Innovative business models for translating forestry science and technology into economic, social and environmental benefits
June 14 (Wednesday) | 10:15 am to 12:00 pm
Session organizer: Dr. Ian de la Roche, University of British Columbia
Increasing concerns from a growing world population about the impacts of climate change and depletion of non-renewable resources coupled with the emergence of disruptive technologies such as genomics, nanotechnology and digital/ICT breakthroughs have created unprecedented opportunities for the bio-economy and forest sector.
International academic and not-for-profit institutional research in the forest sector are considered strong when compared to other sectors. However, business innovation in the forest sector is considered by many to be weak by international standards and the primary cause of weak productivity growth and declining competitiveness in recent years. Various international forestry research and innovations models have been proposed and successfully implemented to address such issues as: greater focus on disruptive technologies and commercial solutions, building new partnerships within and outside of the traditional forest sector, strengthening technology receptor capacity within companies, optimizing both current and future product value streams and capitalizing on the bio-economy window.
This session will cover presentations from a selection of international speakers whose organizations have developed successful models for translating discovery and invention into innovations which have led subsequently to productivity improvements, GDP growth and measurable social and environmental benefits within their respective countries.
Format: Presentations from speakers followed by a panel discussion with questions from the audience.
Our distinguished speakers (in alphabetical order by last name):
Dr. Alex Berg
Executive Director, R&D Center “Unidad de Desarrollo Tecnológico”
Dr. rer. nat., 1987, University of Hamburg, Germany.
Chemical Engineer, 1983, University of Concepción, Chile.
Dr. Berg realized postgraduate studies at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Afterwards he was in charge of the development of a new pulping and bleaching process with organic solvents, which was protected as Acetocell Process, and scaled up in South Germany.
Since 1994, he occupies the position of Executive Director of the “Unidad de Desarrollo Tecnológico” in the University of Concepción, an entity whose main goal is to strengthen the joint work between Industry and University through the development of new products and technologies. He has been in charge of numerous R&D projects in the areas of bioenergy and biomaterials.
He is author of numerous presentations in technical meetings, industrial patent applications and publications.
Dr. Johanna Buchert
Executive vice president, research, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Prof. Johanna Buchert is currently Executive Vice President at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (www.luke.fi). She is in charge of the research strategy and impact of the research portfolio at Natural resources institute Finland.
Natural Resources Institute Finland promotes bioeconomy and sustainable use of natural resources with key focus on forestry, agriculture, food value chain, blue bioeconomy, wild-life research as well as research on socioeconomic aspects on bioeconomy. The institute has a staff of about 1300.
Before moving to Luke she worked at Technical Research Centre Finland Ltd. (VTT) as vice president, research with responsibility of the bioeconomy research. Her own research has focused on bio-refinery concepts with special emphasis on exploitation of different biomass hydrolyzing and modifying enzymes as tools in forest and agrobiomass processing and in by-product valorization as well as in pulp and paper processing. She has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles in different areas of biomass processing.
Dr. Ian de la Roche
(panel moderator and session organizer)
Ian first joined the forest sector in 1992 and has served as CEO of Forintek, FERIC and Paprican. In September 2006, he merged the three national institutes into FPInnovations. As its first President, he also had oversight responsibility for the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre.
Dr. de la Roche’s career spans almost 40 years of experience in plant genetics research, strategic planning, and creation of partnerships between government and industry. In the early 90’s, as Assistant Deputy Minister, Communications and Consultation, Agriculture Canada, Ian headed the consultation process for the National Agriculture Review headed by Deputy Prime Minister Don Mazankowski. He later led a very successful Mission Review and Strategic Planning process at Agriculture Canada that involved 10,000 employees. As a former Assistant Deputy Minister at Western Economic Diversification, he played a prominent role in developing and implementing programs promoting business development, commercialization of new technologies and major research and development initiatives involving industry, government and university partners.
Ian was a key architect of the Federal Agriculture Biotechnology Initiative and the International Centre for Agricultural Science and Technology that catalyzed the now very successful Plant Biotechnology Cluster in Saskatoon. Ian stepped down as founding President and CEO of FPInnovations on January 31, 2009. He remains actively engaged in the Forest sector, as Principal of DELAROCHE Consultancy, Adjunct Professor at the Forest Resource Management Department at the University of British Columbia and Business Associate of Timwood Strategic Consulting, a world-leading consultancy which specializing in identifying strategic opportunities for the wood products sector. Among their clients are governments and some of the largest forest product companies in Canada, United States and Europe. Ian remains active on several boards including the Ontario Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-economy and Genome BC.
