most plentiful renewable resource, our trees.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada I’d like to extend my congratulations and thanks to Dr. Gray for his pioneering research and for furthering Canada’s leadership in sustainable forest management practices,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “Thanks to the transformative work of Dr. Gray, as well as that of many Canadian researchers and developers, our country is increasingly being recognized for innovative forest products and technologies.”
FPAC is the voice of Canada’s forest producers nationally and internationally in government, trade and environmental affairs. Canada’s forest products industry is a $57-billion dollar a year industry that represents 11% of Canada’s manufacturing GDP. The industry is one of Canada’s largest employers, operating in hundreds of Canadian communities and providing more than 230,000 direct jobs across the country.
For more information about FPInnovations, visit www.fpinnovations.ca.