This research team aims to develop tools to help the forest industry increase the value of its supply and reduce its costs to better face foreign competition.
Dr. Bernard Gendron , Université of Montréal
The forest industry is an extremely important sector of Canadian economic activity as it represents the largest part of Canada’s trade surplus and 3% of its GDP. Canadian forests sustain an industry that continues to support a significant number of jobs. The worldwide increase in competition and excess production capacity have considerable implications for the situation of the Canadian forest industry and threaten its position in international markets. This research team aims to develop tools to help the forest industry increase the value of its supply and reduce its costs to better face foreign competition. Using its industrial liaison, FPInnovations, the team initiated partnerships with Kruger and Irving, two industry leaders, to improve their operations. At Kruger, models to help the company decide what types of resources should be allocated to different sectors in the forests, and when to allocate these resources, are being developed. These models will minimize transportation and operating costs. The project at Irving is studying the company's transportation network, in order to optimize the movement of wood products from the forests to the mills. During the last year, the team also organized a workshop on "Transportation and Forestry," involving the participation of world-renowned experts from Sweden, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Québec.