Dr. Benhua Fei
Executive Director General of the International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan, People’s Republic of China
Dr. Benhua Fei graduated from Anhui Agricultural University (AAU) with a Bachelor’s Degree of Agronomy (1987) and a Master’s Degree of Engineering (1992). His PhD in Engineering was granted by the Chinese Academy of Forestry in 1999.
Upon graduation, Dr. Fei lectured in the Anhui Agricultural University and served as the Dean of Department until 1997. After finishing his doctoral studies, he was appointed as Associate, then Research Professor at the Chinese Academy of Forestry, and also served as assistant to the President by 2005. He became Director General of Beijing Forestry Machinery Research Institute of the State Forestry Administration in 2005. In December 2009, Dr. Fei was appointed the Deputy Director General of the International Center for Bamboo and Rattan and to-date, has supervised and mentored 29 graduate students.
Dr. Fei has been engaged in research and teaching of wood science and technology. He has chaired over 10 projects in Technology Support Program of China’s National Five-Year Plan, National High-tech R&D Program (863 Programs), the National Natural Science Foundation, etc. He is recipient of a First Award of the National Science and Technology Progress (as the second contributor), two Second Awards of the National Science and Technology Progress (as the second and sixth contributor respectively), one First Award (as the second contributor), one Second Award (as the first contributor), and one Third Award (as the first contributor) of the provincial Science and Technology Progress. Other distinctions granted to Dr. Fei include honorary titles such as Provincial Talented Teachers, Special Allowance of the State Council, National Candidate for New Century Talents Project, National Outstanding Scientific and Technology Worker, among other. He was also elected as the Fifteenth Round of Deputies of National People’s Congress in Chaoyang District, Beijing.
He is the holder of seven national patents of invention, 19 patents of utility models, and has over 170 papers (over 40 were included by the SCI). Dr. Fei is the author of 14 books, including Characterization Technology and Application of Mechanical Properties of Wood Cell Wall, Wood Structural Architecture, Light Framing Construction Technology, Properties of Major Tree Species in China’s Plantations, Properties of Major Tree Species in the world, Bamboo and Rattan in the World, Correlation between Structure, Chemical Composition and Properties in Wood, Chinese Forestry Project, Strategy of Forestry Research in China’s Sustainable Development.
Dr. Fei’s professional memberships include service as the Secretary-General of the National Technical Committee at the Timber Standardization Administration, Vice President of the Chinese Society of Forestry, President of China Bamboo Industry Association, member of the Panel of Specialists (project “Construction Technology of Chinese Modern Wood Frame”) for the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Chair of ISO/TC 296, and member of the American Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST).
Dr. World L-S Nieh
National Program Lead, Forest Products | US Department of Agriculture – Forest Service
Dr. World Nieh is the National Program Lead for Forest Products and Wood Utilization at the U. S. Forest Service Research and Development Deputy area. He is stationed at the Forest Service headquarters in Washington DC.
Before joining the U.S. Forest Service, Dr. Nieh held R&D, technology and marketing positions in wood adhesives and forest products companies where he worked with technologies for the furniture, wood composites, wood treatment, engineered wood products and paper industries.
Dr. Nieh received his Ph.D. from Mississippi State University, M.S. from Virginia Tech and attended the Polymer Science Department at the University of Southern Mississippi. He was appointed the 2014 Mississippi State University College of Forest Resources Alumni fellow. Dr. Nieh is a member of the Forest Products Society (FPS), Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST), the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and an executive officer of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Cellulose and Renewable Materials Division.
Dr. Trevor Stuthridge
Executive Vice President, FPInnovations, Canada
Dr. Trevor Raymond Stuthridge holds the position of Executive Vice President at FPInnovations, with overall leadership responsibilities for R&D operations, business development and organisational strategy.
FPInnovations is a not-for-profit world leader that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector’s global competitiveness and responds to the priority needs of its industry members and government partners. FPInnovations’ 525 employees and R&D laboratories are located in Québec City, Montreal, and Vancouver, and it has technology transfer offices across Canada.
Dr Stuthridge has served as a chairperson, director, strategic advisor or executive manager for a broad range of national and international research initiatives and technology commercialisation opportunities relating to sustainable forest management, wood processing innovation, waste utilisation, environmental risk management, biofuels and bioenergy, clean technologies, climate change, and life-cycle assessment. In addition, he has developed and maintained numerous direct collaborations in academic research, government investment, commercial science and innovation.
Dr. Stuthridge has a PhD in chemistry from the University of Waikato in New Zealand plus executive qualifications in business management and governance. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at both University of British Columbia and University of Toronto. In addition, he currently holds positions as a Board Member for the Institute of Forest Biosciences and Innoventures Canada (I-CAN) respectively.